New UNWTO Secretary General quid pro quo deals: Tourism becomes irrelevant.

New UNWTO Secretary General quid pro quo deals: Tourism becomes irrelevant.

Here we go again. eTN was the first to disclose it on May 2 in an article: UNWTO Secretary General Election: Corrupt or for sale?

Zurab Pololikashvili has been nominated on May 12 by the UNWTO Executive Council in Madrid as the recommended candidate for the Secretary General position. On May 2 eTN reported about deal cuttings outside travel and tourism. We reported about deals cut by the foreign ministry of Georgia, or directly by Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to secure the nomination of its Madrid ambassador to score this important international position within the United Nations network.

None of the deals had anything to do with tourism. Here we go again. Instead for Zurab to come out after his successful nomination, facing the press and showing his interest, knowledge and engagement in travel and tourism, he is again teaming up with his foreign minister and prime minister mobilizing the full strength of the Georgian network of embassies and diplomatic connections. In the process his foreign minister is ready to cut new deals, voice promises to secure the confirmation for Zurabs confirmation at the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China. He needs 2/3 of all 151 UNWTO member countries to confirm him as the next Secretary General.

It appears the subject is not world tourism, but favoritism and bilateral issues.
eTN received information from numerous diplomatic insiders about ongoing deal-cutting and outreach by Georgia.

With such maneuvering and quid pro quo deals, tourism becomes irrelevant.

It can only be hoped the world is watching this time, and the integrity of countries and the importance of global tourism are not up to play by the Republic of Georgia again.

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What counted for our article on May 2, counts now again today: The responsibility to vote for the most qualified candidate to lead world tourism becomes irrelevant. If elected, the credibility and authenticity of the UNWTO with a new Secretary General from a country that made agreements and deals for votes will be a very dark day for world tourism.



Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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