UNWTO chief: Tourism and transport can deliver a better future for Europe

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
UNWTO chief: Tourism and transport can deliver a better future for EuropeThrough jobs, education and training

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili and European Union Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean published the following article:

The pandemic hit tourism harder than perhaps any other sector. In Europe, global tourism’s biggest region since records began, travel was brought to a near-complete standstill. Now, as the sector’s restart has begun, there is every sign that it will continue to consolidate its status as the world’s tourism leader. Indeed, according to the latest UNWTO data, international arrivals were up by 126% over the first nine months of 2022 when compared to the previous year and reached 81% of pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, of the estimated 700 million international arrivals recorded worldwide for that period, some 477 million were welcomed by European destinations, around 68% of the global total.

Digging deeper into the data, we see that Europe’s tourism rebound is being driven by strong demand for regional or intra-regional travel. Research has found that, as a result of the pandemic, European travellers prefer to holiday closer to home, and heightened levels of insecurity coupled with economic uncertainty are only likely to reinforce this preference. At the same time, we have seen a post-pandemic shift in consumer behaviour towards more eco-friendly or sustainable tourism experiences. Young people have become increasingly aware of the impact of their travels and are determined to keep their footprints as low as possible.

The restart of tourism, therefore, presents us with a unique moment to seize opportunity from crisis. In Europe, as in every global region, now is the time to capitalize on such shifts in behaviour and direct our sector on a different path, one that leads to a more sustainable and resilient future. Again, the demand among consumers is there. So too is the determination of both businesses and destinations themselves: interest in the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, launched at COP26 last year, has been highly encouraging, with some of the biggest names in European travel among the 700-plus parties to have signed up over the past year alone.

But this is not enough. In the case of transport – unsurprisingly the single biggest part of tourism’s carbon footprint – joined-up thinking and strong political and economic support are needed if we are to both speeds up and scale our shift to greater sustainability. The DiscoverEU initiative is an effective example of what’s possible. The project has succeeded in promoting smart travel, most notably through incentivizing people to choose the most sustainable mode of transport for their journey. And again, young people have been among the most enthusiastic users of DiscoverEU. The responsible travellers of tomorrow are being made today.

In order to replicate the success of this initiative across the European tourism landscape, the sector needs both political support as well as the correct amount of proper, well-targeted investments. We also need to see small enterprises supported through attractive business environments and innovative funding models, thereby giving them the tools and the space, they need to make a real impact.  

But we cannot just focus on investing in technology or infrastructure. It’s also essential to invest in tourism’s biggest asset – people. When the pandemic hit and travel came to a halt, many workers left the sector. And not all of them have returned. In recent months we have seen the consequences of this. The number of people employed in the air transport sector within the European Union dropped to the lowest level in almost 15 years. As a result, we saw sizeable bottlenecks at airports along with cancelled flights and other services during the peak summer season.

We need to work together – UNWTO, the European Commission, governments and employers – to make tourism an attractive sector to work in. That is, one that provides decent jobs, opportunities for women, youth and for people living outside of big cities, and the possibility to grow professionally and develop skills that can be used either in tourism itself or in another field – because tourism’s capacity building provides skills for life. And, finally, we need to make tourism’s restart and transformation more inclusive. In the summer, UNWTO held our first Global Youth Tourism Summit in Italy, out of which came the Sorrento Call to Action, a pledge by the next generation of travellers, of professionals and leaders, to accelerate the progress of recent years and reimagine the tourism of tomorrow. The voices of young people must now be reflected in Europe’s Agenda for Tourism 2030, to build a sector that works for people, the planet, and peace.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Discasto

Tornos
  1. 28/01 14:14

    Finance Minister at Economist event: Greece has turned a page

  2. 28/01 14:11

    Private sector deposits up by 5 billion euros in Greece during December

  3. 28/01 14:06

    Ambassador to Athens: Greek and American interests are identical

  4. 28/01 13:59

    Fitch upgrades Greece's credit to BB+ a mere one step below investment grade

  5. 28/01 09:03

    Three-hour work stoppage on metro Line 1 on February 2

  6. 27/01 15:09

    Minister: Crete plays a key role in Greece's new and active foreign policy

  7. 27/01 14:48

    Greek Tourism Minister: In 2023, direct flights from the USA will bring over €1 billion

  8. 27/01 13:01

    SNF support assists students put affordable housing theory into practice

  9. 27/01 10:57

    Hellenic Parliament displays slogan 'We remember' for Holocaust victims

  10. 27/01 09:03

    EU Commission calls on six member states to apply nvironmental directives

  11. 26/01 21:58

    AEGEAN Airways connects more Greek cities with Israel

  12. 26/01 21:53

    Finance Minister presents six priorities of Greek economy to ESM's new head

  13. 26/01 21:47

    Monica Bellucci at Greek Consulate in New York to promote "Maria Callas" movie

  14. 26/01 19:23

    New European Union rules for drone traffic management come into effect on Thursday

  15. 26/01 18:43

    Supreme Court hears arguments between funds and defaulted borrowers in Greece

  16. 26/01 18:12

    Drop in coronavirus and flu infections agency records in weekly report

  17. 26/01 12:33

    Stormy weather warning sent to residents of Attica region via 112 phone line

  18. 26/01 09:27

    Flights extended from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to Mykonos and Santorini islands

  19. 26/01 08:38

    Athens to host two European football finals over the coming 16 months

  20. 26/01 07:16

    All 22 flights to and from Cyprus to be affected by Thursday's island-wide strike

  21. 26/01 03:19

    Media report: Hamptons to bring New York-style luxury to Northern Greece

  22. 26/01 03:12

    Greece to transform "green" commercial shipping fleet with new fund

  23. 26/01 03:01

    AIRDNA: Average price of Airbnb in Greece at €193 in 2022 up by 35% from 2019

  24. 25/01 20:50

    1.7 million pensioners to see 7.75% pension rise in Greece this month

  25. 25/01 19:46

    IATA welcomes restoration of ‘Class A’ ATC services over Somalia airspace

  26. 25/01 19:34

    Greek FM: MoU with Mozambique opens communication between the two countries

  27. 25/01 17:53

    UNWTO and partners advance shared accessibility agenda for tourism industry

  28. 25/01 17:16

    Dangerous weather warning sent to residents of Greece's Achaia via 112 phone line

  29. 25/01 16:07

    Quake near Greek island of Rhodes had a magnitude of 5.9 Richter

  30. 25/01 13:57

    INSIDE-A six-hour visual meditation event in the Athens Concert Hall

  31. 24/01 21:30

    Passenger traffic in summer 2022 rises 4% from 2019 at 24 Greek airports

  32. 24/01 21:04

    Greek Foreign MInister concludes Johannesburg visit before heading to Mozambique

  33. 24/01 19:37

    Mexico's Yucatán State joins global Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories

  34. 24/01 18:44

    Ships to remain docked in Greece on February 8-10

  35. 24/01 18:00

    Deal for the operation of the WHO Office in Cyprus to be inked on Friday

  36. 24/01 17:13

    Finance Minister: Greek government secured rise in households' income

  37. 24/01 17:08

    First credits on market pass cards handed out in Greece by March 3

  38. 24/01 16:56

    Athens Mayor presents city's vision for B40 presidency

  39. 24/01 15:46

    Media report: Pistachios from Greek Island of Aegina are top in the world

  40. 24/01 11:23

    Irish writer claims tourism and development may be the end of Corfu island

  41. 23/01 23:32

    Report: Athens’ Lycabettus Hill offers stunning views of Acropolis, Saronic Gulf

  42. 23/01 22:56

    IATA: Aviation welcomes pause on roll-out of new border system for EU

  43. 23/01 19:48

    Shipping Minister hails Royal Caribbean’s plans to open office in Cyprus

  44. 23/01 19:29

    Culture Minister: Deal on Parthenon Marbles' return 'difficult, but not impossible'

  45. 23/01 16:28

    Bank of Greece: Travel receipts soar by 68.5% during January - November 2022

  46. 23/01 15:44

    Greek Prime Minister: Greece's image abroad is now very positive

  47. 23/01 14:23

    Athens assumes presidency of Balkan Cities Network

  48. 23/01 14:00

    E-car subsidy program underway in Greece with 10,500 filed applications

  49. 23/01 12:40

    Solar power capacity projected to increase further in Greece during 2023

  50. 22/01 14:07

    Greek soprano featured in tribute to legendary Maria Callas in Athens

  51. 22/01 13:08

    Greek Prime Minister in Davos: We will not go to war with Turkey (video)

  52. 22/01 10:07

    Greek Minister briefs 27 ambassadors on effective protection of EU's borders

  53. 22/01 09:01

    7.75% hike will start being paid out with February's pension checks in Greece

  54. 21/01 23:23

    UNWTO at FITUR 2023: Investing in a diverse, sustainable future for tourism sector

  55. 21/01 22:10

    Significant reduction in power bills coming in Greece during February

  56. 21/01 17:06

    Prime Minister: Greece will receive investment grade right after elections

  57. 21/01 15:02

    New York Consulate General of Greece honors the victims of the Jewish Holocaust

  58. 21/01 13:58

    Northern Greek city of Kastoria presents new all-seasons tourism promotion logo

  59. 21/01 11:50

    Municipal construction workers announce strikes from January 23 - February 13

  60. 20/01 13:04

    United States Secreatry of State Blinken likely to visit Athens on February 21

  61. 20/01 00:48

    Three songs could represent Greece Eurovision 2023 competition

  62. 20/01 00:41

    Chocolate Fest 2023: Greece's favourite sweet festival returns

  63. 20/01 00:36

    Greek chambers urge for lower energy bills for households and enterprises

  64. 19/01 22:32

    UNWTO and Development Bank of Latin America eye tourism investments together

  65. 19/01 20:55

    Ayia Napa museum in Cyrpus to host 140 artworks from Municipal Gallery of Famagusta

  66. 19/01 20:29

    2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture opening weekend on Saturday, February 4

  67. 19/01 18:44

    Covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths rose in Greece on January 9-15

  68. 19/01 18:17

    Bank of Greece governor meets Single Supervisory Mechanism head in Athens

  69. 19/01 17:53

    Greece receives more than 11 billion euros from Recovery and Resilience Plan

  70. 19/01 17:22

    International Air Transport Association launches 2023 air cargo innovation awards

  71. 19/01 11:00

    Hermes Airports head: Qatar Airways to transport 80,000 passengers to Cyprus in 2023

  72. 18/01 23:41

    SEI: India can follow the example of Greece for renewable investments

  73. 18/01 22:11

    President of Hellenic Republic welcomed to Berlin by Bundestag counterpart

  74. 18/01 22:06

    Repair works at Balikli Greek Hospital in Istanbul to be finished in three months

  75. 18/01 21:33

    Sailing ban on ferries still in effect at Lavrio and Rafina

  76. 18/01 21:25

    New York Times shines light on Parthenon Marbles with front page story

  77. 18/01 19:14

    Media report: How expat Greeks can vote in the 2023 Greek elections

  78. 18/01 18:21

    Bulgaria honoured at 1st International Circular Economy Expo in Thessaloniki city

  79. 18/01 17:47

    Electricity price to fall further in the Hellenic Energy Exchange on Thursday

  80. 18/01 13:29

    Greek Foreign Minister attends meeting organised by Swedish Embassy in Athens

  81. 17/01 21:06

    Celebration of Orthodox Epiphany and cutting of the vasilopita in faraway Iceland

  82. 17/01 20:44

    Greek capital of Athens at the helm of the B40 Balkan Cities Network

  83. 17/01 20:25

    Revised aviation industry standards reflected in 2023 edition of IATA manuals

  84. 17/01 19:53

    AP report: Minister says migrant arrival numbers sharply down in Greece

  85. 17/01 19:38

    Electricity prices drop sharply in Greece for the first time in 18 months

  86. 17/01 18:33

    Tourism set to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023

  87. 17/01 18:29

    Finance Minister statement: New 10-year Greek bond issue is a success

  88. 17/01 18:21

    Greece's 14 regional airports reach record arrivals in 2022

  89. 17/01 15:40

    Tourist arrivals in Cyprus reach 3.2 million despite loss of Russian and Ukrainian market

  90. 17/01 14:00

    Cyprus Deputy Minister of Culture attends Davos Alliance meeting

  91. 16/01 21:38

    Media: Electric aircraft to revolutionize travel and protect ecosystem in Greece

  92. 16/01 21:30

    Chinese New Year celebrated with music concert in Athens on Saturday

  93. 16/01 21:16

    Israeli FM: 'Tel Aviv sees great importance in Israel-Cyprus-Greece triangle'

  94. 16/01 18:02

    Reconstruction of Greece's North Evia masterplan includes 71 projects and actions

  95. 16/01 15:21

    Foreign Minister visits historic church of the Greek Diaspora in Venice

  96. 16/01 15:07

    Royals from all over the globe in Athens for funeral of King Constantine of Greece

  97. 16/01 14:38

    Hosteltur: Island of Crete in top 10 travel destinations for adventure and wellness

  98. 16/01 13:35

    Temperatures to rise sharply in Greece on Tuesday and Thursday

  99. 14/01 21:35

    Hike in minimum wage brought forward to April 1, 2023 by Greek government

  100. 14/01 21:27

    Another 400 patrol officers to be hired at Greek border of Evros in 2023