It’s time to rethink the tourism industry, which is the economic lifeline of millions-global issues

United Nations World Tourism Organization (World Travel Organization) Is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations, which aims to promote tourism around the world and make it a driving force for economic growth and sustainable development.

At the end of 2021, shortly after the institution’s general assembly, Ms. Urosevich first outlined the devastating impact of UN news in an interview with Bessie Du of UN News. Coronavirus disease The epidemic continues to have an impact on the tourism industry, and there is a prospect of recovery.

The interview was edited for clarity and length.

Zorisa Urosevich: The tourism industry has been the sector hardest hit by the crisis, and it is also dependent on the people and livelihoods of the tourism industry. Basically, it has been a very difficult two years, but we see that in the future, we will have to reconsider the industry in an all-round way. This may be an opportunity.

Developed countries are better prepared to deal with shocks, mainly through fiscal packages to support industries and small businesses, and to try to keep people’s jobs. Developing countries have been working hard to do this.

We created the travel recovery package, which is a tool to quickly assess what needs to be done in a particular country, and we created the first code to protect tourists, because building confidence is indeed a very important factor for people who decide to travel.

We are in full agreement with the World Health Organization (Who) Regarding the importance of adopting safer travel agreements rather than stopping travel altogether, because we know how much livelihood depends on tourism, not only directly on tourism, but also on those who work in industries that rely on that industry, such as food Production, service, and manufacturing.

In an era when the population is increasingly migrating to urban areas, the development of rural areas through tourism will undoubtedly become one of the main trends in the industry. We have launched an initiative called “The Best Tourist Village” and we will establish a global rural tourism development center.

Visitors overlook the volcano erupting from the Acatenango volcano in Guatemala.

UN News/Zhang Jing

Visitors overlook the volcano erupting from the Acatenango volcano in Guatemala.

UN News: Would you say that the blow to the tourism industry is unprecedented?

Zorisa Urosevich: This is undoubtedly the biggest crisis in the history of the industry. Basically, it’s like we went back 30 years ago in 2020. For the past 30 years, the tourism industry has grown steadily by about 4% every year, so now our situation is that we have many supplies, many companies, and no tourists.

Countries with scale and purchasing power (such as China) can switch to domestic tourism, but for small developing countries like Fiji, which is hardest hit by the crisis, tourism accounts for 40 to 70 percent of GDP, which is impossible .

We call for a unified travel agreement, which has been very unstable because even if countries reach an agreement, changes in pandemic conditions mean that it cannot be applied.

The most successful countries are those that can communicate and articulate agreements very clearly. Greece is a good example: they opened in July 2020, but they communicated well in advance. Many tourists who had planned to go to other places went to Greece instead because they knew the situation.

UN News: How do you inform daily tourists of the progress made in international coordination of travel agreements?

Zorisa Urosevich: We have indeed expanded our influence on social media, and the number of fans is a hundred times greater than in the past. We are doing our best, but this is never enough, so we welcome new ideas and new opportunities.

UN News: What do you want to say to those who make a living from tourism?

Zorisa Urosevich: First of all, I want to say that this industry is very flexible: we all have dreams, we all want to travel. Currently, we need to improve education and training, but I think the future is bright. Tourists will come back, and they will respect more than before: tourism and cultural exchanges will have a new path of happiness.