Tourism guru calls for harmonized global COVID-19 guidelines to support tourism

Countries have to harmonize their COVID-19 travel guidelines for tourism to recover, said Secretary General of the World Tourism Forum Institute Taleb Rifai at a webinar hosted by South Africa.

“Countries will have to work together if tourism is to recover. One country cannot insist on quarantine while its neighbor demands a vaccination passport and a third simply requires 72 hours testing before arrival or at entry points,” said Rifai at the Tourism Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) webinar hosted by the eThekwini municipality in partnership with Tourism Investment Africa 360.

Rifai, who is also a former secretary-general of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization said the global travel industry will only return to a new norm when the whole world is ready to travel under a unified system.

“Affordable testing in a harmonized way may be more logical for a faster and more immediate recovery. The trick is not to do a perfect job on your own, it is to agree on minimum procedures,” he said.

Rifai stated that in tourism there was no competition between neighbors.

“We do not want to turn this into a political game of those who have and those that have not – we will all lose if we do so…travel is about connecting everybody everywhere,” he said. Enditem

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