UNWTO: Support tourism, support your economy


As world leaders meet to discuss a sustainable way out of the current economic crisis, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has issued a reminder claiming that many governments and decision makers still have some way to go before they recognize tourism as a sector that can be a relevant factor of the economic recovery.

Raising the profile of tourism in both the political and public perception is a critical element in increasing awareness of the sector’s economic potential as an efficient provider of employment and the way forward to the “Green Economy,” UNWTO said yesterday.

According to UNWTO, close to one billion international tourist arrivals per year generate millions of jobs. Travel and tourism is one of the few sectors that cuts across the economy mobilizing employment, investment and sustainable development opportunities for emerging economies.

“We are weathering the storm,” said UNWTO assistant secretary general Geoffrey Lipman. According to him, the global economic downturn has taken its toll on international tourism.

However, he also said that the industry is resisting the worst that the deterioration of the marketplace is delivering. Lipman said: “We will come back, stronger than we have been before, different than we have been as a sector, and those people who are understanding how to do this with us collectively, they will do it better.”