His Majesty King Philip VI inaugurated yesterday at the Palace of El Pardo the meeting of the 113th Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which today will elect the Secretary-General of the organization for the period 2022-2025.
The event began with the screening of an informative video and the interventions of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto; the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili; and Don Felipe.
In his speech, the King encouraged the UNWTO to continue working to recover tourism, “since it is a key player in global economic and social development, which in recent years has created one in four jobs worldwide”, but he also added that “it is also a driver of human development, because it allows citizens from different regions and countries to meet, interact and share their experiences”.
For his part, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, thanked the King that “the Spanish Crown has made it clear that it is willing to support the sector in both good times and difficult times” and assured that this support will serve as an example to other world leaders. Pololikashvili ended his speech by assuring that “the pandemic has not stopped our determination” to continue working for the balanced and sustainable development of world tourism.
The Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, thanked the UNWTO “for the work it has carried out in these months in support of the tourism sector at the global level” and said that “at this time we are facing two important challenges: firstly, it is necessary to guarantee health security and safe mobility at the international level”.
To conclude, the King held a brief meeting with the attendees and guests.
The members of the UNWTO Executive Council, which will meet today in Madrid, will receive an update on the implementation of the UNWTO programme of work and its plans for 2021. He will also analyse the impact of the pandemic on the sector and its implications on employment and on the contribution of tourism to sustainable development, and will finally appoint the Secretary General for the period 2022-2025.