Tourism after COVID: A bitter-sweet reality revealed by WTN co-chair Dr. Taleb Rifai

  1. Dr. Taleb Rifai wears many hats. The former UNWTO Secretary General positions include the African Tourism Board and Project Hope, International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, World Tourism Forum Institute. ,Global Resilience and Crisis Management Center, and he is the co-chair for the World Tourism Network (WTN)
  2. Watch Dr. Taleb Rifai taking a lead in telling the world the truth about the future of the travel and tourism world. This truth should be the base for a better tomorrow
  3. Three interviews, three stories by a mentor for World Tourism.

WTTC, UNWTO is not ready to realize the reality in how travel and tourism will look after COVID-19. It will not be back to anything we know about. May the truth sets us free. This is the indication given by the number one tourism mentor in the world, Dr. Taleb Rifai.

Dr. Taleb Rifai served as a two term UNWTO Secretary General until December 31,2017 and still regarded one of the most influential personalities in the global travel and tourism industry.

One of the many positions this Jordanian native is involved in, as the co-chairman of the newly formed World Tourism Network he has made an enormous impact in the rebuilding travel discussion started by WTN.

Watch how Dr. Rifai is seen by people in power in his country and experience him during a state visit to Costa Rica when he was still UNWTO secretary-general. ,

With the world facing the worst crisis in the history of tourism, Dr. Rifai returned from his well deserved retirement and has been a mentor to so many in the world. With effective leadership lacking in the current UNWTO, Dr. Rifai has been the quiet mover and shaker in the background. He can do this because of the legacy he left as a truly global citizen. Tourism is an industry of hope and optimism.

He came to a reality, that tourism will not just return to what it was. Dr. Rifai has a vision for the future after COVID-19. The environment and sustainability has a big role in this vision.

He said: “The travel and tourism industry is a very conservative and slow moving sector. The world managed to send a man to the moon before it invented two wheels on a suitcase.”

The Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism & Development year was in 2017. Listen to what Dr. Rifai had to say when he still was Secretary-General of UNWTO.

In 2020/21 the world looks very different. In an interview from earlier this week with a university for a research project, Dr. Rifai said :”Sustainability is not equal conversation. You have to know how to grow.”

“It can be argued if Manhattan was more beautiful before Skyscrapers were built. I am not against Skyscrapers, but it;’s important where and how they are build.”

Sustainability and tourism is about people. The walls between people have to be lowered, people need to interact with each other.

Dr. Taleb doesn’t think the world will get back to normal and lays out his thoughts in this interview with a Portuguese news outlet . Dr. Rifai will talk about aviation, cruises, destinations, and he will explain why tourism will not go back where it was, but go forward.