UNWTO statement on the outbreak of the new coronavirus

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UNWTO statement on the outbreak of the new coronavirus
Zurab Pololikashvili
Mon February 03, 2020

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is following closely the evolution of the new coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV) both in China and in the rest of the world


From the first moment the emergency broke out, the Chinese authorities have acted swiftly and decisively. UNWTO expresses its solidarity with the Chinese population, its Government and its tourism sector during these difficult times.

In recent years, China has become a true world tourist leader, both as an outbound market and as a destination, offering a livelihood to millions of people across the country. And tourism offers a valuable lifesaver for China to recover and redo itself after this coup, since it is a sector that has already demonstrated its resilience many times.

The responsibility of tourism

In times of crisis, tourism has been able to assume its responsibility as an integral part of society and is aware that people and their well-being must be their top priority.

The cooperation of the tourism sector will be vital to stop the spread of the virus and limit its incidence on people and communities. Also, tourists, for their part, have the responsibility to inform themselves before traveling to limit the risk of transmission, and should follow the recommendations of the WHO and the health authorities of their respective countries.

Tourism is vulnerable to the effects of public health emergencies and is already being affected by this outbreak. However, it is too early to estimate the impacts it will have.

UNWTO, as a specialized agency of the United Nations in charge of tourism, will continue to support WHO, the principal United Nations agency for the management of this outbreak, providing specific advice and guidance as regards tourism.


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