unwtoThe World of Tourism will be travelling to Chengdu in China for the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) General Assembly set for the 11 to the 16 September 2017. All eyes will be on Chengdu, and this great city will be at the center of tourism as the confirmation of the newly elected UNWTO Secretary General will be table to the General Assembly.

China will be the host for the 2017 General Assembly of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation).

This will be the last General Assembly to be chaired by Dr. Taleb Rifai, the current Secretary General of the UNWTO. It will be the opportunity for the highly popular and very respected Dr. Rifai to showcase the successes of the UNWTO and also pave the way for what will be his legacy. The World of Tourism is unanimous in their support for Dr. Rifai who has worked tirelessly for tourism and for unity in this industry that remains so important for many an economy across the world and for providing employment for one in every six jobs.

At the Chengdu UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) General Assembly, China will see global leadership in the field of tourism in their grasp. The UNWTO as an organisation remains greater than any tourism Minister or personality. The UNWTO must survive the current challenges.

UNWTO needs to establish a Committee of its elders to re-look at rules and procedures for its future elections in a bid to redress possible anomalies. The World of Tourism cannot stop endorsements by any Regional of Continental Bodies such as what happened by the African Union when they endorsement of a candidate for Secretary General. What the United Nations cannot and should not accept is that an endorsement becomes an ultimatum for a Region or Continent. Basic freedoms falling under the concept of Human Rights must be respected and these include the freedom of choice, the freedom of association and the freedom of engaged participation. The African Union call for economic sanction if the Seychelles Candidate was not withdrawn was an assault on the sovereign right of an Independent State who fought to break away from Colonial Rule.

Delegates from 155 countries of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are scheduled to be in Chengdu, China for this upcoming General Assembly to look at their organization and at the tourism industry.

While China is bound to become the biggest player in outbound and inbound tourism it is also recognized that the Chinese are recognized as the largest in spending on holidays. China is set to hold the record to be the largest in air traffic and the biggest destination for the MICE market, the meeting and incentive business. China can and China must now show leadership to keep tourism moving forward.

Source: Saint Ange Tourism Report, 13th edition