Responding to economic downtown, UNWTO launches “Tourism Resilience Committee”


LONDON, UK – A new UNWTO Resilience Committee was announced at a Tourism Ministers Summit held to consider how to respond to the turbulent economy and stay on course with the climate and poverty agenda.

Government and private sector representatives from more than 50 countries voiced strong support for the initiative.

The 2008 Ministers’ Summit concluded that the response by the tourism sector would need to be based on real-time market information, innovation, and increased collaboration at all levels. Greater than before, public-private cooperation was identified as a key to adjust to global macroeconomic developments.

Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli stressed that “UNWTO will help the tourism industry to weather the downturn as best as possible. By the same token, we will not forget what tourism can contribute to poverty reduction in the world and to the fight against climate change. The poor countries, some of which were already severely hit several months ago by the food crisis, will need more than ever the wealth and jobs that tourism provides for them.”

UNWTO’s Resilience Committee will be chaired by H.E. Zohair Garrana, Minister of Tourism of Egypt. Supported by UNWTO partners, including Amadeus, Microsoft, and Visa, it will:

• monitor and analyze macroeconomic and tourism market trends in real time, and
• provide an information exchange for the sector on rapid and practical response.

Following the Ministers’ Summit, a series of response groups focusing on the regional impacts and action by the sector will follow. The first will be held in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt, November 23-24) and will focus on the Middle East and Mediterranean regions and will look at both immediate and longer-term response.