UNWTO Says Education, Jobs Key to Future of Tourism
Education, jobs and sustainability topped the agenda of this year’s 16th ministers’ summit at the World Travel Market in London this week which ran under the theme of “Rethinking Tourism”.
Addressing the event co-organized by WTM and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and attended by public and private leaders, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said it was time to invest in sustainable infrastructure and in people through quality education and providing decent jobs.
Speaking during the summit, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson referred to the importance of “talent, speed and capital” of the private sector.
“A post-pandemic world has revealed exciting opportunities, and given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconsider tourism and ask ourselves how we can rebuild and better prepare for the future,” said WTM Exhibition Director Juliette Losardo echoing Pololikashvili.
All parties agreed that tourism – a provider of jobs and an economic pillar – should be reassessed against the backdrop of COP27 as a solution to the climate emergency.
“Our job is to create jobs,” said Pololikashvili, adding that it was a unique opportunity to transform the sector.
According to UNWTO data, global tourism has so far recouped approximately 70 percent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
“The window of opportunity will not stay open forever. We need to rethink tourism: as a provider of jobs, an economic pillar, and, against the backdrop of COP27, as a solution to the climate emergency,” he said.
Lastly, the summit also focused on the tourism sector’s power as a driver of sustainability and a promoter of peace and understanding. Delegates stressed the importance of cooperation rather than competition and acknowledged Pololikashvili’s call for tourism to be included on the political agenda and for greater collaboration between ministries of tourism and those of economy, business and environment.
The WTM London tourism expo will run until Wednesday, November 9.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of WTM London.