The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to restore confidence in international aviation and restart global tourism, following the hit of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The new agreement will focus on enhancing consumer confidence in travel and placing sustainability at the centre of recovery and future growth.
“This partnership between UNWTO and IATA will see us work closely together to increase confidence in flying and tourism in general,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, underlining that air travel is an essential component of global tourism.
“UNWTO will use our expertise in innovation and our status as a connector of public and private sector leaders to help get aviation moving again,” Pololikashvili added.
As well as focusing on building and maintaining confidence in international travel, the new agreement will also see UNWTO and IATA work closely together to foster innovation and promote greater public-private collaboration.
According to the UNWTO, as tourism restarts, the MoU will help ensure recovery is sustainable and inclusive.
On his part, IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac underlined that the safe opening of international borders to tourism is essential.
“Tourists want to feel safe, and they want to be confident that their travel plans won’t be affected by last-minute changes to rules and regulations. For this to happen, even greater collaboration between the public and private sectors is needed,” he said.
According to de Juniac, IATA’s enhanced partnership with the UNWTO will help guide aviation’s recovery over the ‘critical months’ ahead.
IATA has been an Affiliate Member of UNWTO since 1978, providing a strong voice for the international air transport sector.
The association is also an active member of the Board of the UNWTO’s Affiliate Members and contributed to the UNWTO Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism, released in May to help guide governments and the private sector in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MoU between the two parties has been signed ahead of the G20 summit of the world’s largest economies, to take place on October 7, which includes a dedicated tourism segment.