UNWTO SG Zurab Pololikashvili – Picture by Bulgarian Presidency of the EU through Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
The incumbent sixth Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organisation, Zurab Pololikashvili (born at Tbilisi on 12 January 1977) is a Georgian national at the helm of the UNWTO since 1 January 2018. Previously he served as Georgia’s resident ambassador in Spain with co-accreditations to Andorra, Morocco and Algeria. Besides his native Georgian, he is fluent in four out of five official languages in the UNWTO, all except Arabic.
During his mandate as Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili has advocated for tourism as a significant player in delivering sustainable solutions for people locally, the planet, prosperity and even for the attainment of more peace.
Pololikashvili has widened the scope of UNWTO’s work, including innovation, digital transformation, investment as well as online education, which are distinctive features of tourism as a sector spearheading new business models, people-to-people interaction, and leveraging social impact and development potential.
He is running for a second term as UNWTO Secretary-General for elections to be held on 18 January 2021. His focus lies on reactivating the tourism industry by working hand-in-hand with international, and national health authorities. He supports all UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly to deter perilous effects of climate change in the tourism industry. He is particularly competent as a diplomat dealing with international, and national restrictions as a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
As a man of entrepreneurial acumen holding business degrees, Pololikashvili is a right man dealing with the 500 private business associations members of the UNWTO.
As a former Minister of Economic Development Pololikashvili is likewise highly qualified in scheming programmes aimed at alleviating poverty through the development of tourism, or aiding various countries with his expertise on the field.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations specialised agency founded in 1974, entrusted with the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
UNWTO’s membership includes 159 countries, six affiliated members (sub-countries), two observer states and over 500 affiliate members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. Its headquarters are in Madrid, Kingdom of Spain.
The official languages of UNWTO are Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
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