Tourism during a pandemic: looking to the future
In many developing countries and emerging economies, tourism is a major driver of the economy. So it’s high time to get the recovery going.
Idyllic beaches are deserted, planes have been grounded and hotel rooms lie empty: COVID-19’s impact on tourism over the past year has been very severe. In many developing countries and emerging economies particularly, though, the sector is a major contributor to government and private sector revenues. The absence of visitors has resulted in loss of income, and many people have lost their job. In response, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support a package of measures in 25 countries. The activities are closely tailored to the needs of local people and will provide a forward-looking route out of the crisis. Implementation will involve UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sector partners and experienced local bodies.
Sustainable support for the tourism sector
The sector’s future is heavily dependent on resilient companies providing sustainable and inclusive goods and services. The activities therefore focus on five areas of action: continuing vocational training, entrepreneurship, creation of an infrastructure for resilient tourism, adaptability in times of crisis, and sustainability, including areas such as nature conservation and preservation of cultural heritage.
One of the implementing partners is the TUI Care Foundation. It is cooperating with the public benefit organisation enpact e.V., which promotes entrepreneurship in developing countries and emerging economies, to support tourism in Egypt, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa. The programme addresses young start-ups in the tourism sector that are innovating socially, technologically and environmentally. Over a period of six months, 315 young businesses will benefit from ongoing training, targeted mentoring and financial support.
Other measures in the COVID-19 tourism package support groups that have been affected particularly severely, such as those working in the informal economy, women and children, and young, innovative businesses in the sector. The focus is on recovery from the impact of the crisis, new growth and building resilience against future challenges.