Silk Road Tourism is Alla Peressolova. Alla has been the head of the UNWTO Silk Road program for 28 years. Without Alla, Silk Road Tourism wouldn’t have the brand name it has today.
At the recently-concluded ITB Berlin, the only two UNWTO events planned were connected to the Silk Road Project, and for the first time by invitation only. This included the 8th Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting, The 2025 Silk Road Tourism Agenda, and the 7th Silk Road Tour Operators Forum.
According to a reliable source within UNWTO, Alla Peressolova was very much looking forward to leading both events at ITB to conclude her UNWTO term and was then hit by a surprise when her name was not on the Berlin travel list. When trying to discuss this with UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, he was not available to talk to her.
ITB proceeded without Alla, without her being recognized. Anna said on her LinkedIn account: “On 28 February, and after 28 years of amazing experiences, I am leaving UNWTO. Although highly excited about the new cycle that commences, I will always cherish my time here and the work accomplished within so many different areas, including Russian translation and CIS relations, communications and press, fairs strategies and the Silk Road Programme.
“Without question, the Silk Road Programme has provided me with the most rewarding years of my professional life. The continuous growth and depth of the Programme, plus the satisfaction of seeing joint actions result in tangible benefits for local Silk Road communities across our 33 Member States, has been deeply rewarding and beyond description. Because of the Silk Road I have been able to visit and explore amazing destinations and meet wonderful people – all in all, memories and friendships that have made me who I am. I am immensely grateful to my team, the true Silk Road Winners – Patrick, Elena and Nikos for their incredible professionalism, amazing enthusiasm and enormous dedication. I am sure that they will keep the Silk Road spirit healthy and alive.
“I would also like to thank all partners of the Silk Road Programme for endless support throughout these very intense years – your commitment, efficiency and spirit keeps the Silk Road Programme going. As I will definitely continue to be active within the Silk Road tourism sector, albeit in a different capacity, I would be pleased to remain connected to all of you, Alla Peressolova.”
eTN tried to get a response from the UNWTO communication team for over a week without success.