UNWTO organise a hybrid plenary session

MADRID, 9 November 2020: Tourism leaders who are UNWTO Affiliate Members gathered last week for high-level talks and an awards presentation during the World Tourism Organization 42nd Plenary Session, 6 November.

The hybrid event with in-person and virtual attendance provided a high-level platform to allow members to share their best practices and proposals for recovery. With the theme “Recovering Tourism. Rebuilding Trust, Reinforcing Partnerships,” the session echoed the wider priorities of UNWTO, above all restoring confidence in international travel and promoting collaboration at every level.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO secretary-general.

The Plenary Session focused on laying the foundations for UNWTO’s Programme of Work for 2021. The roadmap focused on continuing to make tourism a key pillar of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNWTO’s affiliate members include businesses, academia and civil society actors.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The engaged participation of every part of our sector will be needed to restart tourism and drive recovery. From the start of this crisis, tourism has led the way in adapting to the new reality and putting public health concerns first. Now, tourism needs the support of governments and international organisations to grow back and grow back stronger and more resilient, benefitting many millions of people and businesses worldwide.”

More than 200 delegates took part in the plenary session, either in-person or virtually, with the diversity of tourism on full display.

UNWTO presented its top award to CNN to recognise its “inspirational communication campaigns” including its work bringing the UNWTO #TravelTomorrow campaign to a global audience of millions.

The Seoul Tourism Organization was commended for its work promoting tourism as a tool for peace and reconciliation, while the Royal Commission for Al Ula was singled out for its promotion of inclusive community development through tourism.

The UNWTO Affiliate Members Distinction Awards took place 6 November.