UN World Tourism Organization marks reopening of tourism in Europe with official visit to Italy
Rome/IBNS: Led by Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, members of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are on an official visit to Italy as the country joins hands with the global body to restart tourism in Europe in the post pandemic phase.
Tourism has been one of the sectors to be worst hit as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world and restrictive measures such as closure of international and domestic borders and ban on travel were imposed as containment measures.
Although UNWTO had been offering guidelines and holding regular virtual meetings to guide the sector durng the time of the crisis, this in-person official is looked upon as a message to ensure the restart of the tourism sector.
The UNWTO official visit to Italy marks the start of this shift, comprising a series of high-level meetings in Rome, Milan and Venice, the global body said in a release.
The visit aims to guide the sector’s restart and help destinations across the Schengen Zone open their borders to tourists once again.
Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “Italy is a world tourism leader, a strong ally of UNWTO and committed to making tourism a pillar of sustainable economic development. We must build on the determination and solidarity that characterized our joint response to the crisis to grow back stronger and better with sustainability and innovation among our most important guiding principles.”
In Rome, the delegation met with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Ministers of Culture, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Dario Franceschini and of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, and the city’s Mayor Virginia Elena Raggi, and separately Cardinal Parolin of the Vatican City.
One of the crucial meetings were held in Milan, where the Secretary-General met with Mayor Guiseppe Sala, for advancing the 2nd UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-Up Competition as the city prepares for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
In addition to learning of Italy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the official visit also offered the opportunity to look to the future and further UNWTO’s priorities of making tourism more sustainable, resilient and innovative, the global tourism body said.