Focus on seven priority areas identified by the Italian Presidency to promote a resilient, sustainable and inclusive recovery of the tourism sector
March 15th, 2021
The two-day meeting gave the G20 Membership the opportunity to exchange views on the seven priority areas identified by the Italian Presidency to promote a resilient, sustainable and inclusive recovery of the tourism sector after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As an activity that depends on the movement and interaction of people, tourism has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.
The global figures of the tourism industry (TI) clearly illustrate its importance: pre-pandemic, over 10% of global GDP; 330 million jobs, 1 in 10 jobs around the world; close to 30% of global services exports. The pandemic has underlined the importance of tourism as an economic force.
The work of the group is reflected in a set of G20 Guidelines on the Future of Tourism developed by the OECD in close consultation with the Italian chair of the G20 and currently being discussed with the membership.
The critical importance of Safe Mobility – the first priority area – has been strongly underlined by the G20 Membership. Removing travel restrictions and restoring confidence as soon as safely possible is essential to the recovery of tourism and of the wider economy.
Crisis Management must be approached in a wider inter-agency context, making sure that the needs and position of tourism are understood and reflected in national crisis management strategies and in global governance.
Resilience: there is a need for greater awareness of risk management for the TI, which should be factored into future national policy. Members agreed on the need to correct the current lack of indicators and statistical information on the resilience of the TI and of destinations.
The effects of the coronavirus outbreak on tourism have been asymmetrical, with some countries, destinations, and people being much more exposed than others. Inclusiveness must be a key focus of tourism policies.
The G20 TWG reached a high level of consensus on Green Transformation. Environmental targets should be encouraged for destinations and for the TI. Members discussed the need to put climate change and the reversal of biodiversity loss at the heart of the multilateral agenda, including through the G7, G20 and COP26 Presidencies.
The Membership agreed on the importance of focusing on Digital Transition, identifying the positive elements that come with digital transformation and at the same time the elements that require continued attention, including the misuse of data.
Action to support recovery and build a stronger, more resilient and sustainable tourism economy will require ongoing Investment and Infrastructure to meet the needs of the sector and local communities.
In addition to the seven policy areas in the draft Guidelines, the TWG discussed the topic of tourism and culture. They recognised the wider cultural and educational benefits of tourism, which have become more apparent during the pandemic.
After the first meeting of the TWG, the subjects and structure of the G20 Guidelines on the future of tourism reached broad consensus. This success will frame the work ahead, showing a way forward for global tourism. The Presidency will continue working together with the membership and the final version of the guidelines will be presented at the second meeting of the TWG on April 29th. It will be an opportunity for the G20 Tourism WG to discuss and further develop the priority areas, building consensus around shared themes and results to be presented at the Ministerial meeting scheduled for May 4th.