The 105th session of the UNWTO Executive Council, meeting in Madrid, Spain, on 12 May 2017, recommended Zurab Pololikashvili, Ambassador of Georgia in Spain, as a nominee for the post of Secretary-General for the four-year-period starting January 2018.
The candidature of Zurab Pololikashvili was presented by his country, Georgia, in accordance with the UNWTO statutes.
The recommendation of the UNWTO Executive Council will be submitted to the upcoming 22nd UNWTO General Assembly for ratification (11-16 September 2017, Chengdu, China).
Mr. Pololikashvili is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Andorra, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.
He has broad experience of working in both private and public sectors at high-profile positions. He has extensive diplomatic experience, having represented Georgia to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), as well as serving as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Spain. He also held a position of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2006.
During Ambassador Pololikashvili’s tenure as the Minister of Economic Development, through key policy reforms, marketing activities, improvement of infrastructure and visa liberalization initiatives, Georgia managed to nearly double the annual number of international arrivals, from 1.5 million ( in 2009) to exceeding the 2.8 million mark by 2011. Those reforms paved the way for sustainable tourism practices in Georgia and poverty alleviation initiatives, placing Georgia among top tourist destinations in the region.