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07/01/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/01/2020 09:27

The Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization Commends the Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport as a Global Leader in Sustainability and Commitment to[...]

Fiumicino, July 1, 2020 - As people around the world start travelling again following months of isolation, the UN World Tourism Organization recognizes ADR's 'Leonardo da Vinci' Airport as a Global Leader in Sustainability and Commitment to Responsible Travel.

It was the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, who delivered the recognition to Mr Marco Troncone, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), during a ceremony in the presence of Ms Lorenza Bonaccorsi, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Alessandra Priante, the UNWTO Director for Europe, and ENAC's President, Mr Nicola Zaccheo.

'I am very happy to visit Italy as the first destination since the start of this global crisis,' said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.' He added: 'Italy is a strong ally of UNWTO and a global tourism leader. Tourism supports millions of jobs across Italy, protecting and promoting Italy's unique cultural heritage, including the arts and gastronomy.'

Mr Pololikashvili's words are echoed by Lorenza Bonaccorsi, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. 'We are happy that the United Nations has chosen Italy as the place where to start their tour to revive tourism; in particular, I am glad to witness today such a significant recognition for Leonardo da Vinci, Italy's main airport, which has always been operating even in moments of full emergency. I am confident that the reopening of international borders, in addition to the recovery of national tourism, represents a concrete signal for the restarting of tourism, one of the main assets of Italy's economy. '

The UNWTO's recognition rewards the commitment that ADR has always dedicated to Sustainability, which is integrated into the company's business model to generate financial, social and environmental value. It also praises the fact that Fiumicino airport represents an important growth engine for the Country, with an added value of 13.7 billion euros generated in 2019.

'With over 43 million passengers registered in 2019, Fiumicino airport is Italy's main 'entry door', the driving force of our economy and, of course, our tourism,' commented ENAC's President, Mr Nicola Zaccheo. 'This prestigious recognition highlights the important international role played by Leonardo da Vinci Airport and it demonstrates that it is possible to operate and manage such a complex airport with respect for sustainability and the environment. We hope that today's event will mark a milestone for the recovery of the sector, which is now moving forward towards normality with the reopening of extra Schengen's connections.'

'Sustainability - said ADR's CEO, Marco Troncone - is a fundamental value and an essential pillar for our company's strategy and choices: I am honoured to receive this recognition for the commitment of all the people who work at ADR. I am also convinced that this award is even more relevant today, following a period of serious difficulties for the tourism sector, and I believe that restarting tourism in a responsible way is a priority as well as a moral duty '.

According to UNWTO, after a generalized drop of 44% in global air traffic from January to April, Europe is leading the cautious restart of tourism to become part of people's lives' again.

In April, following the restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19, international arrivals decreased by 97%, with a loss of 180 million international arrivals compared to the same period of 2019. Europe, after Asia, recorded the second strongest drop with 44% fewer arrivals, followed by the Middle East (-40%), the Americas (-36%) and Africa (-35%).

Now, the latest UNWTO research shows that 22% of all destinations worldwide (48 destinations) have started to ease restrictions, with Europe leading the way. At the same time, however, 65% of all destinations worldwide (141 destinations) continue to have their borders completely closed to international tourism.