The Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has expressed its continued support for secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili. Meeting in Madrid, its members nominated him to continue leading the United Nations specialized agency for four more years.
At the end of the 113th session of the Executive Council, held as a hybrid event in Spanish capital, Members voted in person and in secret for their choice of leader for 2022-2025. Incumbent Pololikashvili won 76% of the votes in a process where Bahrain also put forward a candidate for the position, Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa. Her excellency congratulated Pololikashvili on his win and the Government of Bahrain expressed its support for UNWTO.
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 President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and 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.