In order to bring people closer together and boost economic growth, the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) advised world leaders to open their skies and borders. The air connectivity program was among the important items on the agenda of the 26th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia.
On Saturday, the penultimate day of the weeklong UNWTO conference at Oriental Hotel, Taleb Rifai, UNWTO secretary general said that, air connectivity or opening the borders and skies of every country to tourists would develop and sustain economic growth.
Rifai described tourism as a powerful force in the world, saying, “I want billions of people to travel every year going to other countries…This way it would be an opportunity for people to be together, understand each other and promote their respective nations, thus breaking the barrier that separates them.”
Tourism development deals with two essential features, the natural environment and the natural heritage. It would be in the best interest of the industry to keep the environment clean and protected, he added.
The UNWTO official said that as for the implementation of a Global Code of Ethics on tourism, in 2003 the code was approved and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The code has 10 principles to cover the economic, social, cultural and environmental components of travel and tourism.
The code has strict rules against abusing the environment; building tourism facilities that promote child labor and trafficking of women; destroying cultural artifacts, citing as an example the poaching in Africa; and any tourism market that would destroy lives and communities, according to Rifai.