IUCN launches Covid-19 Tourism Package to boost recovery

Posted on 9 September 2021 By David Henning

At the recent IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, the IUCN and the German Development Agency, GIZ, announced a new programme to strengthen the resilience of community-based tourism. The Corona Tourism Package, with an investment of €17 million (R284 million), aims to boost recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 on people and nature around the world.

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The programme, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will also include implementing partners such as UNESCO and the WWF, using tourism as an instrument to contribute to sustainable development and in developing countries.

Lucia De Carlo, Head of the Division for the Cooperation with the Private Sector and Sustainable Economic Policy at the BMZ commented that ‘The Corona-Tourism-Package aims to retain the structures of the tourism sector and to empower local actors to offer products and services in tourism…. the aim is also to improve the ecological and social aspects of tourism and to achieve improved resilience… The entire program addresses 26 countries that are particularly badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic’.

To pilot the initiative, IUCN will work with two World Heritage sites and five other areas in Peru and Vietnam to increase the resilience of community based tourism. This includes engaging local communities and indigenous peoples in developing community based ecotourism action-plans and revising site management plans.

The pandemic adversely affected international tourism, especially remote and wild places that relt on tourism revenues to support livelihoods and protect natural environments. With one in ten employees in the world directly related to this sector, economic losses from the pandemic are forecast to be in the trillions, with developing countries hit the hardest.

The African continent has been very much hit by the effects of Covid, with the World Travel and Tourism Council 2021 report on global economic trends, revealing the continent’s tourism industry has lost 7.2 million jobs, suffering disproportionally more than other regions.


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Picture: Getaway gallery



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