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G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting: Diriyah Communiqué

Virtual Meeting – October 7, 2020

Annex I: G20 Guidelines for Inclusive Community Development Through Tourism
Annex II: G20 Guidelines for Action on Safe and Seamless Travel
Annex III: G20 Tourism Working Group Terms of Reference


  1. We, the G20 Tourism Ministers, met under Saudi Arabia's G20 Presidency to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic; promote recovery of the travel and tourism sector and realize its potential to drive faster economic recovery post health crisis; maximize the sector's contribution to inclusive and sustainable development; and further develop the sector as a key and resilient industry, contributing to the global economy and generating decent work.
  2. We highlight the crucial role of tourism as a means of sustainable socio-economic development. The travel and tourism sector contributed to 10.3% of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 330 million jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) in 2019. It accounted for 28% of the world's service exports in 2019, and it generates a greater impact on domestic economies than overall exports. The sector also has a workforce comprised of 54% women, compared to 39% in the broader global economy.
  3. We welcome the progress achieved during Saudi Arabia's G20 Presidency on key topics, including global commitments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the progression of inclusive community development through tourism, and the advancement of safe and seamless travel and improved traveler experience.

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Tourism Response to COVID-19

  1. We stress that the travel and tourism sector is one of the most heavily impacted sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic, with an anticipated 60-80% decline in international tourism in 2020. We recognize that COVID-19 may result in a paradigm shift for the travel and tourism sector.
  2. We reaffirm our commitment to the actions agreed upon in the G20 Tourism Ministers' Statement on COVID-19 of April 24, 2020, and the commitments made during Japan's 2019 Presidency on Actions for Strengthening the Resiliency of Tourism. We will continue to work together through international and public-private cooperation to facilitate the sector's recovery from the pandemic and support those most impacted by the crisis within the sector, including micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and developing economies that rely on travel and tourism, especially in Africa and small island states.
  3. We reiterate our commitment to work with our relevant authorities to ensure the safety of travelers and to ensure that the introduction and removal of travel restrictions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are coordinated and proportionate to the national and international situation.
  4. We acknowledge that the pandemic has created challenges and opportunities in crisis management in the travel and tourism sector. In order to improve response capabilities to uncertain and volatile crises and rebuild the trust of travelers, we commit to continue sharing knowledge, experiences, and good practices in each phase as follows: (i) prevention and preparedness, (ii) response, and (iii) recovery; and recognize the importance of efficient crisis communications during the sector's response to and recovery from the pandemic. We ask the OECD and the UNWTO, to assess the pandemic's impact on the tourism sector and report back in 2021.
  5. We support further capacity building and development of digital skills in the travel and tourism sector that will enable workers and MSMEs to successfully engage in increasingly evolving and digitalized economies, as well as soft skills development including creativity, social, and entrepreneurial skills that cannot be easily replaced by technology.
  6. We encourage all efforts to foster tourism innovation and support initiatives that develop startups and innovation hubs seeking solutions to overcome challenges resulting from the pandemic.
  7. We welcome the commitment of the travel and tourism private sector to tourism's recovery from COVID-19, and will continue to coordinate with the relevant authorities and private sector to support the safe restart of international travel.

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Inclusive Community Development Through Tourism

  1. We commit to intensifying our efforts to sustainably develop the travel and tourism sector, as noted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We encourage the use of the AlUla Framework for Inclusive Community Development Through Tourism, which can serve as a guide for countries to work to ensure that tourism contributes to sustainable and inclusive development through: (i) the identification and support of communities with high tourism potential; (ii) the definition of potential areas of action and respective stakeholders that promote local development; (iii) the progress towards evidence-based policies founded on the measurement of the sustainability of tourism in line with international standards; and (iv) showcasing good practices.
  2. We endorse the G20 Guidelines for Inclusive Community Development through Tourism (Annex I) to empower people and safeguard the planet and preserve cultural heritage. We recognize the importance of human capital development, inclusive labor markets, adequate social protection, and innovation and entrepreneurship as key contributors to travel and tourism as a human-centered sector, as well as to advancing women's empowerment and to create decent jobs for all.
  3. We recognize the importance of well-defined reporting metrics and tools to help better understand the sector's contribution to social and economic development and environmental conservation, emphasizing evidence- based policies and measurements as fundamental for driving and monitoring progress. We further encourage the adoption and consistent usage of standardized international statistical frameworks for the measurement of sustainable and inclusive tourism, using tools such as the Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) Framework, and emphasize the need for disaggregated data, in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  4. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities in our respective countries to enable an environment that promotes and encourages entrepreneurship in the tourism sector at a community level.
  5. We encourage tourism governance that fosters stronger cooperation between the public sector, private sector and community stakeholders. This includes the provision of technical and financial support for community development through Public-Private-Community Partnerships (PPCPs) to boost sustainable and inclusive tourism growth. We welcome initiatives that facilitate and channel such support including from relevant international organizations and partners.
  6. We support policies that promote sustainable authentic experiences, rural development, and community empowerment; build resilience; benefit local communities; promote an inclusive, safe and welcoming experience for tourists; and provide travelers opportunities to experience the unique nature and culture in local areas.
  7. We welcome the Tourism Community Initiative as a catalyst of sector recovery by enabling communities through human and institutional capacity building programs to spread the economic benefits of tourism.

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Safe and Seamless Travel and Improved Traveler Experience

  1. We endorse the G20 Guidelines for Action on Safe and Seamless Travel (Annex II) and welcome the Safe and Seamless Travel and Improved Traveler Experience report, which raises awareness of challenges and opportunities related to the delivery of safe and seamless travel; highlights lessons learned from innovative public and private efforts; and showcases examples from G20 members.
  2. We stress the importance of facilitating safe, seamless, and sustainable travel to and within destinations as a part of the crisis recovery, and for the longer term, and underline the need for strong policy coordination between tourism, transportation, health and other relevant authorities. We encourage the application of safe and seamless travel principles, including enhanced connectivity and creative use of new technologies, to improve safety and security, promote sustainability, better manage visitors, and improve the traveler experience.
  3. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a safe and seamless traveler journey particularly during times of crisis; therefore, we commit to helping the travel and tourism sector rebound and prosper through strengthening international cooperation in international fora, rebuilding trust and confidence in tourism, and sharing knowledge, experiences, and good practices between countries, including on health safety.
  4. We will continue promoting efforts by both the public and private sectors to facilitate travel and support initiatives such as those which streamline travel and visa processes, and improve safety and security, recognizing the sovereign right of States to control the entry of foreign nationals.
  5. We acknowledge the valuable efforts made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic since our meeting in April, including the United Nations World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) "Recommendations for Action" and "Guidelines to Restart Tourism", and the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) "100 Million Jobs Recovery Plan" and "Safe Travels: Global Protocols and Stamp for the New Normal". We further recognize the value of the Framework and the reports produced with the support of several international organizations and industry partners, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UNWTO, the World Bank Group (WBG), and the WTTC, and we will continue to work with the relevant government authorities to realize the full potential of these efforts.
  6. We welcome the timely establishment of the G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) and endorse its Terms of Reference (Annex III).
  7. We express our thanks to the Saudi G20 Presidency for its efforts and excellent leadership. We agree to continue our cooperation to ensure further progress on tourism policies during Italy's G20 Presidency in 2021.

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Annex I
G20 Guidelines for Inclusive Community Development Through Tourism

Tourism can be a key driver of inclusive community development contributing to resiliency, inclusivity, and empowerment while safeguarding natural and cultural resources. Inclusive community development through tourism is defined as the planning, development and management of tourism aimed at promoting inclusive development opportunities for communities in which the community is fully engaged in the decision-making process and the management of tourism.

The immense impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism sector and the millions of livelihoods highlight the need and importance of placing inclusion at the heart of tourism development and creating a more resilient sector that is less fragile to crises.

The following guidelines will help in advancing the role of tourism in creating more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies:

  1. Enhance international cooperation in the field of tourism, particularly in support of the recovery from COVID-19 through initiatives that support inclusive community development through tourism and build sector resilience.
  2. Position inclusive community development within tourism policies to contribute to inclusion through socio-economic development, and poverty alleviation as well as rural development, and promotion of community, national, and regional integrations.
  3. Adopt a holistic and integrated approach to inclusive community development through a whole-of-government approach and effective cooperation and coordination at all levels – community, national, regional and global.
  4. Enhance tourism governance through engaging all stakeholders at national, regional and local levels and solidify Public-Private-Community Partnerships (PPCPs), such as Destination Management Organizations, to enable the collective development of tourism products and services as well as the management of community resources for mutual benefit through jointly assuming risks and responsibilities while sharing resources and competences.
  5. Facilitate and improve tourism value chain development and management to empower local communities, in particular to vulnerable groups, promote authentic experiences, and preserve natural and cultural resources.
  6. Recognize that the development of smart destinations can optimize the resource allocation and consumption and manage the movement of tourist flows to more effectively spread the benefits of tourism.
  7. Align inclusive community development through tourism with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by actively engaging in national Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) processes, strengthening SDG engagement and commitment from all stakeholders - communities, civil society organizations, local/municipal authorities, private sector, financiers and investors.
  8. Adopt and develop evidence-based policy and management of tourism, while recognizing the need for a comparable international statistical framework for measuring the sustainability of tourism in its three pillars – economic, social, and environmental - emphasizing the need for disaggregated data to promote gender equality and equality for other underrepresented populations.
  9. Promote, with the relevant authorities, human capital development through targeted policies and programs for education and capacity building for communities with a special focus on women, youth, and vulnerable groups.
  10. Recognize the contribution of tourism in inclusive community development and the importance of communities to access funds to help set up priority support facilities, for example through official development assistance agencies, as well as international and regional financial institutions.
  11. Support decent work in tourism related activities by working with relevant authorities to reduce social and economic barriers and increase social protection within existing legal frameworks.
  12. Encourage local communities to integrate a gender perspective into their policy approach, with a focus on empowering women.
  13. Engage with all stakeholders, including the public sector at national, regional and local levels, private sector, civil society, and communities to support an inclusive tourism economy.
  14. Engage in consultative processes with communities on the planning, design and management of tourism projects, products and services, where appropriate, which includes a dialogue between the community residents and other stakeholders (governments, destinations, tourism companies and others), as well as among community members whose support for any tourism development is crucial.
  15. Promote and encourage entrepreneurial innovation and digital transformation, with focus on empowering micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
  16. Support equitable enterprises and sustainable business practices, which ensure enhanced economic benefit, and contribute to protecting cultural and natural resources, intellectual property, fostering community development and improving livelihoods.
  17. Promote, through intra-governmental coordination, resilience through product diversification, social protection schemes and crisis management mechanisms that enable destinations to be more prepared to effectively manage crises and minimize their impacts.

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Annex II
G20 Guidelines for Action on Safe and Seamless Travel

Safe and seamless travel has both immediate and long-term relevance for the global economy, enabling growth, improving sustainability, and supporting regional and local economies. Delivering safe and seamless travel requires coordinated policy action.

Governments have specific key core functions including bringing key stakeholders together, providing coordination, setting standards, and developing and implementing regulation, and can benefit greatly from cooperation with the private sector partners to achieve a safer and more seamless traveler experience.

International coordinated action and collaboration with international organizations on agreed standards and the interoperability of systems and technology can also help to improve the traveler experience whilst enhancing safety and security, which are especially critical in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the purpose of these guidelines, seamless travel is defined as: "The provision of a smooth, efficient, safe, secure and enjoyable travel experience from a traveler's point of origin to a destination, within the destination, and back again."

The following guidelines will help countries advance objectives for safe and seamless travel and benefit from it:

  1. Recognize the importance of facilitating seamless travel, in the long-term and as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as an enabler and driver of economic growth, enhanced safety and security, and an improved traveler experience, as well as enhanced local development, greater sustainability, and better visitor management.
  2. Ensure that the perspectives of the travel and tourism sector are reflected in policies and actions affecting travel to and within a country, requiring strong liaison between ministries responsible for tourism, national security, and transportation, together with other ministries, such as health, whose policies and actions may significantly affect the sector.
  3. Cooperate at the international level through appropriate fora to explore standards for the collection, sharing and use of data on travelers, for identity checking, tracing and management purposes, taking into consideration requirements developed by the relevant international institutions on passenger data, and respecting national data laws and regulations which protect the privacy of citizens.
  4. Continue to work with relevant authorities on ways to streamline travel and visa processes, while maintaining security, including through online processes and bilateral and multilateral agreements, subject to each government's policy priorities including public health considerations and recognizing the sovereign right of States to control the entry of foreign nationals.
  5. Explore ways to promote the use of digital traveler identity and biometrics while respecting data privacy and national data privacy and sovereign laws based on agreed international standards and principles, for example through global cooperation between governments and international bodies and enabling recognition and interoperability between different systems.
  6. Coordinate transport and tourism planning and operations in the provision of seamless links between different modes of transport, thereby benefitting visitors and residents, and improving destination connectivity and sustainability.
  7. Encourage and support the provision of real-time information and other assistance to travelers, including those with special needs, to facilitate their journeys and enhance their experience, through the creative use of new technology, while also maintaining traditional customer care.
  8. Establish, regularly revise, and when necessary implement crisis management strategies for travel and tourism, which require clear and effective communication with travelers on safety issues and seek coordination between governments and with industry on appropriate traveler safety standards and procedures.
  9. Support, in coordination with other relevant authorities, capacity building and investment for seamless travel, including full broadband and extensive Wi-Fi coverage, inclusive training programs in digital skills, communication and customer care, and relevant research programs to guide policies and actions in this area.
  10. Recognize the key role played by the private sector, including technology companies as well as transport and service providers, in enabling safe and seamless travel, and seek to encourage and define their involvement through appropriate policy and regulatory settings and the formation of public-private partnerships (PPPs).

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Annex III
G20 Tourism Working Group Terms of Reference


The importance of the tourism sector, and its role as a means of development has been discussed and affirmed by G20 Leaders. Tourism was first recognized in the Los Cabos Declaration of Mexico's 2012 Presidency: "the role of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development," and again most recently in Japan in 2019, where the Osaka Declaration stated: "We will work to maximize the sector's contribution to the creation of quality jobs and entrepreneurship, especially for women and youth and in the creative industry; economic resilience and recovery; the preservation of natural resources through sustainable tourism planning and management; and the achievement of inclusive and sustainable development."

The number of international tourist arrivals in 2019 was 1.5 billion with expected growth, pre COVID-19, to reach 1.8 billion by 2030 (UNWTO, 2019). It is now paramount more than ever to guide the sector to ensure sustainable and inclusive development through strong and effective international dialogue and governance.

In order to facilitate dialogue, sharing of best practices, development of policy principles, and collective commitments on tourism issues, the G20 has decided to set Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Tourism Working Group (TWG). These define the scope of discussion and the organizational matters of the TWG, and will ensure the relevance, consistency and effectiveness of its work. The TOR will also create synergies between the TWG and other work streams and relevant engagement groups.

This document outlines the mandate and functioning of the TWG for the G20 tourism agenda.


The TWG's mandate is to address priority tourism issues to further develop strong, sustainable, balanced and job-rich growth. The TWG's work will be guided in particular by the set of broad objectives stated below and directions from the G20 Leaders, Tourism Ministers and Sherpas.

Elaborate policy principles with a view to:

Promote integrated policies and effective coordination by:

Contribute to greater accountability, effective policy and program implementation through:

Functioning of the TWG

The TWG is chaired on a 'troika' presidency basis led by the incumbent, supported by the previous and the following year's G20 presidencies.

The Secretariat support for the TWG is provided by the incumbent G20 presidency. In the decisions of the TWG, consensus-based approach shall be applied.

In the areas of joint interest, the TWG may work with other working groups and seek collaboration on those issues.

If specific expertise is required in the implementation of TWG's tasks, time-limited and voluntary- based technical sub-groups may be established. The mandate, work plan, composition and co-facilitators of those sub-groups are decided by the member countries.

Annual and Multi-Year Agenda of the TWG

The annual agenda of the TWG will be developed by the incumbent G20 presidency in accordance with the mandate of the TWG, the Leaders' Communiqué and the Tourism Ministers' Declaration in collaboration with G20 member countries and in consultation with international organizations and social partners. The G20 presidency may focus on other additional issues that are of specific importance.

Given the importance of continuity regarding the work carried out under consecutive G20 presidencies, the TWG will work under a multi-year agenda that is guided by its mandate. The multi- year agenda will be developed by the TWG members, reviewed annually and renewed when deemed necessary.

The priorities and planned outcomes of the G20 presidencies in tourism stream and dates, venues, deliverables and work themes of planned TWG activities are discussed with other members at the beginning of each presidency term.


Participation in the TWG is open to representatives and experts from G20 member and guest countries.

Collaboration with Social Partners and International Organizations

The TWG will work in cooperation with the official B20, L20, and other social engagement groups as appropriate and according to the arrangements to be decided by the TWG. The TWG will encourage the B20 and L20 to engage in social dialogue on issues of common interest.

The TWG may invite representatives of relevant international organizations or industry partners, in particular the ILO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the OECD, the UNWTO, the World Bank Group (WBG), and the WTTC to participate in TWG meetings and ask them to provide technical analysis on issues identified in its agenda.


These Terms of Reference are reviewed at the request of the TWG members on an annual basis. Should any amendments be deemed necessary, these are duly incorporated to this document with the consensus of the TWG members.

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Source: Official website of the Saudi G20 Presidency

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