The global tourism sector is starting the New Year prepared to #RestartTourism when conditions allow, with the World Tourism Organization set to again bring together leaders from across the public and private sectors. On Monday 18 January, in Madrid, the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee held its first meeting of the year. This meeting to advance concrete plans to ensure the restart of tourism will take place in the context of the UNWTO Executive Council. The Executive Council celebrated the following day and hosted by Spain, this meeting was a hybrid event, combining in-person and virtual participation. bringing together tourism leaders from around the world, as well as UN agencies and representatives from civil society and the private sector.
Key issues on the agenda included exploring how vaccines against COVID-19 can be part of a harmonized approach to restarting tourism, including through the potential use of health passports and other measures. UNWTO called on members of the Committee to join forces for a global campaign aimed at restoring confidence in tourism.
Executive Council meets for 113th Session
During the 113th session of the UNWTO Executive Council, representatives of the 35 Council members will be provided with updates on the implementation of the UNWTO Programme of Work and plans for 2021. The Executive Council will also explore 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. This hybrid event expects 150 in-person participants.
The Executive Council meeting will also include the election for the position of UNWTO Secretary-General for the term 2022-2025. Incumbent Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has made himself available for re-election for a second term, while the Kingdom of Bahrain has nominated Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa for the position.