The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, highlighted the great transformative capacity of inclusive and sustainable tourism, and the firm intention of Spain, as a member state and headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), to rely on it as a source of employment and development.
Albares, who was speaking at the 115th Meeting of the Executive Council of the UNWTO being held in Madrid, recalled that tourism has been one of the economic sectors most affected by the pandemic. However, he said, “thanks to having almost 90% of the target population vaccinated, we can say that in Spain we are facing a solid recovery, also in the tourism sector”.
However, he pointed out that the new Omicron variant “reminds us that the pandemic will not end until it is overcome throughout the world”, which is why, in his opinion, “the recipe for recovering tourist activity is the same as for recovering normality prior to the pandemic: vaccinate, vaccinate and vaccinate”.
In Albares’ opinion, “it is natural” that the United Nations should concern itself with international tourism because of its “enormous” transformative potential, both from an economic and social point of view. For this reason, he believes that if countries coordinate their decisions, “we are on the verge of a rapid and solid recovery in tourism”.
In order to achieve this goal of more inclusive and sustainable tourism, the minister highlighted the “essential role” of the UNWTO and offered Spain’s full commitment and support to achieve it.
Albares took advantage of his speech to recall that the new UNWTO headquarters in the historic Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones in Madrid will be “soon available”, thus reaffirming Spain’s commitment to the United Nations Organisation as one of the guiding principles of Spanish foreign policy.