Spain will become the center of world tourism for three days

More than 500 delegates from around the world, including tourism ministers from UNWTO member states, international organizations, as well as leaders from the private sector and civil society, will attend the meeting of the supreme governing body of the UNWTO. United Nations specialized agency. nations.

From December 1-3, Madrid will host the 24th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), during which the future of a strategic sector for many countries after the pandemic will be analyzed, keeping in mind spirit of commitment to a more inclusive and sustainable environment. tourism.

Innovation, education and rural development

In line with the core priorities of the UNWTO, the General Assembly will focus on building the future through innovation, education and tourism for rural development.

In Madrid, the official headquarters of the UNWTO, the organization will launch its new initiative “Digital Futures Program for SMEs”, designed to help small tourism businesses realize the benefits of innovation.

In Madrid, la ciudad anfitriona de la OMT, el turismo mundial se reunirá para planificar un futuro en el que nuestro sector desarrolle su potencial único como pilar de crecimiento inclusivo y oportunidades para todos

Likewise, the winners of the first edition of the UNWTO initiative “Best tourist villages according to the UNWTOWill be announced, recognizing the best examples of rural destinations embracing tourism as a pillar of growth and opportunity, while the UNWTO Student League 2021 will celebrate the future of the sector.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili will present his report to members, outlining how the Organization has led the global tourism response to the unprecedented crisis caused by COVID-19, in particular by providing vital support to jobs and companies and by ensuring harmonized standards and protocols. to restore confidence in travel. The report will also present plans for a more inclusive and resilient future, including the revision of the UNWTO 2030 Agenda for Africa and the first International Code for the Protection of Tourists, also designed to restore confidence in trips.

The Secretary-General thanked the Spanish government for offering to host the event, after the Kingdom of Morocco was forced to forgo hosting it due to public health considerations. “In difficult circumstances, Spain offered to host this important General Assembly. In UNWTO’s host city, Madrid, global tourism will come together to chart a future in which our sector can develop its unique potential as a pillar of growth. inclusive and opportunities for all, ”said Secretary General Pololikashvili.

The Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said: “It is an honor to be able to hold this Assembly in a country which is home to the UNWTO and whose influence in tourism is so important. . We value the role that the tourism of the future will play, marked by respect for the environment and a commitment to new tourist attractions beyond “sun and sand”. Spain is a leading country in global tourism and wants to continue to be so after the pandemic. We were pioneers in implementing the COVID certificate and now our country is considered a safe destination. We will continue to work to maintain high levels of quality and diversity in our tourism.

Statutory meetings and elections

On the eve of the 24th session of the General Assembly, the Plenary session of UNWTO Affiliate Members will take place. During the session, private companies, destination management organizations and representatives of civil society and academia will share initiatives for tourism recovery and ideas for sustainable growth. They are also expected to endorse the revised legal framework for Affiliate Members, which will continue to promote UNWTO’s transition to a more agile, dynamic and responsive organization.

On that day, the UNWTO Program and Budget Committee will meet to underscore the Secretariat’s commitment to transparency.

At the 24th General Assembly, Members will also be invited to confirm the appointment of Secretary General Pololikashvili for a second term, following the recommendation of the UNWTO Executive Council held earlier in the year. Likewise, Members will also vote to decide on the themes of the 2022 and 2023 World Tourism Day celebrations, and the host country of the 25th General Assembly in 2023.

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