2 October 2020 at 12h30 -14h. The pandemic crisis has taken its toll on our society, our lives and economy. On a global level, many countries decided to close their borders, while international and national travel institutions decided to put people first by imposing a travel ban. Tourism, being one of the fastest growing economic sectors has been the most affected one, with a current decline of 60% which could potentially increase to 80%,if recovery is delayed until December 2020 (OECD). The worst affected countries during the COVID-19 crisis are those particularly positioned on both shores of the Mediterranean Sea, accounting for 1/3 of the income of international tourism. Although tourism will eventually bounce back stronger and healthier, contrary to many optimistic perceptions, the recovery of travel and tourism will not be easy nor rapid. The world will remain hesitant and fearful from traveling the way we used to, especially vulnerable groups such as senior citizens, those with underlying and chronic health issues, pregnant women, the socially emarginated, people with disabilities or the homeless.
The UfM webinar “COVID-19 and the Tourism Sector: Inclusive response to vulnerable groups in the Euro-MediterraneanRegion” aims to analyse the challenges faced by vulnerable groups in our societies due to the pandemic from a human perspective within the tourism related sector.The discussion will bring together stakeholders from the public sector such as DMOs and DPOs, local tourism, entities, and national and international tourism organizations, as well as stakeholders from the private sector including representatives from the hospitality and leisure industry.