The integration of national security with
tourism security, crisis communication and travel advisories were
some of the key issues discussed at the 1st Meeting of the High
Level Task Force on Tourism and Security, organized by the UNWTO
on Wednesday in Madrid.
The event took place ahead of the 105th
UNWTO Executive Council meeting to be held in Madrid, home of the
UNWTO Headquarters, on 11 and 12 May.
The Task Force
Meeting gathered representatives from UNWTO Member States, UN
organizations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC), and private sector entities such as IATA, PATA, WTTC, the Federal
Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) and the
Association of British Travel Agencies (ABTA).
Force was established by the UNWTO Executive Council to help us
reinforce our action and cooperation towards safer, more secure
and yet more seamless travel,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the meeting.
Actions such as joint
police work between Spain and source markets for specific events
or times of the year, tourism training for security forces in
Jamaica, the tourism and security task force in Kenya, and the
experience of the tourism police in Thailand were some of the
cases shared during the meeting by UNWTO Member States.
Also on the table were issues of public and private sector
cooperation in operational crisis management and communications,
and the tourism sector addressing possible tightening of security
The work of the Task Force will focus on five key
issues: 1) the integration between tourism and security; 2)
support to the sector in setting crisis management plans and
protocols; 3) travel advisories; 4) safe, secure and seamless
travel including visa facilitation; and 5) crisis communications.
These areas will be addressed by specific working groups
tasked with developing recommendations and guidelines to be
presented at the UNWTO General Assembly.
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