UNWTO Secretary-General Elect Zurab Pololikashvili has a message for Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan was a big supporter getting Zurab Pololikashvil elected as the next UNWTO Secretary-General. Therefore it’s not surprising he is giving one of his first interviews to a Azerbaijan media.

He told Trend News in Baku:  “The historical, cultural and natural heritage of Azerbaijan should be shared with the rest of the world.”

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In the interview published today Zurab continued to say:

“Azerbaijan is full of treasures, both of tangible and intangible nature. I believe that there is a strong potential in tourism development by marketing the authenticity, traditions and multiculturalism of the country together with its unique landscapes. The historical, cultural and natural heritage of Azerbaijan should be shared with the rest of the world,” he said.

Pololikashvili noted that tourism development is about continuous innovation but also about identifying and marketing the uniqueness of a destination.

He believes that promoting those values that Azerbaijan has, particularly in those emerging markets that are not that familiar with the Caucasus and the Caspian region, can bring many opportunities

Touching upon improving the position of the countries’ tourism destinations, he said there are different mechanisms and dynamics and each destination should identify the most suitable ones.

He further stressed that rail tourism is receiving increasing interest everywhere because the train is a perfect sustainable means of transport linking transnational routes, a growing phenomenon in the tourism sector.

Zurab believes, the particular geostrategic location of Azerbaijan would add value to further development of train tourism in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey through Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that was opened on October 30, 2017.

Asked about prospects of marine tourism in the Caspian Sea, he said the Caspian links five countries, many cultures, and traditions, and therefore holds a tremendous potential for tourism development and product innovation, which is not possible without regional cooperation.

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.