EBRD and UNWTO will cooperate in enhance recovery of the tourism sector, where more than 10 countries are included in the plans. Actions include safety and hygiene matters, as well as incentive plans to restore demand in the travel market.
The quick spread of the pandemic has impacted the enormous number of sectors of the global economy, where tourism is among the hardest hit spheres. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are joining efforts to boost the recovery of the tourism sector in the 38 economies, where the EBRD invests.
According to UNWTO analyses and reports, all countries worldwide introduced restrictions on travel in response to Covid-19 as an unprecedented act. While some destinations are starting to lift restrictions, the crisis does not seem to be coming to the end, while the lockdown has already caused a massive decline in international tourism all over the world.
Taking into account such unexpected events, the EBRD and UNWTO have decided to take urgent joint action in order to assist the recovery of tourism. A number of countries, including Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan are currently in the list of destinations planned to be supported.
The immediate response was designed along the three pillars of the UNWTO’s Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package. It includes measurement of the impact of Covid-19, recovery plans with incentives to revive the tourism sector, protocols to ensure the enhanced safety, hygiene and security of tourists and employees, marketing of measures that can boost tourism demand, capacity-building for tourism officials and training for tourism sector enterprises in adopting the new protocols. A key element is to protect human capital as well as to adapt and strengthen inclusion.
UNWTO and EBRD are long-term partners and signed a first Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in 2015, which was renewed in 2019.
This current cooperation will extend the existing partnership by building on the UNWTO’s recently adopted Covid-19 Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package. The package includes three pillars through which UNWTO plans to facilitate the sector, such as economic recovery, marketing and promotion, as well as institutional strengthening and the building of resilience.
The EBRD will get engaged in all of UNWTO’s activities in 2020-21 in helping its regions respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with investment expected to reach up to €21 billion. EBRD will target all sectors of the economy, including tourism and hospitality, which were particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis.