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The World Tourism Organization commends Dubai's constructive efforts to help revive tourism

In an exclusive interview before the Pre-Expo Talk:

Travel & Connectivity in Dubai, Marcelo Risi, Head of the Communications Department of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said, "Dubai deserves appreciation for working proactively to keep both visitors and tourist workers as secure as possible. This is also an indication of strong collaboration between government and industry. Such a partnership is more important than ever, and UNWTO is pleased to see Dubai and many other destinations around the world, fostering cooperation and unity to help our sector and revive tourism."

Confidence and consistency are essential in the tourism recovery process, said Risi.

"And the two of them are closely interlinked. However, we do need to restore confidence in travel to revive tourism. We will achieve this by ensuring our health and safety procedures are across boundaries. Millions of jobs and businesses are at serious risk, and the tourism industry appears to require the best potential support from the government. The tourism sector is ready to restart soon, but will rely on both health management and international cooperation and standards-again, flying solo leads nowhere," he said.

Tourists must act responsibly

According to Risi, “Throughout this unprecedented period of the pandemic, we have seen how this sector reflects what is happening in our communities to the degree that many have not been aware of – all of our social experiences, the massive economic value chain it envelops, and the large implications of tourism that weave into our communities.”

UNWTO has always emphasized that visitors are voluntarily following the latest health guidance, from the World Health Organisation and their own governments. "These are the only reliable authorities to develop protection,” he noted.

Tourist Relevance

Misi said the tourism value chain's breadth and diversity are a driver of sustainable development the world over. “Tourism creates jobs and promotes economic growth. Indeed, the current lack of tourism demonstrates how important and significant the sector is – from hospitality and entertainment to the arts and culture and economic well-being. Thus, Tourism contributes to many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the industry is based at the United Nations, where UNWTO talks on its behalf.”

UNWTO's role in the revival of tourism in COVID-19

Misi said the revival of tourism lay in united combat. "From the outset, we have acknowledged the value of the tourism sector meeting this challenge together, rather than each country, destination or industry looking after its interests. We are better together, as we say. We are a one-stop-shop for tourism intelligence, data and policy tracking around the world, important tools and credible sources of information for tourism, governments and foreign organisations."

He said, "At the very beginning of the crisis, we set up the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Group. It is made up of our Member States as well as international agencies – including some of our sister UN agencies such as WHO, IMO and ICAO – as well as business leaders and other industry leaders, such as IATA. We are still depending on the constructive participation of organisations such as the OECD or the World Bank, and the European Commission has also been participating at the highest level. This way, when we call on governments to have good economic and political support for tourism, we can speak in one voice."

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