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Asia-Pacific nations back UNWTO tourism safety initiative

Asia-Pacific nations back UNWTO tourism safety initiative
June 20, 2023

Cambodia, Indonesia and the Maldives have joined forces supporting the International Code for the Protection of Tourists, becoming the latest signatories to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s groundbreaking initiative.

Additionally, United Nations member states across Asia and the Pacific have united under the Phnom Penh Declaration of December 2022, pledging to promote and implement the Code to safeguard tourists and instil confidence in travel.

The International Code for the Protection of Tourists is a historic legal instrument aimed at establishing internationally recognized standards to ensure tourists’ safety on a global scale. Conceived by UNWTO in collaboration with over 100 countries, international organisations, tourism experts, and private sector stakeholders.

Officially adopted during the 24th UNWTO General Assembly in December 2021, it serves as a vital framework for governments to develop laws, regulations, and policies that protect tourists as consumers and provide clarity and assistance during

The travel industry, having endured the profound crisis caused by the global pandemic, recognizes the paramount importance of restoring trust and ensuring the safety of tourists. The International Code is a pioneering solution to these pressing concerns, giving travellers the peace of mind they seek.

Many nations embrace this initiative, aligning national legislation with the Code’s principles. Cambodia, the Maldives and Indonesia have joined the ranks of Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Moldova, Myanmar, Paraguay, Portugal, and Uruguay as national-level signatories.

Expressing pride in the Code’s expansion, UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili stated “people want to feel safe and protected when they travel, and UNWTO has led the way in creating the first legal tool that will help restore trust in travel.”

To further emphasise the significance of this commitment, the 35th Joint Meeting of the Regional Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia, held in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh from 15th to 17th June provided a platform for regional tourism leaders to exchange insights, share best practices, and discuss the Code’s role in facilitating tourism recovery and building trust after the pandemic’s devastating impact.

The conference shed light on how the Code addresses existing gaps in legal frameworks while emphasizing the importance of closer collaboration between the public and private sectors in assuming responsibility for assisting tourists and protecting consumer rights.

Agreed by ASEAN member nations at the end of last year, the Phnom Penh Declaration aligns with Cambodia’s proven track record of assisting tourists during crises.

Click here for more information on the International Code for the Protection of Tourists on the UNWTO website.

Image: Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

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