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Reforms open the way for Revitalizing Affiliate Members of UNWTO

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 27 February 2006

The reforms of the UNWTO Statutes approved by the recent session of the General Assembly in Dakar offer a broad new horizon for Affiliate Members and the opportunity to revitalize the role of the private sector within the Organization.

Under the new structure, the three categories of membership will be reduced to two: the member States and the Associate Members. This modification has yet to be ratified by the UNWTO Members, but in anticipation of that change, the General Assembly decided - upon recommendation of the Secretary General - to set up a new Council of Destinations. Membership in the latter will be open for the Associate Members, destination management organizations and even full member States, should they wish to join.

"The new Council will serve to enrich our membership and our activities," said the Chairman of the Affiliate Members Carlos Vogeler. Coupled with the renewal of the board and his own election as president, "the goal is to rejuvenate the role of the Affiliate Members, to play a more active part and become integrated in the objectives and actions of the various departments of UNWTO.

"This will enable the Organization to offer more opportunities and services to Members and to increase cohesion between the public and private sectors," he said. "UNWTO has recognized from the beginning, and particularly with its pioneering character, the decisive role of the private sector and of civil society as a whole in the tourism sector. From more recent reflections, it also recognizes that it has not jeopardized the private sector in the work that it does."

"In seeking greater coordination in the daily work of the Organization, we are committed to designing a strategy and a joint programme of work that will allow greater cohesion of the three Councils: Business, Education and Destinations. The Council of Destinations will meet for the first time at ITB Berlin and elect its Chairman. An already known candidate for this post is Andrť Vallerand, former Chairman of the Affiliate Members and representative of Tourisme Montrťal.

Victoria Marcos named new CEO of Affiliate Members

Victoria Marcos was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of UNWTO Affiliate Members earlier this month, promising to "continue the decisive work carried out by my predecessors in incorporating the needs of the private tourism sector with the objectives and the daily work of the Organization".

After finishing her law studies at the University of Valladolid in northern Spain in 1990, Ms. Marcos held various professional posts with both central and regional governments, covering areas such as human resource management; the elaboration, study and analysis of legal regulations; and communications.

For six years she headed the Department of International Relations at the Office of the Governmental Spokesperson, a role which she says "provided me with exciting challenges in the complex world of bilateral relations, such as the Spanish Presidency of the European Union in 2002". 

Since then Ms Marcos has held various positions in the technical cabinets of the heads of Spanish tourism. "During this time, I have been able to learn from and to enjoy this sector, which has been constantly changing and adapting to economic and social changes," Ms Marcos said.

"I have been able to verify that the key to success is collaboration between the private and public sectors. That is the fundamental linkage within the industry and of society in general, to guarantee the durability of tourism and its role in the development and improvement of our society and our environment."

In joining a UN agency with its aims of sustainable tourism, linked to social and economic development, "I have an enormous privilege in being able to contribute to the attainment of these objectives," she added.

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