UNWTO Elects its Secretary-General for 2022-2025

UNWTO Elects its Secretary-General

The 113th session of the UNWTO Executive Council hosted by Spain took place in Madrid.

Representatives of the 35 Council members were provided with updates on the implementation of the UNWTO Programme of Work and plans for 2021.

The Executive Council also explored current tourism trends, including the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the sector and what this means for livelihoods and tourism’s contribution to sustainable development. The hybrid event welcomed 150 in-person participants.



The Executive Council meeting also included the election for the position of UNWTO Secretary-General for the term 2022-2025.

Incumbent Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili who has made himself available for re-election for a second term, has been elected for the second term. Pololikashvili will lead UNWTO for four more years.



Pololikashvili said,Greatly thankful for all the support and trust of #UNWTOEC Members. Together we highlighted our sector’s relevance during the most challenging times and together, with the strongest determination, we will get tourism back on track for all! In 2021 we #RestartTourism united,”.

Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa was the other candidate for the position.

Her Excellency congratulated Mr. Pololikashvili on his win and the Government of Bahrain expressed its support 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, towards the end of the year.

In Madrid, both the Prime Minister 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.


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