“Short-sighted unilateral actions will have disastrous consequences in the long run. In general, people have learned how to behave responsibly. Companies and services have set protocols and adjusted their business. Now is the time for those who make political decisions to close the gaps so that we can all progress together” zaključuje Pololikashvili. “It doesn’t have to be this way. Tourism as a sector has a long history of adapting and responding to challenges” naglašava Pololikashvili. As the UNWTO has said since the beginning of this crisis, governments have a duty to put the health of their citizens first. However, they also have a responsibility to protect businesses and livelihoods. For too long and in too many places the emphasis is overly focused on the former. And now we pay the price. “In these uncertain times, people around the world need strong, clear and consistent messages. We do not need political moves that ignore the fact that only together are we stronger and more able to overcome the challenges we face. Those in leadership and influence positions have recognized the importance of tourism for jobs, the economy and rebuilding trust. This is just the first step. Now they have to do everything they can to get people to travel again, following and enforcing all the protocols that are part of the new reality” govori Pololikashvili. Photo: UNTWO In recent weeks, global tourism has led the way in finding and implementing solutions that will help us adapt to the new reality while waiting for a vaccine that could be many more months away. Rapid but rigorous testing at ports and airports and monitoring applications can potentially encourage the safe resumption of tourism, all of which builds on the learning curve of individual and social behavior during these difficult recent months, Pololikashvili said. they should be fully accepted, not just carefully researched. Delaying them will be catastrophic and a major risk that could undo all the progress that has been made to establish the tourism sector as a true pillar of sustainable and inclusive development. Between January and May, due to a sudden and sharp drop in tourist arrivals, the tourism sector lost about $ 320 billion, the UNWTO points out. This is three times the impact of the Great Recession 2007-2009, and it only applies to the first five months of the year. Reopening the borders for tourism is a welcome relief for the millions in the entire tourism sector who depend on our sector. But that alone is not enough, he points out Zurab Pololikashvili, the UNWTO Secretary-General, and adds that especially in view of recent announcements and measures that seem to go further and further away from the international coordination to which the UNWTO has been calling since the outbreak of the pandemic.