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EBRD and UNWTO Include Greece in Tourism Support Plans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are joining forces to boost the recovery of the tourism sector for a number of countries, including Greece.

According to an announcement, EBRD and UNWTO are partnering to take immediate action to facilitate the recovery of tourism across the 38 economies where the Bank invests. The UNWTO has underlined that although Covid-19 restrictions are starting to ease, the crisis is far from over and the lockdown has led to a massive fall in international tourist arrivals.

On its part, the EBRD is committing all of its activity in 2020-21 to helping its regions counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with investment expected to reach up to 21 billion euros. The Bank will target all sectors of the economy, including tourism and hospitality which were particularly affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The support is currently envisaged for a number of countries – including Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan – and is designed along the three pillars of the UNWTO’s Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package.

The immediate response includes measurement of the impact of Covid-19, recovery plans with incentives to revive the tourism sector, protocols to ensure the enhanced safety, hygiene and security of tourists and employees, marketing of measures that can boost tourism demand, capacity-building for tourism officials and training for tourism sector enterprises in adopting the new protocols. A key element is to preserve human capital as well as to adapt and strengthen inclusion.

According to the UNWTO, depending on when travel restrictions are lifted, international tourist arrivals could fall by between 60 percent and 80 percent in 2020, putting 100-120 million jobs at risk. The drop in arrivals could lead to US$ 910 billion to US$ 1.2 trillion lost in exports, the UNWTO has said.

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