The World Tourism Organisation’s new secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili, has released his New Year message this week, his first since taking office in September 2017.
In his statement Mr Pololikashvili asserted his commitment to the principles of the organisation and his determination for the WTO to even better represent it’s members and the travel industry as a whole.“I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my strong commitment to make of UNWTO an ever more relevant organisation for the benefit of the sector, our Member States and its people.’
He then went on to reveal just how many people, on a global level, work within the travel sector.“Tourism is a people’s sector. 1 in 10 people in the world are directly or indirectly employed by tourism. Ours is the responsibility to ensure that tourism benefits each and every community, leaving no one behind.” A figure equal to approximately 760,000,000.
The new secretary-general (running from 2018 – 2021) added his assessment of the immediate future in the industry,”Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development. Yet, it also brings in many challenges. Adapting our sector to the challenges of safety and security, to constant market changes, to digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.”
Mr Pololikashvili added, “As we move towards a future guided by the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I take upon me to lead the World Tourism Organisation with a strong focus on building partnerships with public and private sector, fostering jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change.”
“I trust that, together with our Member States and our partners from around the world, we can build a more competitive and responsible tourism sector for the benefit of all.” He concluded.