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COVID-19 travel restrictions present opportunity to focus on Culture and Heritage Protection

COVID-19 travel restrictions present opportunity to focus on Culture and Heritage Protection
June 25, 2020

The World Tourism Association for Culture & Heritage (WTACH) notes that the COVID-19 travel restrictions have presented an opportunity to pause, reflect and reshape policies on cultural and heritage tourism.

WTACH has been appointed as Association Partner for the Qatar Travel Mart (QTM) in Doha, 17th to 19th November 2020. The development is part of a bilateral agreement between WTACH and NeXTfairs, the QTM 2020 organisers.

In the agreement, WTACH will advise NeXTfairs on program content for the one-day conference to be held in conjunction with the mart. WTACH will also use digital media to brief its global membership about the benefits of participating in QTM.

During the event’s conference, WTACH President Chris Flynn will present on the growth and significance of cultural heritage tourism. There will be discussions on the challenges and opportunities facing the world’s cultural and heritage sites, many of which have deteriorated noticeably as a direct result of over-tourism.

However, in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic has applied the brakes temporarily.

Flynn notes “Covid has given us all an opportunity to pause, reflect and reshape our policies on cultural and heritage tourism.

“The aim now is to ensure that protections are in place that will preserve fragile and unique cultural assets as we come out of lockdown.”

The association’s president said that he would work closely with QTM 2020 organisers to share WTACH’s philosophy. The objective in Doha would be to present strategies and goals to a global audience that cares about culture and heritage in tourism.

Flynn adds “we simply must protect our world’s diverse culture and heritage assets, many of which are sacred sites.

“We need to work with local custodians, host communities and visitors. Too many important sites have been damaged as a result of mismanagement.

“We are looking forward to working closely with NeXTfairs to ensure that our important messages enjoy a global reach.”

The partnership was welcomed by NeXTfairs General Manager Rawad Sleem who advised “we believe that there is a need to focus upon responsible tourism by minimising the negative impact it brings to communities.

“That is why we are pleased to have WTACH as our Association Partner for Qatar Travel Mart.”  

For more information on WTACH go to

For further information on the Qatar Travel Mart visit

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