Dienstag, 04.08.2020 22:28 Uhr

UNWTO official visit to Italy

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome , 01.07.2020, 21:01 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 5443x gelesen

Rome [ENA] While the borders across Europe are re-opening , a high-level delegation from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has arrived in Italy to begin a first official visit to a Member State since the COVID-19 pandemic brought international travel to a standstill. The closure of tourism operations for several months has had a devastating effect for many businesses and millions of people whose livelihoods depends on

tourism across the world. To kickstart recovery, countries within the Schengen Zone (26 countries in Europe) are now reopening their borders to tourists. Following an official invitation by Italy, the UNWTO Secretary-General started an official visit (1-4 July), and met the Minister of Culture, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Dario Franceschini, to learn more of the country’s plans for the steady and sustainable restart of a sector that is a leading employer and helps preserve the country’s unique cultural heritage.

Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Strong domestic leadership and a commitment to cooperating across borders are imperative for the responsible return of tourism and the many benefits it offers, both within the Schengen Zone and worldwide. UNWTO is leading the restart of tourism, and Italy has demonstrated its commitment to harnessing the power of the sector to drive wider societal recovery.” Mr Pololikashvili commended the Italian Government on their efforts thus far and highlighted his continued support for making sure that all tourism related activities can restart.

The Royal Palace in Caserta

He also presented the resources that UNWTO has developed to help guide tourism’s restart, including the Recommendations for Recovery, a roadmap for both governments and the private sector. Over the next four days of the visit, the Secretary-General will visit Rome, Milan and Venice, where he will get a close insight into how tourism sector and various destinations have been responding to the devastating impact of the COVID-19. 

This is the first official trip undertaken by UNWTO since restrictions on travel were introduced in order to fight the pandemic. During the lockdown phase, the United Nations specialized agency has been working closely with its Member States and the private sector to make less severe the impact on jobs and economies while also preparing for tourism’s restart. In 2020, Italy is expected to register a decrease of roughly 28.5 million tourist arrivals due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the country's tourist sector.

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