UNWTO Highlights Potential of Domestic Tourism to Drive Economic Recovery

UNWTO Highlights Potential of Domestic Tourism to Drive Economic Recovery

Madrid, Spain, September 15, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / As restrictions on travel begin to ease globally, destinations around the world are focusing on growing domestic tourism, with many offering incentives to encourage people to explore their own countries. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), with domestic tourism set to return faster than international travel, this represents an opportunity for both developed and developing countries to recover from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Recognizing the importance of domestic tourism, the United Nations specialized agency has released the third of its Tourism and COVID-19 Briefing Notes, -Understanding Domestic Tourism and Seizing its Opportunities.- UNWTO data shows that in 2018, around 9 billion domestic tourism trips were made worldwide – six times the number of international tourist arrivals (1.4 billion in 2018). The publication identifies ways in which destinations around the world are taking proactive steps to grow domestic tourism, from offering bonus holidays for workers to providing vouchers and other incentives to people travelling in their own countries.

Domestic tourism to drive recovery

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “UNWTO expects domestic tourism to return faster and stronger than international travel. Given the size of domestic tourism, this will help many destinations recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, while at the same time safeguarding jobs, protecting livelihoods and allowing the social benefits tourism offers to also return.”

UNWTO expects domestic tourism to return faster and stronger than international travel

The briefing note also shows that, in most destinations, domestic tourism generates higher revenues than international tourism. In OECD nations, domestic tourism accounts for 75% of total tourism expenditure, while in the European Union, domestic tourism expenditure is 1.8 times higher than inbound tourism expenditure. Globally, the largest domestic tourism markets in terms of expenditure are the United States with nearly US$ 1 trillion, Germany with US$ 249 billion, Japan US$ 201 billion, the United Kingdom with US$ 154 billion and Mexico with US$ 139 billion.

Initiatives to boost domestic tourism

Given the value of domestic tourism and current trends, increasing numbers of countries are taking steps to grow their markets, UNWTO reports. This new Briefing Note provides case studies of initiatives designed to stimulate domestic demand. These include initiatives focused on marketing and promotion as well as financial incentives. Examples of countries taking targeted steps to boost domestic tourist numbers include:

  • In Italy, the Bonus Vacanze initiative offers families with incomes of up to EUR 40,000 contributions of up to EUR 500 to spend in domestic tourism accommodation.
  • Malaysia allocated US$113 million worth of travel discount vouchers as well as personal tax relief of up to US$227 for expenditure related to domestic tourism.
  • Costa Rica moved all holidays of 2020 and 2021 to Mondays for Costa Ricans to enjoy long weekends to travel domestically and to extend their stays.
  • France launched the campaign #CetÉtéJeVisiteLaFrance (‘This Summer, I visit France’) highlighting the diversity of destinations across the country.
  • Argentina announced the creation of an Observatory for Domestic Tourism to provide a better profile of Argentine tourists.
  • Thailand will subsidize 5 million nights of hotel accommodation at 40% of normal room rates for up to five nights.

WTTC Celebrates as 100 Destinations Get the Safe Travels Stamp

WTTC Celebrates as 100 Destinations Get the Safe Travels Stamp

London, United Kingdom, September 21, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is delighted to announce that in just three short months, 100 destinations are now using its ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, with the Philippines becoming the official 100th destination.

WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, made history earlier this year when it launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, and today the Safe Travels stamp reached its first major milestone.

The stamp, which was developed in order to help restore confidence in travellers and work to revive an ailing Travel & Tourism sector, is now also being used by many more major holiday destinations such as the Maldives, Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda and Montenegro.

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The specially designed stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

This landmark move by WTTC also received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The launch of global protocols to recover the Travel & Tourism sector have been embraced by over 200 CEO’s including some of the world’s major tourism groups.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted to see our innovative initiative is proving such a great success and is being used by destinations from all corners of the globe. 

“The 100 destinations which now proudly use the stamp are working together to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide. We welcome the Philippines, an incredible destination and home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands, as our 100th destination, as well as other popular destinations around the globe such as Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia and Kenya.

“As the stamp continues to gain in popularity, travellers will more easily be able to recognise the destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols, encouraging the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world.

“The success of the Safe Travels stamp shows its importance not only to countries and destinations, but also to travellers and the 330 million people around the world who work in and depend on a thriving the Travel & Tourism sector.”

Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Philippine Secretary of Department of Tourism said: “The Philippine Department of Tourism is delighted to be awarded the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, particularly as we pursue the safe and gradual reopening of our tourist destinations.

“I wish to thank WTTC for recognising our efforts of putting in place policies concerning health, safety and sanitation protocols, which we have benchmarked with global best practices and aligned with WTTC’s standards.

“The Safe Travels stamp will further encourage our stakeholders to adhere to health and safety standards, and will also help us rebuild traveller confidence, so we can restart tourism and preserve and sustain jobs.”

The widespread adoption of the stamp demonstrates that WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.

The protocols follow guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as considering best practices from WTTC’s members.

Evidence from WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises in the last 20 years, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation and the implementation of standardised protocols.

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

WTTC Proud to Present First in Series of Virtual Events

WTTC Proud to Present First in Series of Virtual Events

New York, NY, United States, September 19, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council presents its first in a series of Travel & Tourism focused virtual events next week, kicking off with “One Voice – Accelerating the Sustainability Agenda” in the context of Climate Week NY.

Last year, during the same week WTTC held its first Climate and Environmental Action Forum where the sector launched its ambition to Climate Neutrality by 2050.

The “One Voice – Towards a Brighter Future” series of events, is designed to shed light on the devastating impact COVID-19 is having on the Travel & Tourism sector, and how an internationally coordinated approach, is vital in order to lead us on the road to recovery.

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With an introduction by Gloria Guevara, WTTC’s President & CEO, the discussion will be moderated by BBC’s Ros Atkins and will feature UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, and Darrell Wade, WTTC’s Vice-Chair of Sustainability.

Focussing on the theme “Sustainable Travel & Tourism”, this webinar is part of The Climate Week NYC official events program.

Together, the panel will discuss how we can be more responsible stewards and work together to take action to address climate change, as well as how this topic has been accelerated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Travel & Tourism has made great progress, we must move further and faster, working together to take meaningful action to address the threats that climate change poses to the sector and to the world. The webinar will consider the sector’s steps and achievements, what more can be done, and how we can come together to change and stimulate new traveller behaviours.

Gloria Guevara said: “We are delighted to be ushering in our new virtual events series with this critical topic surrounding sustainability and the future of Travel & Tourism. We are grateful to Darrell Wade, Ros Atkins and Patricia Espinosa for coming together to help make this event a possibility.

“This is a critical time for our sector, with 197 million jobs supported by Travel & Tourism have been put at risk, and it is clear that we must adapt to the new normal if we wish to continue to see a thriving Travel & Tourism sector.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on Travel & Tourism, but now there is also a chance for our sector to lead the way forward towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

Skal International Stands Strong with Its Membership Despite Pandemic

Skal International Stands Strong with Its Membership Despite Pandemic

Malaga, Spain, September 18, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pandemic hit the travel and tourism industry the hardest around the globe. During this most difficult time, Skål International has been able to work on successful retention with its 350 Clubs in over 100 countries, recruit new members and even launch new clubs.

‘The Pandemic has reiterated the fact that Skål International plays a vital role in connecting people, providing information, assisting members’ careers, and furthering their industries or professions. As technological, social, and economic shifts change how people work and engage with each other, we in Skål International are finding innovative ways to connect with future and potential members’ said Daniela Otero, CEO – Skål International.

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There have been numerous studies conducted on to understand how these shifts are affecting the ways associations and their members are thinking about membership and discussing the future of associations worldwide. Innovation, offering different membership models as well as keeping the generation gap short are reported by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), to be the best solutions that work for associations to retain membership and achieve a growth.

‘I am confident to say that Skål International has been successful in adapting these suggestions that are recommended to see continued success. We have been working on innovation starting with Digital Transformation and opening the platform to membership with Webinars/ Job Platforms / Benefits Platform which initiates B2B for members. We offer different membership models and over 40 membership classifications that help our clubs to diversify their membership and increase their numbers. We shifted our focus to Young Professionals in the past few years as well accepting the fact that we need to stay close and connected to the future leaders of our industry’ said Burcin Turkkan, Director of Membership Development, Strategy & Innovation – Skål International.

Skål International membership has members from 40 different approved classifications among the Travel and Tourism Industry with many industry’ VIP names. Recent VIP name that Skål International is proud to welcome is Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group. She has joined Skål International as of August 2020.

At this time, Skål International is making a call to all Travel and Tourism Industry Professionals to join Skål International and take advantage of being a member of the world’s largest networking organisation; Connecting Tourism Globally, with over 86 years of history offering the most up to date digital transformation platform that is available today in the market and the unique opportunity of doing business amongst friends.

‘This is the time when each and every professional in the industry needs to stay connected and be a part of a large international organisation like Skål International. When the pandemic is over, those who have been a part of a large networking group like Skål will be the ones who will be able to recover the fastest.’ said Peter Morrison, President of Skål International.

Skål International is the world’s largest global network of Tourism Professionals promoting Tourism, Business and Friendship worldwide since 1934. Its members are Directors and Executives of the Tourism sector who relate to each other to address issues of common interest, improving a business network and promoting destinations.

UNWTO Executive Council Backs Strong United Plan for Global Tourism

UNWTO Executive Council Backs Strong United Plan for Global Tourism

Tbilisi, Georgia, September 18, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has met in-person and virtually for its 112th session. This was the first major in-person event involving tourism and the United Nations held since the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. The Executive Council was able to gather 170 delegates from 24 countries, who all agreed to support the Tbilisi Declaration with its commitment to making international travel safe again. The Council also decided to open a first UNWTO regional office.

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The Executive Council of the United Nations specialized agency ensures that the Organization fulfils its programme of work and adheres to its budget. After the session was opened by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gacharia, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili outlined the accomplishments of the past 12 months. This included the provision of technical support to Members, tourism advocacy at the very highest political level, and furthering the sector’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals from within the wider United Nations system.

Tourism during and beyond COVID-19

Opening the meeting, the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gacharia said: “The post-crisis era presents an opportunity for our tourism sector to showcase the uniqueness of Georgia and make the country into a leading destination, with the many social and economic benefits this will bring”.

Work together to build a tourism sector that works for everyone, where sustainability and innovation are part of everything we do

In his welcoming remarks, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili underscored “that the restart of tourism must be properly managed and that our sector lives up to its unique potential”. He added that “this crisis has made clear the important role tourism plays in every part of our lives”, laying the ground to “work together to build a tourism sector that works for everyone, where sustainability and innovation are part of everything we do”.

Further proving tourism’s global recognition, for the first time ever the UN Secretary-General sent a message of support to the Executive Council, remembering tourism’s key role for people and planet. António Guterres said that “tourism can be a force for good in our world, playing a part in protecting our planet in its biodiversity, and celebrating what makes us human”. He further stressed that “this Executive Council is an important platform for collaboration, to explore the way forward and to support the future of tourism”.

Saudi Arabia chosen for first UNWTO Regional Office

The members of the Council confirmed plans to open UNWTO’s first Regional Office, to be located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which recently announced its ambitious plans to open up its tourism sector to the world, including through the relaxation of visa rules for visitors.

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom, commended UNWTO for “its leadership during this challenging period. We are honoured that Saudi Arabia has been approved as the location for the first ever UNWTO Regional Office. This collaborative approach will help drive growth and build resilience across the tourism sector at national and regional levels.” He announced that the Regional Office for the Middle East will opened between this and next year.

The Tbilisi Declaration for Sustainable Tourism

The Executive Council agreed to the ‘Tbilisi Declaration: Actions for Sustainable Recovery. The Declaration recognizes tourism as one of the worst-affected of all sectors by the pandemic and identifies the global standstill as a chance to realign the sector towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Members also unanimously accepted Spain’s proposal to host the 113th session of the Executive Council, during which the elections for the Secretary-General for 2022-2025 period will be held (19 January 2021).

To conclude the Session, UNWTO held an Investment Forum, bringing together experts from across the public and private sector to explore opportunities and challenges for investments in tourism in the post-pandemic landscape.

Canadian Government Needs to Consider Safe Options and Reopen Borders

Canadian Government Needs to Consider Safe Options and Reopen Borders

Montreal, Canada, September 18, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urges the Canadian government to support the COVID-19 testing initiatives of Air Canada and WestJet as a means to safely reopen Canada to international and domestic travel without the need for blanket quarantine measures. International traffic to Canada has plummeted since quarantine measures were introduced in March 2020.

‘‘There are alternatives to the quarantine measures currently in place that can both keep Canadians safe as well as revive the economy. The ICAO multi-layered approach (Take-off guidance) is one. The work that Air Canada and WestJet are doing on testing adds another dimension. It is critical that the Government of Canada acts on these before the economic and social damages become permanent and the public health consequences of mass unemployment become even more apparent,’’ said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Economic Impact on Canada:

  • IATA estimates that revenues generated by airlines with service to/from/within Canada could fall by C$22.6 billion (70%) relative to 2019.
  • That puts at risk nearly 410,500 Canadian jobs and some C$39 billion of Canada’s GDP, which is generated by aviation directly and indirectly as well as by aviation-related tourism.
  • Air transport in Canada directly and indirectly supports some 633,000 jobs.
  • In total, 3.2% of the country’s GDP is supported by the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.

UNWTO: International Tourist Numbers Down 65% in First Half of 2020

UNWTO: International Tourist Numbers Down 65% in First Half of 2020

Madrid, Spain, September 17, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / International tourist arrivals plunged 93% in June when compared to 2019, with the latest data from the World Tourism Organization showing the severe impact COVID-19 has had on the sector. According to the new issue of the World Tourism Barometer from the United Nations specialized agency, international tourist arrivals dropped by 65% during the first half of the year. This represents an unprecedented decrease, as countries around the world closed their borders and introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

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Over recent weeks, a growing number of destinations have started to open up again to international tourists. UNWTO reports that, as of early September, 53% of destinations had eased travel restrictions. Nevertheless, many governments remain cautious, and this latest report shows that the lockdowns introduced during the first half of the year have had a massive impact on international tourism. The sharp and sudden fall in arrivals has placed millions of jobs and businesses at risk.

Counting the economic cost

According to UNWTO, the massive drop in international travel demand over the period January-June 2020 translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about US$ 460 billion in export revenues from international tourism. This is around five times the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis.

Safe and responsible international travel is now possible in many parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism moving again

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The latest World Tourism Barometer shows the deep impact this pandemic is having on tourism, a sector upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods. However, safe and responsible international travel is now possible in many parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism moving again. Coordinated action is key.”

All global regions hit hard

Despite the gradual reopening of many destinations since the second half of May, the anticipated improvement in international tourism numbers during the peak summer season in the Northern Hemisphere did not materialize. Europe was the second-hardest hit of all global regions, with a 66% decline in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2020. The Americas (-55%), Africa and the Middle East (both -57%) also suffered. However, Asia and the Pacific, the first region to feel the impact of COVID-19 on tourism, was the hardest hit, with a 72% fall in tourists for the six-month period.

At the sub-regional level, North-East Asia (-83%) and Southern Mediterranean Europe (-72%) suffered the largest declines. All world regions and sub-regions recorded declines of more than 50% in arrivals in January-June 2020. The contraction of international demand is also reflected in double-digit declines in international tourism expenditure among large markets. Major outbound markets such as the United States and China continue to be at a standstill, though some markets such as France and Germany have shown some improvement in June.

Looking ahead, it seems likely that reduced travel demand and consumer confidence will continue to impact results for the rest of the year. In May, UNWTO outlined three possible scenarios, pointing to declines of 58% to 78% in international tourist arrivals in 2020. Current trends through August point to a drop in demand closer to 70% (Scenario 2), especially now as some destinations re-introduce restrictions on travel.

The extension of the scenarios to 2021 point to a change in trend next year, based on the assumptions of a gradual and linear lifting of travel restrictions, the availability of a vaccine or treatment and a return of traveller confidence. Nonetheless, despite this, the return to 2019 levels in terms of tourist arrivals would take between to 4 years.

President Bill and Chelsea Clinton to Help Build Resilience in Caribbean

President Bill and Chelsea Clinton to Help Build Resilience in Caribbean

New York, NY, USA, September 17, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will virtually convene members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network — leaders from business, government, and civil society – to drive action on resilience efforts in the Caribbean. The Action Network’s efforts started in 2018 in direct response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma and have been revamped to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

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As the global community continues to address climate change and extreme weather events, Action Network members will continue to address the urgent need to foster economic recovery and growth in the Caribbean while also grappling with the effects of COVID-19.

The virtual week of action includes:

  • Monday, September 21 – Building Back Greener: Promoting an Inclusive and Sustainable Caribbean Recovery
  • Tuesday, September 22 – The Future is Now: Inspiration from Youth-Led Activism in the Caribbean
  • Wednesday, September 23 – Opportunities for Investment in Renewable Energy
  • Thursday, September 24 – COVID-19 in the Caribbean: Public Health Challenges and Innovations

Full details on the program are below.

With the continued threat of the 2020 hurricane season and challenges faced amid COVID-19, leaders from government, civil society, and business continue to prepare Caribbean communities for compounding and potentially devastating impacts. Despite this threat, while efforts in the Caribbean to transform the region into a climate-resilient zone have been mobilized, many new solutions are needed to tackle the complex challenges that have risen due to the global health crisis.

The region continues to balance the long-term need to invest in resilient infrastructure and economies with the short-term need to respond to COVID-19 and prepare for the hurricane season.  It is more crucial than ever to facilitate cross-sector, cross-island coordination to meet these challenges.

The virtual convening will include:

Monday, September 21 – Building Back Greener: Promoting an Inclusive and Sustainable Caribbean Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing leaders from governments, businesses, and civil society to reimagine what an economic recovery looks like. Leaders must be guided by principles of sustainability, resource sharing, and healthier infrastructure. According to the International Monetary Fund, Latin America and the Caribbean will see economic growth contract at almost twice the global average as a result of COVID-19, underscoring the far-reaching effects of the pandemic as it halts tourism and other critical industries throughout the region. In the Caribbean, which before the pandemic produced just 1% of global carbon emissions but bore the brunt of extreme weather events induced by climate change, the shifting economic landscape offers both challenges and opportunities for a greener, more inclusive, and resilient economic and public health recovery. In this session, leaders from across sectors will outline what is required for a green economic recovery in the Caribbean during and following the COVID-19 pandemic while showcasing opportunities for investors, philanthropists, and the international community to support the local initiatives that place the Caribbean at the forefront of progressive and resilient climate action.

Tuesday, September 22 – The Future is Now: Inspiration from Youth-Led Activism in the Caribbean 
Young people in the Caribbean are leading the way in identifying and implementing progressive strategies to promote resilience and economic independence. By harnessing the power of science and technology, leveraging collective action as a tool to spark policy changes, and imagining a more socially progressive and inclusive future, youth are well equipped to spearhead the transformation our world needs to be more just and equitable. In this session, participants will hear from youth empowerment leaders and students as they share how they are pioneering resilient, inclusive, and equitable solutions to adapting to climate change.

Wednesday, September 23 – Opportunities for Investment in Renewable Energy
According to a recent BCG report, COVID-19 is threatening to shutter a significant number of businesses across the Caribbean and lead to negative economic growth. Though the pandemic has ushered in new uncertainty for Caribbean economies, leaders have identified the growing renewable energy sector as a significant opportunity for green recovery and economic diversification in the region. Billions in new investment can be activated to drive the renewable energy transition in the Caribbean, but more progress needs to be made to make these diverse sources of capital accessible. This effort will require partners from across regional organizations, investors, governments, utilities, and philanthropy to collaborate on new frameworks and financing strategies to bridge the gap between capital, enabling environments, and these important renewables projects. Though the double burden of COVID-19 and climate change are daunting, strategic coordination in this pivotal moment can have transformative results – increased resilience of island grids, thousands of new jobs, and economic diversification – as we work to establish renewable energy as a pillar of the sustainable recovery.

Thursday, September 24 – COVID-19 in the Caribbean: Public Health Challenges and Innovations
The COVID-19 pandemic poses unique challenges for healthcare providers and public health officials in the Caribbean in providing accessible, safe, and inclusive healthcare. Existing access gaps have been exacerbated due to lockdowns and fears of contracting the virus are prompting the need for new approaches to administering basic healthcare services while providing critically needed mental health support. At the same time, Caribbean public health officials and practitioners are preparing for an emerging second wave of COVID-19 cases by doubling down on proven solutions to provide healthcare while pioneering new and innovative technologies to reach patients across the Caribbean. In this virtual conversation, speakers will identify the best practices for managing COVID-19 in the Caribbean and showcase the innovations that are promoting a safe and disciplined public health response.

Featured participants will include President Bill Clinton, founder and board chair, Clinton Foundation; Chelsea Clinton, vice chair, Clinton Foundation; Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, St. Lucia; Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Barbados; Inger Andersen, executive director, United Nations Environment Programme; Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO; Irwin LaRocque, secretary general, CARICOM; Joy St. John, executive director, CARPHA; Francine Baron, interim chief executive officer, CREAD; Maria Levis, chief executive officer, Impactivo; Talya Mohammed, energy and environment sustainable development strategist, Caribbean Tree Planting Project; Sydney Paul, business intelligence and marketing manager, UVI Research and Technology Park; Roshelle Pinnock, student, Caribbean Girls Hack; Angella Rainford, chief executive officer and founder, Soleco Energy; Juliette Sutherland, executive director, Queen Elizabeth Hospital; Suzanne Shaw, head of investment, Leap Co.; Dana Yaari, head of programs, IsraAid Dominica.

These discussions are a part of an ongoing series of virtual events hosted by the Clinton Foundation this fall that will inspire action through the Too Small to Fail (TSTF) early childhood initiative, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), and other events focused on domestic economic recovery in light of COVID-19.

The approach of the Action Network brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to focus efforts on putting people first, including prioritizing a resilient future by helping communities to plan and prepare for future storms and the mounting effects of climate change.

To date, the Action Network has engaged 896 organizations that have launched 116 Commitments to Action that, when fully implemented, will drive $385.7 million dollars in investment to affected regions in the Caribbean. A full list of commitments can be found here:

The Action Network, along with Clinton Global Initiative University, follows the success of CGI and the Commitment to Action model. Over the years, CGI and its partners have brought together leaders from across sectors to develop Commitments to Action that, when fully funded and implemented, will improve the lives of more than 430 million people in 180 countries worldwide.

The year-round work of the CGI Action Network is made possible by the generous support of our partners: InterEnergy, LesLois Shaw Foundation, Swiss Re, Tarsadia Foundation, and Tides Foundation.

World Economic Forum Announces Co-Chairs of 4th Sustainable Development Impact Summit

World Economic Forum Announces Co-Chairs of 4th Sustainable Development Impact Summit

Geneva, Switzerland, September 16, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Economic Forum announced today the co-chairs of the annual Sustainable Development Impact Summit

The summit’s fourth year comes at a time unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic has paralysed economic activity, forcing many to realize that the health of the planet is tied to our shared prosperity. Importantly, global calls for social justice and equality have prompted necessary and challenging conversations that will make society stronger and more inclusive. Public-private cooperation has never been needed more.

The co-chairs at this year’s summit have been asked to bring new perspectives to tackle the path forward. They will help the 2,100 leaders from government, business and civil society foster collective action and participate in sessions across the programme’s five themes: Shared Prosperity; Catalysing Cooperation; Better Business; Harnessing Technology; and Liveable Planet.

The 2020 co-chairs:
Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim
Ivan Duque, President of Colombia
Grace Forrest, Founding Director, Walk Free Foundation
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad
Peter Laugharn, Chief Executive Officer, Conrad Hilton Foundation
Rebecca Masisak, Chief Executive Officer, TechSoup Global
Anushka Ratnayake, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, myAgro
Tiffany Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Diversability

“COVID-19 has impacted our lives and livelihoods. It has also galvanized many in the business community to double down and work together towards a great reset,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. “We need to unleash the potential of these fast movers and partner them up with government and civil society to achieve the decade of delivery. At this year’s summit, new voices will bring new perspectives on the important issues of our time: social justice; biodiversity loss; economic recovery; transparent ESG reporting; and the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Many sessions will be streamed and available on the World Economic Forum website. Journalists can view sessions live and access issue briefings on the global impact of the wildfires in the United States, preparing for the next pandemic and the rise of data trust brokers following media sign-up.

Key sessions include:

A new virtual 3D experience open to the public will set the scene for learning about the SDGs and the champions working to achieve them by 2030. During the summit, visitors will be able to discover the actions and actors spotlighted on the programme. It will be accessible via the Sustainable Development Impact Summit homepage.

WTTC Responds to Latest Quarantine Announcements

WTTC Responds to Latest Quarantine Announcements

London, United Kingdom, September 14, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: The World Travel & Tourism Council shares the dismay and severe disappointment of thousands of British holidaymakers and the Travel & Tourism sector as Portugal once again goes back on the quarantine list.

“Taking Portugal and Hungary off the exception list has left families and in a race against time to find flights and get home to avoid going into 14-days of isolation or cancel their already made plans

“This depressingly familiar situation is a major body blow to consumer confidence to travel. For while Madeira and the Azores will be excluded from the quarantine list under the government’s new ‘island policy’, it will come as little comfort to the vast majority of holidaymakers, and the embattled Travel & Tourism sector, which has seen the 2020 summer holiday season effectively crushed.

“All of this chaos could be avoided if only the government took decisive action to ditch damaging and disruptive quarantines in favour of a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective airport test and trace programme. Until then, the disruption will continue, and the economic recovery will become ever harder to restart.”