A #ResponsibleRecovery is needed to #BuildBackBetter tourism
The COVID-19 crisis has emphasised the need to strengthen the resilience of the tourism sector and awakened a sense of unity and interconnectedness among tourism stakeholders. This crisis has highlighted both the fragility of the natural environment and the need to protect it, as well as the intersections of tourism economics, society and the environment like nothing before in history. It represents an opportunity to accelerate sustainable consumption and production patterns and build back better tourism.
As governments and the private sector are now embarking on a path for recovery, there is no better timing for placing future generations at the centre of the action. This implies long-term and holistic thinking with regards to the challenges of our world and thus connects with the need to transition to a more sustainable tourism model based on social inclusion and the restoration and protection of the environment. Our health and wellbeing depend on it.
The tourism sector registered continuous growth in the past decade, creating significant benefits in terms of socio-economic development and employment which are now at stake. At the same time, such growth represented important challenges related to the carrying capacity of destinations, consumption of natural resources and impacts on climate change.
Addressing all these issues must be at the heart of a responsible recovery of the tourism sector as the resilience of tourism will depend on the sector’s ability to balance the needs of people, planet and prosperity.
Generating the necessary evidence to support decision making and effective action towards sustainability in tourism is now more pressing than ever.