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UNWTO 119th Executive Council, Samarkand, Uzbekistan – Unravel Travel TV

At the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) meeting for its 119th Executive Council session, the members were presented with the organization’s work programme for the past months, which focused on core priorities and a longer-term leadership vision for transforming the sector.

The Council met on the eve of the 25th UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. In line with his obligations, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili presented his report to Members, outlining the progress made since the Executive Council met in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, five months previously. This included an overview of the latest round of Regional Commission meetings, their key outputs and achievements, and associated thematic sessions, including work to rethink tourism communications, grow new pillars like wellbeing tourism, and support investments in the sector. In addition to assessing progress to date, the meeting allowed members to learn more about the UNWTO Programme of Work for 2024 and 2025. This is based on a 2022 consultation with all Members on their needs and is distilled into clear strategic objectives and programmatic priorities. Members endorsed the Programme of Work and other critical activities put before them. These included plans for directing funding toward flagship programmes and establishing new Regional and Thematic offices for UNWTO. In this regard, Members were updated on the progress of establishing a new Regional Office in Marrakesh, the Kingdom of Morocco, endorsed the plans presented by Uzbekistan to establish a Thematic Office for Tourism on the Silk Road in the country, and advanced plans for a further Regional Office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Members of the Executive Council also decided to recommend the mandate of the Task Force on Redesigning Tourism for the Future to the General Assembly, with new members joining from every global region.

In Samarkand, the host of the Executive Council, as well as the subsequent General Assembly, proposed that UNWTO Secretary-General Pololikashvili be permitted to stand for a third term in office in light of both his accomplishments so far and his longer-term vision for both tourism and UNWTO. Following the established protocol, the Executive Council agreed that the matter be placed on the agenda for the General Assembly, to be voted on by all Member States. Members thanked the Secretary-General for publishing his landmark vision for the sector, which coincided with the General Assembly. “The Journey to 2030: A Vision for a Sector Transformed” sets clear priorities for the sector in the year ahead and action plans for achieving them. The Executive Council fulfilled its statutory obligations by electing Egypt as the Organization’s External Auditor for 2024 and 2025. Members also endorsed Members’ recommendations for the hosts of World Tourism Day for the same years. In 2024, World Tourism Day will be held around the theme of “Tourism and Peace,” with Georgia to be put forward as host. Then in 2025, Malaysia will be considered host for that year’s celebrations, to be held around the theme of Tourism and Sustainable Development.

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Information provided by the UNWTO Press Office.