By Frank Martin
The small and medium-sized companies of the world have received the request from the World Tourism Organization to cooperate vigorously in the nowadays transformation that the touristic sector needs, after the hard and long period that it has just gone through.
“Small businesses and local communities must be given the support they need to become true agents of change,” was the UNWTO petition issued at the G-20 economies meeting recently in Bali, Indonesia.
The transformation which the small and medium business support is requested, was described as an “empowerment” of these firms so that they join a task that is considered colossal.
UNWTO has underlined the importance of striving for a sustainable and inclusive transformation and building greater resilience in the sector.
The Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, warned in Bali that there are a series of challenges that could not be neutralized in any other way, such as geopolitical conflicts such as the one in Ukraine and climate change, among others.
Specialists stressed at the meeting that the leaders of the powerful G-20 can “rethink and transform tourism to take advantage of its enormous potential for sustainability and opportunity.”
After the pandemic and the emergence of other serious problems in the development of world tourism, specialists have warned that joint plans are needed.
But Pololikashvili estimated that “we are behind in progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
He considered that the progress that had been made in recent years before the epidemic “has been reversed in various areas, including gender equality.”
“Tourism can bring us back to normal. But we have to speed up. And we have to scale. There is no time to waste,” he added.
Regarding to the so called Mipymes, which are spread all over the planet, the UNWTO and the G20 Tourism Working Group are analyzing guidelines for these small and medium-sized companies in their link with tourism, which is extensive.
The analysis is based on topics such as human capital, innovation, digitization and the creative economy.
In addition, work is being done on the empowerment of women and young people, on climate actions, the conservation of biodiversity and politics, governance and investment.
There is a perception that in 2023 world tourism will be able to approach the level of clients and arrivals it had in 2019, perhaps 70%, but it is also noted that this objective is complex.
The tourism industry, after the situations that the world has experienced in the last almost three years, must ensure decent jobs, greater investment in infrastructure, skills and talent for digital and green transformations, suggest specialists
The G-20 is essential because its member countries make up 80% of the world’s GDP, 60% of the world’s population and 76% of the GDP from tourism worldwide, they add.