UNWTO, Travelindex to support tourism SMEs

UNWTO and Travelindex Group have come together to help SMEs in the tourism space to improve their business reach as travel resumes, and to raise socio-economic awareness of the tourism sector.

UNWTO estimates that micro- and small businesses employ more than half of the sector’s workforce, making them important engines of employment and economic opportunity.

Travelindex Group’s Bernard Metzger and UNWTO’s Zurab Pololikashvili at the MOU signing

SMEs’ critical contribution to the growth of tourism and poverty alleviation is also recognised.

However, they face numerous obstacles and challenges due to pandemic-related disruptions and its impact on the economy, with additional pressures stemming from an increasingly digital world.

This first-ever partnership with Travelindex Group forms part of UNWTO’s wider shift towards harnessing the power of digital innovation to drive the restart of tourism by giving SMEs the possibility to reach a wider audience, grow and develop their market share and position.

Travelindex Group has one of the world’s largest travel and tourism ecosystem with millions of highly engaged visitors and followers across 240 destinations. The open and content-driven ecosystem connects directly over 800,000 companies worldwide through 90 owned online properties and social media channels. It offers a range of dedicated websites to the industry as well as services that help empower local SMEs for more online visibility and reach.

Joint efforts by UNWTO and Travelindex Group will show that sustainable and responsible travel is possible, if not indispensable, in the post-pandemic world, highlighting how small, medium size and micro-enterprises play a decisive role and vital contribution to the sector’s recovery.

“Countless small businesses and destinations are ready to welcome the world back to their doorsteps,” said Bernard Metzger, founder and CEO at Travelindex Group. “Travelindex Group is proud to provide a platform and ecosystem not only for large groups but, at no costs, for small businesses in the tourism sector to help them, and their employees and families, to recover faster and more sustainably. Our aim is to contribute to the growth and development of local SMEs and, ultimately, of the entire sector.”

Sustainable First, a platform by the Travelindex Group, features sustainable businesses and destinations, and focuses on the impact these have in their local community and the Sustainable Development Goals they implement.

“This partnership is a natural fit for us, our values and mission are truly aligned with UNWTO’s. Our platform is all about highlighting best practices in sustainability in tourism and we are focused on bringing especially the amazing sustainable work SMEs are doing, already leading by example, to a wider audience,” said Mafalda Borea, chair and co-founder of Sustainable First, board member, Travelindex Group.

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