Governments and the UNWTO favor the creation of an international code

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More than 100 countries, as well as international organizations and major business groups, have agreed to adopt harmonized standards to help tourists trapped in emergencies.

The Committee for the elaboration of an International Code for the Protection of Tourists has agreed on the text of the first two chapters of the code, which contain seven key principles of a historic instrument whose objective is to restore confidence in international travel after the pandemic of COVID-19.

The importance of harmonization of protocols, balance, coordination, cooperation and accessibility are some of the seven basic principles agreed by the Committee in charge of advancing the code of “assistance to international tourists in emergency situations” .

Published by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it will provide guidance to countries around the world on how to help tourists affected by emergencies, including but not limited to health emergencies.

The Committee also agreed on a set of recommendations regarding the provision of information, assistance and, if necessary, repatriation to tourists affected by emergency situations. An internationally recognized code for the protection of tourists is expected to emerge from this ongoing consultation process before the end of the year.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “We can only revive tourism if we regain confidence in travel. People want to feel safe and cared for when they travel. And the code for the protection of tourists will provide that security, based on the collaboration of the world tourism sector and governments.

In addition to including representatives from more than 100 countries, the Committee has the participation of the European Commission and various United Nations agencies, such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Aviation Organization Civil International (ICAO) and international entities such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Private sector stakeholders include the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Forum of Lawyers Specialized in Travel and Tourism Law (IFTTA), the European Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (ECTAA). ), the Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes of Europe (HOTREC), Expedia and the Allianz Group.

The results of the Committee’s deliberations will be published on an interim basis while progress is made on the minimum standards for the protection of tourism consumers at the international level to guide countries in the recovery and restart of tourism.