Zurab Pololikashvili To Lead UNWTO For Four More Years

by Olamilekan Okeowo

Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has been nominated by the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to lead the United Nations specialized tourism agency for four more years.

At the end of the 113th session of the Executive Council, held as a hybrid event in the Spanish capital, Madrid on Tuesday, members voted in person and in secret for their choice of leader for 2022-2025.

Pololikashvili secured 76% of the votes to defeat the candidate put forward by the Kingdom of Bahrain, Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Her Excellency, Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture and Information, Kingdom of Bahrain, congratulated Mr. Pololikashvili on his victory and expressed the support of the Government of Bahrain for UNWTO.

Mr. Pololikashvili had based his campaign for re-election both on the progressive institutional and policy reforms undertaken during his first term, and on his clear leadership of global tourism throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Executive Council’s recommendation will be carried forward to the 24th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, due to be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, later this year.

In Madrid, both the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and His Majesty King Felipe VI, expressed their support for UNWTO and its leadership. The Secretary-General has also laid the foundations for seizing the momentum of the rollout of vaccines to ensure a harmonized approach to the return of safe and seamless international travel.
Pololikashvilli, who was Georgia’s Ambassador to Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Andorra, was first appointed as UNWTO’s Secretary General in 2018.

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