Samarkand, Uzbekistan, October 23, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The Executive Council of UNWTO met for the second time in a week to fulfil its statutory obligations and look ahead to a full two years transforming the sector.
At the 119th session of the Council, also held in Samarkand, Members endorsed the Organization’s Programme of Work for 2024 and 2025. This sets out its intentions for the two years, with both strategic objectives and programmatic priorities. As UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili noted: “We know where we are going, we know what we want, and we know our priorities for tourism.”
We know where we are going, we know what we want, and we know our priorities for tourism
New Members welcomed
The 120th session of the Executive Council was held in a clear spirit of international friendship and collaboration. In Samarkand, the Council thanked its outgoing Members for their service and active participation in helping guide the Organization over the past four years. Members also welcomed the new Members of the Council, namely Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Czechia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Saudi Arabia to continue as Chair
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue as Chair as Executive Council for 2024. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, thanked all Members for their support and reaffirmed his commitment to advancing shared priorities and the Programme of Work. Secretary-General Pololikashvili thanked Saudi Arabia for their continued leadership and for his consistent and ongoing active support of the tourism sector.
Members also endorsed the Democratic Republic of Congo to serve as First Vice-Chair of the Council, and for Jamaica to serve as Second Vice-Chair.
Subsidiary bodies and looking ahead
The Council fulfilled its statutory obligations with elections to its subsidiary bodies, with a commitment to fair and equal representation of all global regions. Members voted on the countries that will serve on the UNWTO Programme and Budget Committee until 2025 or 2027, including representatives of the non-Council Member States and from the Affiliate Members Network. The composition of the Council’s Committees on statistics, competitiveness, sustainability and online education were also determined.
To conclude the meeting, Members agreed that the 121st Session of the UNWTO Executive Council will take place in Prague, Czechia, in the first semester of 2024.