31 Jan, 2017
The UN World Tourism Organisation and the Pacific Asia Travel Association both joined the global chorus of condemnations and criticism of US President Donald Trump’s Muslim-ban. Here are full texts of both statements:
UNWTO Statement on US Travel Ban
Madrid, 31 Jan 2017 – The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, expresses its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).
The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.
“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
“Besides the direct impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.
PATA reiterates its commitment to the right to travel
BANGKOK, January 31, 2017 — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) reiterates its commitment to the right to travel as stated in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Association recognises that each country has the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. However, PATA is fundamentally opposed to any form of blanket travel ban based upon nationality, gender, race or religion.
PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “Safety is the number one priority for the travel and tourism industry and this may only be addressed effectively through the concerted efforts of the world’s governments and international community working together.
The travel and tourism industry accounts for nearly 10 percent of worldwide GDP. It is an industry that provides vital income and employment to local communities worldwide whilst creating a pathway towards understanding and empathy across borders and cultures.
The recent Executive Order in the USA goes against the principles of this idea. In the end, the actions in the USA may tarnish the image of the country and risks impacting its tourism arrivals. The lack of clarity around the implications of this Executive Order has created chaos in airports and is affecting travel businesses such as airlines, tour operators, hotels and travel agencies around the world.
“The Association has been advocating improved visa facilitation for some time and last year we praised the Republic of Indonesia for its vision in easing access to the nation’s many attractions for tourists from 169 countries. Governments must build bridges, not walls, and we encourage all nations to work in harmony and unison to ensure that this vital industry remains profitable and sustainable for the benefit of all.”