UN - United Nations

11/30/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2021 11:25

Secretary-General Video Message for World Tourism Organization’s General Assembly Urges Action to Foster Green, Inclusive Recovery of Sector, Restored Trust in Travel

Following is the text of UN Secretary‑General António Guterres' video message to the General Assembly of the World Trade Organization (UNWTO), in Madrid today:

The World Tourism Organization General Assembly meets as tourism's relevance has never been clearer. The COVID-19 pandemic hit tourism hard. Countries dependent on tourism have seen their revenues drop, with livelihoods badly affected. For economies reliant on tourism, particularly those with large informal sectors and those impacted by the climate crisis, this is an economic catastrophe.

As we restart and recover from the pandemic, UNWTO has a key role in rethinking tourism and its interaction with societies, economies and our natural resources and ecosystems. That means green tourism, with high-emitting sectors including air and sea transport aiming for carbon neutrality. It means inclusive tourism that benefits marginalized communities and contributes to gender equality and intercultural understanding. And it means sustainable tourism, which builds resilience, protects our planet and delivers on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I commend UNWTO and Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, and hope the decisions taken at this Assembly will help to restore trust in travel and get the world moving safely, so that developing economies can reap the benefits of sustainable tourism. I wish you all the best for a successful meeting.