Following his discussion yesterday with the secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part in the meeting of G20 tourism ministers earlier this afternoon. This meeting falls within the framework of the international coordination of efforts to support and relaunch the sector, in which France is playing an active role. A meeting of the EU tourism ministers is scheduled to take place on April 27 in order to coordinate efforts at the European level.
France thanks the Saudi presidency for organizing this meeting which focused on one of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis. It would also like to thank all international organizations, especially the World Tourism Organization, the International Labor Organization and the OECD, for their mobilization. Lastly, France welcomes the efforts of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to monitor the impact of the crisis.
The tourism ministers agreed on the need to continue coordination efforts to facilitate the return of citizens traveling abroad temporarily who are still stranded abroad and the movement of medical and health workers.
They briefed each other on the immediate national measures to support the sector and reaffirmed its economic importance – more than 10% of global GDP and tens of millions of jobs – as well as its human importance through its essential contribution to dialogue between peoples.
The ministers agreed on the need to coordinate efforts to promote the recovery of tourist destinations, at the national level initially, while ensuring coordination once they are able to open up to international visitors. They pledged to implement measures to protect the health of tourists and those working in the sector.
They underscored the private sector’s key role in managing the health emergency (solutions for transport, accommodation and dining) and reaffirmed the need for cooperation between private and public stakeholders in order to revive the sector, as currently reflected in France by the weekly meetings of the Tourism Committee and the consultations with the various regions, led by the minister of state.
They underscored the importance of lending support to industry professionals in the sector’s transition toward more responsible, environmentally friendly tourism that takes advantage of all opportunities offered by the digital transformation.
Lastly, the ministers underscored the severe impact of the crisis on certain regions of the world that are particularly dependent on tourism, especially Africa, and will give special emphasis to these regions in the context of the recovery efforts. They pledged to share their best practices in a spirit of solidarity and to coordinate their efforts to ensure recovery on a global scale.