UNWTO members select Medellin to host next General Assembly

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LIVINGSTONE, Zambia (eTN) – The heads and/or representatives of delegations from member states of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have selected Medellin, Colombia, to host the 21st edition of the General Assembly, to be held in 2015.

For the 2015 UNWTO General Assembly, bids to host were submitted by Cambodia and Colombia, which hosted the 2007 edition of the General Assembly. As part of their bid to win the honor of hosting the General Assembly, both the Cambodian and Colombian delegations prepared a night of luring the delegations on August 26 & 27, respectively billed as billed as “Cambodian Night” and “Colombian Night.” These include dining and entertainment from these two respective countries.

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“We have two good candidates, both charming,” UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai said before the voting.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos himself delivered (via a video message) his country’s enthusiasm to host 21st General Assembly. “Colombia is the venue of tourism in today and tomorrow’s future,” he said.

A majority of the votes went to Colombia, but Cambodia managed to garner 38 of 98 possible votes.

Going into today’s voting, there was talk that Colombia was going to win based on “Colombia Night,” which not only displayed how passionate Colombians are about tourism through music and dance, but by delivering a program that was undoubtedly well thought out and executed.

Significantly, absents in the voting included Congo, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan, to name just a few. The total number of eligible voters were 120 member states, of whom 98 voted.