UNWTO Regional Director for Middle East: Tourism is One of Most Affected Sectors Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday 1442/6/8 - 2021/01/21
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Madrid, January 21, 2021, SPA -- The Regional Director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the Middle East Basmah bint Abdulaziz Al-Mayman participated as a keynote speaker in the session organized by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) virtually on rethinking tourism.
Basma Al-Mayman said in a speech during her participation that tourism is one of the most affected sectors among all the major economic sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that caused heavy losses to global tourism, national economies, people's livelihoods, and general efforts to achieve sustainable development goals in various countries of the world.
She indicated that the international tourism declined by 70% in the first eight months of 2020, compared to the same period last year, due to global travel restrictions, to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
She pointed out that the Middle East region is the least affected compared to other regions in the world. She added that there is an expectation of improvement in the indicators of the tourism sector during the third quarter of 2021, while returning to pre-2019 levels in 2023, and these expectations may change according to the continuous evaluation of the health and economic situation.
Since the beginning of March, the UNWTO Regional Department for the Middle East has kept pace with the procedures and efforts of the member states to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and constantly communicate with the national tourism authorities in the region to assess the situation and provide directions to face the challenges.
In the same context, the organization prepared a technical package to revive tourism, as it is based on three main pillars, namely economic revitalization, marketing and promotion, strengthening institutions and building resilience, indicating that there are continuous contacts with governments and international financial institutions, and Egypt and Jordan have benefited from this support, and currently there is consultation with the concerned authorities to provide support to Lebanon.
23:31 LOCAL TIME 20:31 GMT