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Covid-19: Greece Takes Part in UNWTO’s Global Tourism Crisis Committee Meeting

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis last week took part in the first virtual meeting of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee launched recently by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The aim of the committee is to evaluate and advance recommendations for the recovery from the health crises caused by the Covid-19 virus and mitigate its impact on the global tourism sector.

Chaired by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, the meeting was attended by the chairs of the UNWTO’s Regional Commissions and representatives of leading private tourism industry organizations and representatives of the private sector. Minister Theoharis participated in the virtual meeting as the Chair of UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Europe.

The meeting focused on preparing the UNWTO’s set of recommendations for tourism’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis. The document, which is expected to be released this week, will highlight the steps governments and other authorities need to take to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector and to then accelerate recovery.

During his speech, Minister Theoharis focused on issues to be taken under consideration in the UNWTO’s document of recommendations that included: resolving the problem of returning requested advance payments for tourism services made through credit cards; assessing how tax measures relating to tourism activities will be applicable after the crisis; and the launch of government-funded vocational training and programs for the staff of tourism enterprises that were forced to close during the coronavirus crisis.

Moreover, during the meeting, the UNWTO’s Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge initiative was discussed.

The “Healing Solutions” challenge calls on innovators and entrepreneurs to put forward new solutions to help the tourism sector recover from the coronavirus (Covid-19).

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