New UNWTO chief, Zurab Pololikashvili, issued the following New Year message – his first, after assuming the post of Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization for the period of 2018-2021:
It is with a sense of pride and humility that I assume my post as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the period 2018-2021.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my strong commitment to make of UNWTO an ever more relevant Organization for the benefit of the sector, our Member States and its people.
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.
Tourism’s sustained growth generates immense opportunities for economic welfare and development. Yet, it also brings in many challenges. Adapting our sector to the challenges of safety and security, evolving market changes, growing digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.
As we move towards a future guided by the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I take upon me to lead UNWTO with a strong focus on building strong 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 people.
I wish you a very happy 2018.