From 1 to 3 December, Madrid will host the 24th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization
Says WTO Secretary-General: “In difficult circumstances, Spain has stepped forward to host
this important General Assembly. In UNWTO’s host city, Madrid, the world’s
tourism will come together to plan for a future in which our sector
fulfils its unique potential as a pillar of inclusive
growth and opportunity for all.”
More than 500 delegates from all over the world, including Tourism Ministers of the Member States of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international organisations, as well as leaders from the private sector and civil society, will participate in the meeting of the supreme body of this specialised UN agency.
The UNWTO Secretariat will present a comprehensive update of its work programme while bringing together the global tourism sector to re-launch tourism.
Innovation, education and rural development
In line with UNWTO’s key priorities, the General Assembly will focus on building for the future through innovation, education and tourism for rural development.
In Madrid, UNWTO’s official head office, the organisation will launch “Digital Futures for SMEs”, the agency’s latest initiative designed to help small tourism businesses reap the benefits of innovation.
The winners of the first edition of UNWTO’s “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” initiative will also be announced at the meeting, recognising the best examples of rural destinations that embrace tourism as a pillar of growth and opportunity.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili will present his report to the Members, outlining how the Organization led the global tourism response to the unprecedented crisis caused by COVID-19, in particular by ensuring vital support for jobs and businesses and guaranteeing harmonised rules and protocols to restore confidence in travel. The report will also set out plans for a more inclusive and resilient future, including the revision of UNWTO’s Agenda 2030 for Africa and the first International Code for Tourist Protection.
The Secretary General thanked the Government of Spain for agreeing to host the event, after the Kingdom of Morocco was forced to decline the invitation due to public health considerations. “In difficult circumstances, Spain has stepped forward to host this important General Assembly. In UNWTO’s host city, Madrid, world’s tourism will come together to plan for a future in which our sector fulfils its unique potential as a pillar of inclusive growth and opportunity for all,” said Pololikashvili.
For the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, “the holding of this international event will help to strengthen Spain’s leadership in world tourism and Madrid as the head office of the UNWTO, which will be the epicentre of the debate on the revival of tourism and its contribution to major challenges such as sustainability, digitisation and social and territorial cohesion. Spain will share its experience in the vaccination process and in the implementation of the Covid Certificate at this event that is allowing our country to be considered a safe destination and the ambitious plan for the modernisation and competitiveness of the tourism sector that will increase the quality, sustainability, digitalisation and diversity of our tourism”.
Statutory meetings and elections
The 24th session of the General Assembly will open with the Plenary Session of the UNWTO Affiliate Members. Here, private companies, destination management organisations, and representatives from civil society and academia will share initiatives for tourism recovery and ideas for sustainable growth. They are also expected to approve the revised legal framework for Affiliate Members, which will further promote UNWTO’s transition towards a more agile, dynamic and responsive organisation.
More on the agenda
>> The UNWTO Programme and Budget Committees will underscore the Secretariat’s commitment to transparency.
>> Members will be asked to confirm the appointment of Secretary-General Pololikashvili for a second term, as recommended by the UNWTO Executive Council earlier this year.
>> Members will vote on the themes for the 2022 and 2023 World Tourism Day celebrations and the host country for the 25th General Assembly in 2023.
Source: La Moncloa Gobierno de España
Featured image/Diario de Madrid, CC BY4.0
UNWTO headquarters/Luis Garcia, CC BY-SA3.0
Tourism couple/Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay
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