Tourism leaders from the Americas have met to address the current challenges and opportunities around restoring confidence in travel across the region.
A special seminar on the UNWTO International Code for the Protection of Tourists (ICPT) featured interventions from the experts involved in drafting the landmark legal framework. The Code was approved by consensus by the 24th UNWTO General Assembly in Madrid, Spain, and is aimed at providing tourists with greater legal protection as the world opens up again following the pandemic.
To date, Ecuador, Guinea Bissau, Moldova and Paraguay have formally adhered to the ICPT, with the aim of integrating all of the Code in their national policies and legislation, and Uruguay has also announced it intends to do so. In particular, Ecuador is currently developing its national Organic Tourism Law (Proyecto de Ley Organica de Turismo) aimed at developing the necessary measures for the implementation of the ICPT within the country.
The technical seminar was held against the backdrop of the 67th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Americas and the 1st International Congress on Tourism and Law, organised by Uruguay in collaboration with UNWTO.. In addition to expert insights on the application of the Code, participants were also presented with the results of a recent survey assessing the potential impacts of the ICPT on ‘visitor protection legislation and policies’ conducted by the Association of the Caribbean States in collaboration with UNWTO.
Alongside this, a Panel of Ministries of Tourism addressed the specific challenges and opportunities for the recovery of the tourism sector in the Americas in the environment arising as a result of COVID-19. The panel discussion focused on emergency situations and consumer protection rights of tourists and explored opportunities for rebuilding confidence among tourism consumers in a post-COVID-19 world.