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United Nations Secretary-General calls for resumption of global tourism

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Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2020. 8:40 am CST.

By BBN Staff: “Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic,” United Nations Antonio Guterres said in a video message this week.

His message, which underscored the importance of tourism to the world, especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) nations and “least developed” countries, follows research findings published by the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) back in May which said that the pandemic has affected jobs globally putting up to 120 million jobs at risk.

He called on all stakeholders in tourism to explore ways that the industry could be revived with the necessary protections to keep people safe, noting that tourism is one of the industries that has suffered most during the pandemic.

“By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust – crucial ingredients in advancing the global co-operation that is so urgently needed at this time,” Guterres added.

Belize has not been exempt from the economic repercussions of the global tourism downturn, with thousands of Belizeans losing their jobs as a result of the lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is currently an ongoing debate within the industry as to whether or not the Government of Belize should reopen the Philip Goldson International Airport, with some players in the industry sternly against it due to health concerns and others calling for it as a means of dealing with the worsening economic climate.

A full story on the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s poll of industry stakeholders on the reopening of the PGIA can be found here.

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