A delegation from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has concluded an official visit to the Kingdom of Morocco. The visit, led by Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, focused on preparations for the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly as well as on the safe and responsible restart of tourism.
The 24th UNWTO General Assembly will be a hybrid event and the first global high-level United Nations event to be held during the pandemic. The Assembly will particularly focus on UNWTO’s vision for restarting and rethinking tourism, including with the introduction of new travel protocols. Other key areas include expanding education and opportunities for youth, with the UNWTO Students League to be incorporated into the General Assembly for the first time. The meeting will also focus on tourism’s intersection with rural development. All of these have been identified as priorities for the years ahead.
Over two days, UNWTO officials met with Morocco’s political and tourism leaders in Rabat and Marrakech, to learn first-hand about the plans to host the General Assembly in Marrakesh in October 2021.
After meeting with the Prime Minister of Morocco, Saadeddine Othmani, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The 24th General Assembly will advance plans to make tourism safer and more sustainable. Tourism is adapting to the new reality and we face the future with optimism and with the backing of our Members. We thank Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani and his government for their hard work ensuring the General Assembly will go ahead.”
The UNWTO delegation also met with Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui and her team who highlighted the importance of tourism to their own country as well as countries all around the world. Here, UNWTO commended the Minister on her commitment to harnessing the power of tourism as a driver of sustainable development. Similarly, in a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, the Secretary-General commended Morocco for its strong support of UNWTO, including through its contributions to the coordinated effort to restart tourism on the back of the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.