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ITB Berlin News 2020 - #4

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I NEWS IUNWTO to publishrecommendationsfor recoveryIn the coming days, the UNWTO isset to release a set of “post Covid-19”proposalsA new document, programmed for releasein the coming days, will highlight the stepsgovernments and other authorities need totake to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 onthe tourism sector and to then acceleraterecovery.The report follows a highlevelvirtual meeting onMarch 19, bringing togetherkey UN agencies, the chairsof its Executive Council andRegional Commissions,and private sector leaders.Tourism is the economicsector that has been hardesthit by COVID-19 and allparticipants accepted aninvitation from the UNWTOSecretary-General tobecome part of a GlobalTourism Crisis Committee,formed as UNWTO preparesto launch a global guide forrecovery. The UNWTO-ledCommittee will hold regularvirtual meetings, reflectingthe need for coordinatedand efficient action by theprivate and public sectors,governments, internationalfinancing institutions, andthe United Nations.Recommendations fromthe meeting will be factoredinto UNWTO’s report. Thesewill be complemented by adynamic component aimedat engaging with innovatorsacross the world through aninnovation challenge centredon tourism’s response.Launched with the supportof WHO, this challenge willidentify new ideas that canbe implemented to helptourism return to sustainablegrowth.The global coordinationcommittee will holdregular virtual meetingsto evaluate and advancerecommendations as thesituation evolves. The UN’skey tourism related agencieswill all be participating, alongwith WHO and the mainrepresentatives of the airlineand maritime transportationsectors, as well as the privatesector.UNWTO members area critical part of thiscommittee, representedthrough the regional chairsand the chair of the ExecutiveCouncilICAO, IMO, AND UNWTO CALLFOR URGENT ACTIONS TO HELPTHE AVIATION AND TOURISMSECTOR WITHSTAND COVID-19IMPACTSThe International CivilAviation Organization(ICAO), InternationalMaritime Organization(IMO), and the WorldHealth Organization(WHO), who joined theUNWTO for a virtualteleconference on March20, are calling for urgentgovernment action in lightof the current situation.Senior officials includedICAO Secretary GeneralDr Fang Liu and IMOSecretary General KitackLim.From an overallstandpoint, a keyconclusion of theministers and seniorUN officials present wasthat calls would needto be made urgently togovernments to takeimmediate actions,including throughfinancial aid packagesand incentives, to helpthe aviation and tourismsectors withstand currentCOVID-19 risks andimpacts.When outlining the statusof the air industry, andsummarising the actionstaken to-date by ICAO, Dr.Liu underscored that evenwhile the air transportsector can be vulnerable© ICAODr Fang LiuICAO Secretary Generalto many external factorsbeyond its control,COVID-19 was presentingstates and operatorswith entirely new levels ofsystemic risk.“We have confrontedeconomic sustainabilitychallenges in the past interms of various financialcrises, the 9/11 attacks,the Eyjafjallajokull volcanoeruption, and indeed withearlier pandemics, but theCOVID-19 consequencesthe air transport sector isconfronted with today aretruly unprecedented,” shecommented.She also stressed thatcommercial operatorshad “registered significantlosses not only in specificareas of COVID-19 impact,but indeed globally giventhe realities of networkinterconnectivity andpreventative actions nowbeing carried to limitinternational mobility.”The UN agencies presentagreed that a widerangingcoordinationbody be establishedto begin addressingthe public-privateresponse required toaddress these significantand sector-threateningconsequencesITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 26 TH MARCH 2020 • 5

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