The 7 Priorities for Restarting Tourism for Destinations

With the world gearing up to restart businesses desperately, tourism is an industry in which many are counting their bets on to stabilize jobs, markets, and kickstart the flow of forward motion in recovery. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) laid down the seven priorities that destinations and tourism boards must focus on to ensure the safety of the travelers while restoring the confidence of their destination as a secure place as well.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “These guidelines provide both governments and businesses with a comprehensive set of measures designed to help them open tourism up again in a safe, seamless and responsible manner. They are the product of the enhanced cooperation that has characterized tourism’s response to this shared challenge, building on knowledge and inputs from across the public and private sectors and from several UN agencies as part of the UN’s wider response.”

1. Provide Liquidity & Protect Jobs

The first priority outlines by the World Tourism Organization is to create dedicated tourism support schemes for small businesses, entrepreneurs & self-employed. It urges government decision-makers, and those at the top of the value chain to provide exceptions, reductions, or/and deferred of social security & fiscal payments as well as critical bills for companies, self-employed, and workers (especially for the most vulnerable).

2. Recover Confidence through Safety & Security

This priority focuses that destinations use human-centered communication with empathy, reassurance, and connection to create campaigns geared towards building confidence in the traveler including the safety
measures undertaken by the destinations and companies. With a special mention on setting safety and hygiene protocols to minimize any risk throughout the whole tourism value chain & in each step of the traveler’s journey.

3. Public-Private Collaboration for An Efficient Reopening

The third priority emphasizes on the need for a more shared exchange of knowledge and good practices through a public-private collaboration so that actionable protocols for health and safety are followed correctly. It also marks the necessity of shared data by the government towards companies, stronger information systems so that companies, destinations, and hospitality staff can be in alignment with the rules and new safety procedures.

4. Open Borders with Responsibility

In order to open borders, this priority asks Governments & autonomous regions to advance travel facilitation towards e-visa/visa on arrival/no visa policies and remove visa costs temporarily to stimulate demand. It asks tourism boards to introduce and adapt actionable border processes & procedures in line with public health
evidence-based risk assessment.

5. Harmonize & Co-ordinate Local Protocols with International Standards

The fifth priority urges governments to ensure regional and international coordination so that common policies are followed among tourism, health, interior and transport authorities which must be in sync with health protocols and procedures at a global level. It encourages destination managers and tourism boards to set up visitors’ tracing apps and work towards their international interoperability.

6. Create Value through Digital Transformation

The sixth priority urges companies to accelerate digital transformation and embrace new profiles in the digital space. It focuses on the need to provide free online training to skill up staff in their requisite industries through a partnership with universities, tech companies, and other educational and training institutions such as the UNWTO Online Academy and support the development and marketing of courses in multiple languages.

7. Adapt Innovation & Sustainability as The New Normal

With innovation and technology being the game-change and real-savior for recovery from the pandemic, the last priority emphasizes on the need for governments to consolidate the national and global innovation ecosystem by investing in the digital transformation for better destinations’ planning & management. It asks companies, businesses, and governments to foster open innovation by involving start-ups and encouraging innovative solutions that are easier and quicker to implement. It also highlights the necessity to transition towards a more circular economy in the tourism value chain and a more resource-efficient and low carbon tourism to adapt and mitigate the Climate Crisis.

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