“The climate emergency is the real threat”

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO secretary general

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO secretary general, said the pandemic has hit tourism harder than any other sector. Tourism needs the support of governments , through stronger public-private partnerships and through more targeted and more targeted financial investments, to rebuild in a sustainable and inclusive way.

He expressed his comments during the summit of UNWTO, Wttc and WTM ministers , held on the second day of the London WTM, with tourism ministers from around the world discussing investing in the sustainable future of tourism.

«This summit gives us the opportunity to strengthen our defense of sustainability. The climate emergency is a serious threat, perhaps more serious than Covid, in perspective, ”said Pololikashvili.

Fair support from governments

He told delegates that the recent Declaration of the leaders of Rome issued by the G20 ha specifically stressed the need to restore travel and tourism, which in turn can help developing economies.

He said public investment will “encourage and activate” private investment around the world, adding: “Tourism can benefit if governments provide the right support. Going back to the old normality is not an option ”.

He also said that tourism represents a risk-free investment opportunity and highlighted the need to invest in education and young people on the net zero path.

Unwto, the World Travel & Tourism Council and other tourism and travel stakeholders will officially launch the Glasgow Declaration on Action per the climate in tourism Thursday (November 4th) at United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 .

Wttc is also planning to launch the Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism, to support the industry in the fight against climate change, as part of the industry’s drive towards net zero by 2050.

The initiative is managed in collaboration with the Program from the United Nations for the Environment (UNEP) and Accenture professional services and consulting experts.

Julia Simpson, Wttc President and CEO, said at the summit: “We have no alternative; we have to go green ”.

He said sustainable growth is a key priority for the WTTC, adding, “Investors and the public are demanding that we invest to protect the planet and people.