UNWTO chief promise relevance

MADRID, 3 January 2018: UNWTO’s incoming secretary-general of the World Tourism Organisation vowed to make the organisation more relevant for the benefit of global tourism

Zurab Pololikashvili assumed the role of secretary-general 1 January for a term that extends through to the end of 2021.

In his New Year message to the tourism industry, worldwide, he promised to maintain a strong commitment to make UNWTO an even more relevant organisation for the benefit of tourism and member states

“Tourism is a people’s sector. 1 in 10 people in the world are directly or indirectly employed by tourism,” he said. “Ours is the responsibility to ensure that tourism benefits each and every community, leaving no one behind.”

Stating tourism’s sustained growth generates immense opportunities for economic welfare and development, he admitted it also brought many challenges.

“Adapting our sector to the challenges of safety and security, evolving market changes, growing digitalisation and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.”

UNWTO plays a lead role in establishing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that requires partnerships between public and private sector.

He claimed the SDGs would “foster jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change.”

The long-term objective is to build a competitive and responsible tourism sector for the benefit of all people, he said.