Football star Lionel Messi loves responsible tourism to become UNWTO Ambassador

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UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvil loves football. He now has someone in the World Tourism Board organization to share this passion with. Considered by many the best football player of all times, Lionel Messi joins the World Tourism Organization to promote the value of responsible tourism. The UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, appointed Messi as UNWTO Ambassador for Responsible Tourism this Saturday at Camp Nou in Barcelona, after the match F.C. Barcelona – Leganés.   

“During my travels I have had the opportunity to know other cultures and societies as well as others ways to see the world and this is very enriching. The World Tourism Organization as a specialized Agency of the United Nations works to make tourism a source of development and I am happy I can join this mission of promoting responsible tourism”, said Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi is an example of talent and constant work in football. Messi is admired all around the world not the least due to the positioning he brought to the F.C. Barcelona in recent years, team with which he won a total of 30 titles, including eight Spanish Leagues, four Champion Leagues and five King’s Cups of Spain.

“Messi is a unique sportsman and an example of how willpower and constant work yield good results. It is a great honour to have Messi joining UNWTO and other well-known personalities in promoting the positive values and benefits that tourism represents” said Zurab Pololikashvili.

Messi is the first football player in history who won five Ballon D´Or  – the first four won consecutively – and four European Golden Shoes.

Lionel Messi joins the Spanish football player Fernando Hierro and the mythical Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque, as the first personalities that UNWTO appoints to advance the links between sports and tourism and promote the transformative power of responsible tourism

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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.