Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the UN Tourism
Zurab Pololikashvili has been Secretary-General of the UN Tourism since January 2018. Prior to this, he worked in a number of high-level roles in both the private and public sectors. After graduating with a degree in banking, Mr. Pololikashvili gained extensive experience in the private sector, including with a prominent role in one of Georgia’s biggest banks and as CEO of the country’s leading football team, FC Dinamo Tbilisi.
After a year as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, he was appointed the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Spain, Andorra, Algeria and Morocco in 2006, and was then his country’s Minister of Economic Development between 2009 and 2010. In this position, Mr Pololikashvili oversaw the development of tourism within Georgia, establishing the sector as a leading employer and contributor to national economic development.At the 23rd General Assembly of the UNWTO, Member States unanimously approved his plan of action for global tourism, including the landmark Agenda for Africa and his focus on promoting tourism as a driver of gender equality, job creation and rural development.
As the COVID-19 pandemic presented tourism with the biggest crisis in the sector’s history, Mr Pololikashvili guided its response and recovery, winning political and practical support from governments and international organizations and uniting stakeholders around shared solutions and harmonized protocols. Under his leadership, UNWTO gained unprecedented visibility and prominence within the United Nations system, strengthening bonds with other key agencies and placing tourism at the heart of the wider agenda for recovery and sustainable development.
At the end of 2021, Member States met in Madrid for the 24th UNWTO General Assembly. They voted for Mr Pololikashvili to serve a second term as Secretary-General, giving him a clear and strong mandate to guide the restart of tourism and advance the key priorities of jobs and education, tourism and rural development and sustainability.
- The Global Governance Project
Tourism can drive the global recovery, but restarting it must be done responsibly, requiring political will and investments.
The agenda of Italy’s G20 presidency is built on three core pillars: ‘People, Planet and Prosperity’. Undoubtedly, in the 22 years since the G20 was first established at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors, much progress has been made in each of these areas.
- Toronto Star
- Arab News
Tourism touches almost every part of our societies. The sector has a unique power to transform lives and provide opportunities, including for those who might otherwise be left behind. Around the world, in countries at all development levels, many millions of jobs and businesses are dependent on a strong and thriving tourism sector.
- The Independent
The UK government described its imposition of quarantine restrictionsagainst Spain as a necessary step. But while the government must safeguard its citizens, knee-jerk reactions could do more harm than good.
As well as undermining public trust and confidence – precious commodities that have taken months to rebuild
- Daily Mail
There’s no way the global economy will come roaring back without the engine of tourism behind it.
For obvious reasons, though, many people are reluctant to travel.
Short of a vaccine, what can restore their confidence?
- New York Daily News
- Arab News
We are almost at the end of what has been the most challenging year in the history of tourism.
Almost overnight, the pandemic brought global tourism to a complete standstill.
If tourism brings us together, then travel restrictions keep us apart.
More importantly, restrictions on travel also prevent tourism from delivering on its potential to build a better future for all.
Across Europe, the responsible restart of tourism is now underway. But even as growing numbers of tourists cross borders and businesses open up again, this is no time for complacency.
- Tourism Restarts
Tomorrow is now here.
- Allied for Action
The time has come to restart tourism!