Facilitating tourism and resuming safe travel were among the issues discussed at this month’s G20 summit held on November 21-22 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which focused overall on ways of overcoming the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its far-reaching repercussions.
Last week’s G20 summit, hosted for the first time by an Arab nation, sought ways to address the multiple consequences of the Covid-19 shock on the global economy with the world’s leaders committing first of all to ensuring fair access and allocation of Covid-19 vaccines once these become available.
Ensuring travel and transportation as well as restarting tourism were key issues addressed primarily due to their major contribution to global and local economies.
In this direction, G20 leaders committed to ensuring that global transportation routes and supply chains remain open, safe, and secure, and that any restrictive measures related to Covid-19, are targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary, and in accordance with obligations under international agreements.
“We will continue to explore concrete ways to facilitate the movement of people in a way that does not impede our efforts to protect public health,” reads the G20 Riyadh Leaders’ Declaration, adopted after the completion of the summit to address common global challenges.
With regard to tourism, the leaders underlined the importance of the industry in supporting local economies, creating jobs, empowering local communities, especially rural, safeguarding the planet, and preserving cultural heritage.
In this direction, the heads of the world’s strongest nations pledged to continue efforts in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders to facilitate the sector’s recovery.
They also endorsed the Tourism Community Initiative, G20 Guidelines for Inclusive Community Development through Tourism, the AlUla Framework for Inclusive Community Development Through Tourism, and G20 Guidelines for Action on Safe and Seamless Travel, welcoming at the same time the establishment of the G20 Tourism Working Group.
“As a lesson from the crisis we need to step up global preparedness. We will discuss this again in May 2021 at the joint G20 Global Health Summit in Italy. To build back a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world we also need to step up actions to fight climate change,” said European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.
Besides Covid-19 response, crucial global issues addressed at the G20 Riyadh Summit included economic recovery, WTO reform, climate change, taxation of the digital economy, and supporting low-income countries.