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The BRICS countries agreed on Tuesday to further their cooperation in order to achieve a sustainable and inclusive tourism recovery.
The five-nation club of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – made this clear in a communiqué signed during the BRICS Tourism Ministers Meeting held in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The meeting, held under the theme “Sustainable and inclusive tourism recovery,” will last for three days until Oct. 26.
In the communiqué, the BRICS countries acknowledged the far-reaching impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism sector.
However, “on the other hand we believe that Covid-19 provides an opportunity to implement transformational shifts as the travel and tourism sector creates a more resilient and inclusive future,” said the communiqué.
“Despite the significant negative impacts of Covid-19 on tourism, the crisis is providing an opportunity to rethink tourism for the future,” it added.
“Achieving greener and more sustainable tourism recovery calls for a greater policy focus on the environmental and socio-cultural pillars of sustainability.”
Citing the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s definition of sustainable tourism, which is “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities,” the BRICS ministers noted in the communiqué that travellers are increasingly choosing lower-impact trips in response to the climate emergency.
“We recognise that in order to achieve a resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism recovery as well as the promotion of intra-BRICS tourism, we should consider further cooperation on the following areas,” including mainstreaming sustainable policies and practices, developing more sustainable tourism business models, and reconsidering perceptions of tourism success.
The communiqué went on to stress the need to raise awareness among BRICS countries to the importance of developing routes for better tourism mobility and connectivity among the member countries.
“We agree to continue our cooperation in strengthening intra-BRICS relations and developing mutually beneficial collaboration in the interests of continuity of BRICS cooperation,” it said.
In the communiqué, the ministers also welcomed the invitation extended to Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS on Jan. 1, 2024.