Tourism for inclusive growth

Ranjan K Baruah
Contd from previous issue
UNWTO is guiding the global sector towards inclusive recovery and growth and it ensures every part of the sector has a say in its future – including communities, minorities, youth and those who would otherwise be at risk of being left behind.
António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN in his message said that “on World Tourism Day, we recognize the power and potential of tourism to advance prosperity and drive inclusive, sustainable development. The tourism sector touches almost every part of our economies and societies, enabling historically marginalized people and those at risk of being left behind to benefit from development that is local and direct.”
“With many millions of livelihoods in jeopardy, it is time to rethink, transform, and safely restart tourism. With the right safeguards in place, the tourism sector can provide decent jobs, helping to build resilient, sustainable, gender-equal, inclusive economies and societies that work for everyone. This means targeted action and investment to shift towards green tourism – with high emitting sectors, including air and sea transport and hospitality, moving towards carbon neutrality” , he added .
There are many challenges ahead as the sector already faced many challenges after the pandemic and starting of lock down and travel restrictions. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism could result in a more than $4 trillion loss to the global economy and tourism experts do not expect a return to pre-COVID arrival levels until 2023 or later. Developing countries have borne the biggest brunt of the pandemic’s impact on tourism due to the absence of widespread COVID-19 vaccinations. They suffered the largest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.
The constant growth of the tourism sector during the last six decades reflects more progressive access to tourism thanks to the decline in the cost of transport and the world-wide growth of the middle classes. Post pandemic the domestic tourist shall increase in many parts which should be beneficial for many rural communities of the north eastern region. The promotion of tourism is the responsibility of each and every one of us. As this year’s theme is focused on inclusive growth, we have to make sure that many people and communities benefit from it. We know that tourism allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity.