UN proposes guide to restarting tourism in Malaysia

Fewer tourists were seen at the popular Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur due to Covid-19. — NORAFIFI EHSAN/The Star

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has introduced guidelines to help global tourism recover after Covid-19.

Some proposed measures include introducing safety and security protocols as well as calling upon stakeholders to embrace digital transformation of global tourism.

“These guidelines provide both governments and businesses with a comprehensive set of measures designed to help them open tourism up again in a safe, seamless and responsible manner, ” said UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili.

The guidelines highlight the importance of restoring the confidence of the tourists through safety and security protocols designed to reduce risks in each step of the tourism value chain.

These protocols include the implementation of check procedures where appropriate, including temperature scans, testing, physical distancing, enhanced frequency of cleaning and the provision of hygiene kits for safe air travel, hospitality services or safe events.

Technology is also mentioned as an avenue that could potentially open up more future opportunities.

“The past weeks have highlighted the enhanced role technology plays in our lives and furthering the digital transformation of tourism will make the sector more resilient and create opportunities for people all around the world, ” said Pololikashvili.

UNWTO’s guidelines proposed initiatives such as free online training for tourism workers to stay relevant in a new environment after the pandemic.

The role of technology, according to UNWTO, also include promoting social distancing in hotels and tourist destinations.

Depending on when travel restrictions are lifted, UNWTO warns that international tourist arrivals could fall between 60% and 80%.

More countries like China and Spain have begun to restart tourism.

In Malaysia, Sabah was the first state to reopen domestic tourism activities, during the conditional movement control order period.

The guidelines can be viewed at unwto.org.

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Covid 19 , coronavirus , travel ban , UNWTO , guidelines , tourism


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