UNWTO Statement on Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Madrid (Spain) – February 8, 2020 (travelindex.com) – The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is closely monitoring developments related to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), both in China and worldwide and is cooperating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since the very start of the emergency, the Chinese authorities have acted swiftly and decisively. UNWTO expresses its solidarity with the Chinese people, its government and its tourism sector at these challenging times.
In recent years, China has emerged as a true global tourism leader, both as a source market and as a leading destination in itself, providing livelihoods for millions of people across the country. And tourism will offer a valuable lifeline as China recovers and rebuilds from this setback, just as the sector has proven its resilience many times before.
The responsibility of tourism
During times of crisis, tourism has to live up to its responsibility as an integral part of wider society. The sector must put people and their wellbeing first.
The cooperation of the tourism sector will be vital in stopping the spread of the virus and limiting its impact on people and communities. Tourists also have a responsibility to inform themselves before they travel in order to limit the threat of transmission, and they should follow the recommendations of the WHO and their own national health authorities.
Tourism is vulnerable to the effects of public health emergencies and is already being affected by this outbreak. However, it is too early to fully estimate the impacts this outbreak will have.
UNWTO as the specialized UN agency for tourism will continue supporting WHO, the lead UN agency for the management of this outbreak by advising and providing tourism specific guidance.