The recent UNWTO General Assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia has put a spotlight on the link between tourism and air transport policies. Countries attending called for closer coordination between both policies highlighting that too often these interlinked sectors are dissociated.
Delegations from the 120 UNWTO Members States intervening at the UNWTO Assembly in Victoria Falls, discussed air transport policies in their respective countries and called for measures and initiatives to increase connectivity. Countries further called for closer collaboration between tourism and air transport policies.
Issues such as visa facilitation, the need to make airports more visitor friendly, taxation, open skies and the impact of low cost airlines were among the issues in debate.
UNWTO has defined connectivity as one of its policy priorities alongside visa facilitation and fair taxation and is working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on advancing these issues as well as those related to addressing climate change, the modernization of aviation regulations and the development of convergent rules for traveler and enterprise protection.
Delegates in Victoria Falls over the event received a study confirming that more than one billion tourists crossed international borders during 2012. Over half of them travelled by air to their destinations which just proves the importance of having air connectivity between countries or even domestically.
Date: 5 September 2013