UNWTO’s “Roadmap to Recovery”


The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s “Roadmap to Recovery” document has been developed over the past six months to respond directly to the evolving crisis, which has already been referred to in the earlier remarks of the secretary general. It has been developed with a short regional and long-term perspective reflected in its three sections identified as resilience, stimulus, and a green economy. It has been designed – and this is an important point – it has been designed from the beginning with member states and engagements at all stages of its preparation directly and by the Tourism Resilience Committee, which has been lead by His Excellency Mohamed Zoheir Garana, the minister of tourism and antiquities for Egypt, and its core group, a smaller working party, which has been lead by his Excellency Noel Campbell, the Australian ambassador to Spain. It is also possible by input from state organizations in this sector within our affiliates and other organizations.

It seems to identify that travel and tourism directions are the key issues which are being targeted in international, regional, and national economic response programs, and it has a parallel to a teaching dimension on climate change and poverty. In doing so, it also seems to highlight the scale, scope, and interfaces of our sector’s socio-economic impacts, particularly the catalytic effect of tourism on so many other sectors, and it tries to do this in 6 brief ranges, which have a chance of getting on to the next policymakers who are already inundated with so much material. It profiles action areas to be taken by governments at the macro level and at the sectoral level, as well as actions with the industry and other state organizations. It is in some measures, a manifesto to show where and how our sector can have the greatest positive impacts on the global crisis response, and at the same time, it is a brain work for our continuing work on these issues.

Its sections, which I am not going to detail, have cross-cutting elements, jobs, partnerships, innovations, infrastructure, and change managements. These form a bridge between the crisis response mode of the present and a more manageable response of the near and long-term future. And likewise, the detailed approaches identified have common components such as regulatory form, facilitation, taxation, sustainability, and market stimulation. This is not a one-size-fits-all document, because we do not live in a one-size-fits-all world. It is designed to be a framework for common exploration and common messaging from our sector to the diverse national, regional, and international level that will lead the economic crisis and transformation response efforts. Finally, the document has been designed for the general debate here, not to be discussed and debated word by word, but as the secretary general has said, to provide a coherent basis for moving forward with a common purpose and a common message.

The message is that our sector can make a significant contribution to the international efforts to sustain and stimulate global recovery and ultimately to move to the green economy. It underscores our capacity to deliver on jobs, on exports, and on developments, and the purpose here is to reach a broad consensus in the general debates on the results to advance this message to government leaders and other institution decision makers and then to follow-up immediately, later this week and that will need to continue its work on the detailed program and gain ground for a new intention. In a sentence, in highlighting the roadmap, tourism and travel must be a primary vehicle for job creation and economic recovery, and this assembly has an opportunity to put that message into the global public domain.

Geoffrey Lipman has lead the efforts of producing this very important document, the Roadmap to Recovery. This document was unveiled during the first day of the UNWTO’s General Assembly, currently being held in Astana, Kazakhstan.