Why tourism? Why now? An obvious and rational logic is that we need to focus on high-stake sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure to revive shattered economies. Travel and tourism can be the last on the priority list because people are too scared to venture out of their homes, leave alone their cities, and don’t have enough to spend on leisure and pleasure. In this crisis, the crucial concerns are food, shelter and earning enough to pay our bills.
An out-of-the-box, but believable, rationale is that the sector is the springboard to thrust economies out of the abyss. If it takes off, it can have an unimaginable impact on how people think and behave. “Tourism can be a platform to overcome the pandemic,” said UN secretary general Antonio Guterres. The time has come to restart tourism, given its multiplier effect on the economy, jobs and people, both socially and psychologically, added Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general, UNWTO.