Aiming to place tourism high on European Union’s agenda, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili recently addressed the European Parliament in Brussels as well as participated in a series of high-level meetings.
The talks focused on making tourism a more central part of the European Union agenda, with a particular focus on the sector’s potential to contribute to the creation of more and better jobs and to achieving the ambitious climate goals set out in the new European Green Deal.
“The new European Commission has rightly put sustainability and the implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of its strategy for the future. We now have an opportunity to place tourism front and centre in the debate over what kind of Europe we want to build now and for future generations. Above all, as we face up to the biggest challenge of our lifetimes in the climate emergency, we must make sure tourism’s potential to contribute to the European Green Deal is fully realized,”Pololikashvili said.
He also used the opportunity of addressing the Committee and Transport and Tourism to reaffirm UNWTO’s support for the people of China and the global tourism sector as it deals with the effects of the current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). He stressed tourism’s proven ability to help drive recovery from setbacks including health emergencies and reaffirming UNWTO’s close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese authorities.
In Brussels, he was accompanied by three Secretary of States for Tourism, representing Spain, Portugal and, coinciding with their current Presidency of the European Union, from Croatia. Additionally, the UNWTO delegation also met with Minister of Tourism and Environment of Albania.