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Lusa - Business News - Macau: China to restart issuing tourist visas for Macau in September
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: South of Europe should be more active in attracting tourists - WTO




Madrid, July 10, 2020 (Efe/Lusa) - The World Tourism Organization (WTO) considers that Spain and some other southern European countries have had a "certain tendency towards passivity" with tourist flows during the pandemic.

These flows "arrive on their own, hardly any publicity is needed" and so countries like Spain, where the WTO has its headquarters, but also Italy or Greece, should plan better and be more proactive, the director of the WTO's European Regional Commission said in an interview with the Spanish agency Efe.

Alessandra Priante, who will participate in a few days at the EURAGORA virtual forum - jointly organized by Efe and Lusa - on the impact of Covid-19 on tourism, has no doubt that the pandemic will "seriously" affect how to enjoy holidays and imply a mental, social and cultural change.

"The masks and the safety distance are the opposite of what tourism means, which is the taste for new things, the confidence in others... Now the rules say that we should do just the opposite, keep our distance, not trust the people we don't know", she said.

The OMT's director averts the possibility of recovering this summer's season because by this time of year everything should have been sold and that didn't happen.

The WTO estimates a drop in international tourism of at least 70% compared to 2019 - when, before the pandemic, it had predicted a global increase of 4%.

The sector aspires to "survive" to "begin recovery" in 2021, which will be easier for European markets in countries that are already opening borders, while markets of origin for major tourists, such as the United States, are not yet open. But Alessandra Priante trusts that the borders will not close again.

In her opinion, the question is not when the sector will recover, but how it will do so. "We're waiting for a vaccine, but recovery doesn't just depend on a medical solution, but on a more holistic response," she noted.

In the future, the market will have to be more interconnected and will need substantial long-term investment, which will have to include "the words sustainability and innovation," she said.

After the crisis, many destinations and businesses will have to redefine their offer, even if so-called 'low-cost' tourism is not necessarily over, she predicted.

Priante admits that aeroplane, train and hotel prices will have to rise because companies will have to take measures to compensate for the drop in occupation and seek a balance between income and expenditure. The question is whether consumers will be willing to take on these costs, she added

The Director of the Regional Commission for Europe of the WTO anticipates that what will certainly change are the preferences of customers and their purchasing power, which is already giving way to the growth of segments such as tourism rental.

The WTO, she recalls, is working with governments and private agents, monitoring the situation to determine the direction of the sector's recovery, work that has already resulted in global recommendations on the resumption of tourism activity.

The organisation is working on encouraging green investments and preparing studies on destinations, urban and gastronomic tourism, among others, he adds.

In this regard, Alessandra Priante said that in Spain the sector is very well organized and there is close collaboration between public and private agents.

The news agencies of Portugal and Spain, Lusa and Efe, will discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Tourism in a joint virtual forum, EURAGORA, funded by the European pilot project Stars4Media, which aims to support innovation in the media sector through training and cross-border cooperation within the European Union.

The debates - which will be broadcast on 15 and 16 July via a joint online platform and the social networks of both agencies - are the result of an unprecedented partnership between Lusa and Efe and will bring together international organisations, European commissioners, ministers and regional and local officials from the two countries, and associations from the tourism and consumer sectors.

The approach to the topic is based on two major topics: "Security, what do consumers expect, how do industry, governments, the European Union respond? (July 15 at 10:00 Lisbon, here https://youtu.be/oXm5alG0mp4) and "Reinvention and opportunities: sun and beach/urban and cultural/rural tourism" (July 16 at 10:00 Lisbon, here https://youtu.be/unA38PYTa5g).

eb/cat/ADB // ADB.

EFE / Lusa

Lusa




Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-07-11 09:19:21







 

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