‘Rethinking one of the world’s major economic sectors will not be easy. But we are already well on the way. Crisis has inspired and catalysed creativity. And the pandemic accelerated the transformation of work, bringing both challenges as well as enormous opportunities, to ensure even more people get to benefit from tourism’s restart,’ says Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General UNWTO.
Tourism is to be celebrated
Over the years it has presented wonderful opportunities for those in the hospitality industry – in terms of employment and development – and travellers by opening their eyes to new places, people, cultures and traditions, while highlighting the importance of nature and man living in harmony.
And it has remarkable benefits for mental and physical health. Travel at any age, according to the Harvard Medical School, is good for your health and acts as a medicine. Dr Franco-Garcia, a physician with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital says, ‘Experiencing new places often stimulates positive reactions. It helps you remain physically active and offers the brain new challenges.’
In fact, a survey of US travellers, reported by the Global Coalition on Ageing found that 93% felt happier after time away, 77% believed their health improved afterwards and about 80% said travel increased their productivity, energy and focus.
In turn, the desire to travel, if done responsibly, also can have a positive effect on the places visited.