EBRD and UNWTO converge to revive the struggling tourism industry

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will collaborate to take immediate action to help the tourism sector of the world, which has been severely affected by the pandemic, recover.

Presently, the support is directed towards countries including Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The initiative has been designed according to the three pillars UNWTO’s Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package, which are – economic recovery, marketing and promotions and strengthening of institutions and consequently building resilience. The initiative will focus on adapting inclusion while preserving human capital.

The plan proposed by the two institutions include various steps like measuring the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, plans to revive the sector with incentives, protocols to be followed in the future, ensuring the hygiene and safety of employees and tourists, training for employees in the sector to adapt to the new protocols and marketing.

The tourism sector has been significantly impacted by the pandemic as people have been forced to stay indoors. Though restrictions are slowly being lifted, recovery seems distant.

EBRD and UNWTO have been collaborating on various initiatives over the past few years. Their first Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2015 and it was renewed in 2019.

The EBRD has pledged all its investments in 2020-2021 to ensure economic recovery in the sectors hard hit by the pandemic. They are likely to focus on the tourism and hospitality sector and the investments are estimated to come up to $21 billion.