The global tourism sector has come together to show its unity and readiness to restart as soon as conditions allow.
To celebrate the return of the FITUR International Tourism Fair, UNWTO united leaders from the public and private sectors to send out a strong message that tourism is ready to return. Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili welcomed distinguished guests to the Royal Theatre in Madrid, among them the newest UNWTO Ambassadors, including the manager of Atlético de Madrid football club Diego Simeone and model and entrepreneur, Valeria Mazza.
Reflecting unprecedented levels of political support for tourism, joining UNWTO at the evening event were Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain and the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida. Furthermore, the sector’s ability to touch on almost every part of society was further reflected in the naming of UNWTO’s latest Ambassadors. Joining Mr Simeone and Ms Mazza in accepting the honor in Madrid were the latest UNWTO Special Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism, chef Ramón Freixa Riera and business leaders Alejandro Bulgheroni and Frank Ranieri.
Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “Now is the time for ambition and bold steps. The decision to host FITUR is the kind of boldness we need if we are to restart tourism and so kickstart wider recovery. And this show of unity is the kind of cooperation we need to restart tourism in a coordinated and responsible manner, for the benefit of many millions of people worldwide.”
At FITUR 2021, UNWTO has addressed some of the key challenges facing tourism while also advancing solutions for its safe, responsible and sustainable recovery. Following on from the final of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition, UNWTO is also advancing another of its priorities, the promotion of investments in African tourism, as well as strengthening partnerships with private sector actors.