Image: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett (right) joined (from left) Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala; Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia Ahmed Aqeel AlKhateeb; and Former President of Mexico, His Excellency Felipe Calderón

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett is calling on policymakers at the COP26 Summit to make tourism part of the solution to climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic recovery.

Minister Bartlett is joined in his call by tourism industry leaders from Kenya and Saudi Arabia.

COP26 is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference currently be staged in Glasgow, Scotland.

During his remarks, Bartlett said global recovery from the pandemic is being affected by vaccine equity and vaccine hesitancy.

Minister Bartlett says vaccine hesitancy can be lessened with the use of technology to facilitate better communication and information about the vaccine and its application and efficacy.

Minister Bartlett warns that low take up of the vaccine could lead to another pandemic.

Minister Bartlett, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Najib Balala, and Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb, shared their views on these issues during a panel discussion at the Conference, moderated by the Former President of Mexico, His Excellency Felipe Calderón.

Minister Khateeb stressed the importance of the tourism industry to the climate change recovery efforts.

Also on the panel were Rogier van den Berg, Global Director, World Resources Institute; Rose Mwebara, Director & Head of Climate Technology Center & Network at the United Nations Environment Programme, Virginia Messina, SVP Advocacy, World Travel & Tourism Council, Jeremy Oppenheim, Founder & Senior Partner, Systemic; and Nicolas Svenningen, Manager for Global Climate Action, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.