LT&C likes to support the following petition, which was drafted by one of our tourism business members engaged in biodiversity protection. We believe this can add to the understanding that Governments in their attempts to help tourism businesses to survive the corona crisis need to priorities such companies, which are engaged in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the future we want, and the whole world has agreed to:
To Governments engaged in Sustainable Development
Petition: Local tourism professionals to be considered essential workers and prioritized to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and economic support
Numerous vaccines are currently in production and will soon be administered in Europe and the United States to begin the process of reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic. In emerging economies, national governments have begun to create priority lists for groups that will receive vaccines and aid to help reopen national economies. Logically, the top priority for this aid includes frontline healthcare workers and the elderly, who are at the highest risk of catching this novel disease.
However, there is still an opportunity to create a strategic list for those groups who can, by receiving vaccines and economic aid early, play a significant role in reopening national economies and in particular, galvanizing the private sector. Specifically, we petition that tourism professionals working in and protecting areas of high biodiversity be considered essential workers and prioritized to receive vaccines and aid in order to reopen and rescue the suffering industry, which bolsters the GDP of many emerging economies.
Tour operators based in rural communities and protected areas, with a focus on showcasing and protecting unique wildlife and landscapes, play a critical role in capturing tourism revenue that stays within borders with a multiplier effect of up to 7x in the rest of the economy. As compared to larger tour operators with headquarters in the US or Europe, these small tour operators have the potential to combat leakage, protect heritage and natural areas, and ensure tourism restarts in a way that improves, rather than degrades, the country being visited.
Furthermore, these operators have been impacted heavily by the financial toll of the pandemic, which has put critical natural areas under threat as the income from tourism no longer supports conservation and protection efforts. Without economic support, many of these operators
will disappear in the next six months, leaving rainforests, savannahs, reefs, and coastlines open for exploitation where tourism previously provided for their protection.
Therefore, Linking Tourism & Conservation members stand with community-led tour operators in petitioning for tourism professionals to be considered among the highest priority populations to receive COVID-19 vaccines after healthcare workers, and the elderly and infirm. Tourism professionals should be considered essential workers in the post-pandemic recovery due to the direct connection between tourism revenue, rural and indigenous economic development, and environmental conservation.
As governments begin to make plans to reopen economies and vaccinate the national population, we request that:
1. Conservation-focused tour operators and professionals be considered essential workers for the pandemic recovery and be treated accordingly.
2. Conservation-focused tour operators and professionals be prioritized to receive the first vaccine alongside other essential workers.
3. Conservation-focused tour operators and professionals be considered to receive economic aid packages designated for essential businesses that can restart the economy when borders reopen.
You can download the petition document here and use it, if you personally want to address it to your Government:
Or you can use the below contact form to express your sympathy for this petition and want us to set your name and email address under it: