Tourists as consumers should be provided with greater legal protection, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) concluded. To this end, the UNWTO has launched an initiative for an international code aimed at the legal protection of tourists.
Restoring trust and security is a key priority of the tourism sector, and one of them is certainly the legal protection of tourists, so that tourists can "carefree" plan a trip. The International Code for the Protection of Tourists, which the UNWTO is working on with the support of almost 100 member states, will make support for tourists affected by emergencies clearer and more consistent globally.
At its first meeting, the Committee for the Development of an International Code for the Protection of Tourists actively participated in 92 UNWTO member states. As they point out from the UNWTO, they jointly adopted a concrete action plan to restore the trust of tourists through a common and harmonized framework. In the coming weeks, international organizations, the European Commission, as well as private stakeholders, will be invited to join this initiative to achieve a fairer and more balanced share of responsibility among all tourism stakeholders in the world after COVID-19.
Recommendations to help international tourists in emergency situations
On the eve of today's meeting, the UNWTO announced Recommendations for assistance to international tourists in emergency situations, laying the groundwork for the International Code for the Protection of Tourists.
Establishing a set of minimum standards of consumer protection for tourists will help people feel safer on international travel, the UNWTO said, adding that the recommendations are addressed to countries and are designed to ensure that responsibility for tourists in emergencies is shared fairly throughout the value chain of tourism.
1. Prevention of possible disruptions in travel in the context of developing concrete plans, ie coordination protocols and training of tourism stakeholders to help tourists in emergency situations.
2 Providing real-time information for tourists.
3 Addressing cross-border cooperation between governments and tourism service providers.
4 Encourage close cooperation between governments and travel and accommodation providers.
5 Addressing the effective repatriation of tourists. (repatriation means the return of the passenger to the place of departure or to another place agreed by the contracting parties)
UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili he said insecurity and a lack of confidence in travel are among the biggest challenges they face with the goal of relaunching global tourism. “The International Code for the Protection of Tourists will be an important step towards resolving this problem. Establishing a standard minimum standard of consumer protection for tourists will help people feel safer on international travel. It will also ensure that the responsibility for managing the crisis situation caused by this pandemic is shared fairly throughout our sector", Concluded Pololikashvili.
The report on the development of the International Code for the Protection of Tourists is expected to be presented at the next UNWTO General Assembly (end of 2021 in Marrakesh, Morocco) for approval by all member states.