Around 360 delegates representing 112 countries
meet this week in Astana, Kazakhstan, on the occasion of the XVIII
session of the UNWTO General Assembly.
The gathering convened by the UN specialized
agency for tourism will set the ground for how the travel and
tourism sector can face the current economic downturn while
staying on track with the twin challenges of climate change
response and poverty alleviation. This Assembly will also initiate
a far-reaching internal reform, starting with the election of a
Tourism Ministers and senior
officials from National Tourism Organizations around the world, as
well as public, private and academic Affiliate Members, will
discuss the UNWTO Roadmap for Recovery, which is at the centre of
the general debate of this Assembly.
The General Assembly
will stress the potential of the travel and tourism sector to play
an essential role in post crisis recovery by providing jobs,
infrastructure, stimulating trade and development and should be a
key consideration at future global economic summits. Against this
backdrop, the Roadmap calls on world leaders to place tourism and
travel at the core of stimulus packages and the transformation to
the Green Economy.
On the recommendation of the UNWTO
Executive Council, UNWTO Secretary-General ad interim Taleb Rifai
is expected to be appointed UNWTO Secretary-General for the period
2010-2013. on taking up his 4 year mandate in January 2010, Mr.
Rifai will start to implement his management strategy structured
around UNWTO membership, partnerships and governance.
key issues to be addressed include, among others, the facilitation
of tourist travel, pandemic preparedness in the framework of
Influenza A(H1N1), and technical cooperation to promote
sustainable development through travel and tourism.
18th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly will be solemnly
inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
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