The Global Tourism Crisis Committee has met for the first time in 2021, organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO
). The meeting focused on the integration of vaccines into a harmonised approach to safe travel and launching a coordinated effort to boost confidence in the sector. With countries around the world now rolling out vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, the Committee noted that this opens a critical window in the fight against the pandemic and to promote the safe resumption of international travel. Members highlighted the importance of stepping up coordination, within the framework of the International Health Regulations, of vaccination certificates to ensure the implementation of common, harmonised digital related travel principles, protocols and documents. This would be in line with the work being carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has reported at potential applications of digital technology to enable safe international travel and facilitate arrivals and departures.
UNWTO Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: "The rollout of vaccines is a step in the right direction, but the restart of tourism cannot wait. Vaccines must be part of a wider, coordinated approach that includes certificates and passes for safe cross-border travel. In the longer-term, we also need to restore confidence in tourism. The United for Travel campaign will help us achieve this, providing a clear and strong message that safe tourism is now possible."