Addressing the challenges related to the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, implementing rapid testing and the importance of digital health documentation to restore the safe movement of travelers were at the center of a five-part plan presented this week at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 7th Global Tourism Crisis Committee by Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.
As president of the UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Europe and and chair of the committee’s technical group, Theoharis tabled the recommendations following extensive talks with global tourism stakeholders, ministers and decision-makers.
The recommendations focus on:
– resolving the issue of vaccination allocation
– the implementation of rapid antigen testing
– the introduction of digital health certificates
– improving the flow of information by simplifying procedures related to digital tracking forms
– the need to assess recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) initiatives, which include the publication of a practical guide on the safe opening of borders.
This was the last meeting of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee for 2020, which took place to continue advancing coordination and cooperation among all parts of the sector. The virtual meeting was hosted by Portugal ahead of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, beginning in January.
The 7th Global Tourism Crisis Committee was also attended by UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, European Commission Vice-president Margaritis Schinas, Portugal Prime Minister António Costa, and tourism ministers from 35 countries as well as executives from bodies including IATA, World Health Organization, ACI, ICAO and CLIA.
The Global Tourism Crisis Committee was established by the UNWTO at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.