Official massage by the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Zurab Pololikashvili to the 25th session of the UNWTO organization in Samarkand.
The 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly gathers in the beautiful city of Samarkand at a vital moment both for the tourism sector as well as for our societies.
Tourism has weathered the biggest storm in its history, and we are now well on course to a return to pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, however, we must urgently face up to new challenges, most notably a mounting climate crisis, economic uncertainty and persisting geopolitical tensions. It is up to us, as the world’s leading people-to-people socio-economic activity, to be part of the solution. We can and must fulfill our duty to deliver on tourism’s potential as a source of sustainable development, opportunity, and understanding.
This General Assembly offers us a platform to work together around a shared belief in what tourism can offer, for people and for planet. As always, our discussions will be frank and challenging. I am confident in our ability to share knowledge, collaborate and identify workable solutions, prioritizing tourism investment, jobs and education.
I am also hopeful we will all take inspiration from our surroundings. Samarkand showcases the rich and proud history of Uzbekistan. It stands as testament to the work of the Uzbek Government in preserving their heritage and embracing tourism as a means of sharing this heritage with people from all over the world. I thank our generous hosts for their warm hospitality and I look forward to a productive and inspiring General Assembly.