UNWTO Executive Council in Tbilisi
16-09-2020

Georgia is hosting the 112th session of the Executive Board of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) at the Biltmore Hotel. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, opened the session. The participants were also addressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who sent a video address to the council.

Among the delegates to the UNWTO Executive Board session there are high-ranking guests from Spain, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and other countries. The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Natia Turnava and the Head of the National Tourism Administration Mariam Kvrivishvili are also attending the event.

The 112th session of the UNWTO Executive Board is an unprecedentedly large-scale event in the post-Covid-19 pandemic world. The meeting is being held in full compliance with the guidelines and safety of the World Health Organization and the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. In addition to the fact that the event will be held with the full involvement of the Center and Georgian epidemiologists and under strict supervision, the charter-flight that brought the session delegated to Georgia was also accompanies by 4 epidemiologists.

The participants of the event, in accordance with the protocol recognized by the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, had been testes with a 72-hour PCR test before arriving in Georgia and submitted relevant confirming documentation at the border.

Other participants in the event, who were unable to submit test documents at the border checkpoint in accordance with the protocol recognized by the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, were tested in Georgia and were isolated until receiving the test results.

The UNWTO holds meetings of the Executive Board every two years in Madrid, Spain, where there is a headquartered of the organization. The leadership of the organization chose Tbilisi instead of Madrid as the venue for the meeting of the Executive Board in 2020, thus making an unprecedented decision. Until now, the council has held such meetings only in Madrid.

It was decided to hold such a high-ranking UNWTO meeting in Georgia before the pandemic. Initially, the event was to be held in June 2020. To study the situation on the ground, the staff of the organization arrived in Georgia for inspection and gave a positive assessment of Georgia’s readiness to host such a high-level representative meeting. During the inspection, the compliance of Georgia’s infrastructure and tourism products with the international standards was assessed. However, due to the pandemic, the date of the event was changed.

In re-selecting the host country, the fact that our country is one of the safest countries in the world given the epidemiological situation in the world worked in Georgia’s favour.

Georgia’s successful experience of managing the spread of the epidemic is recognized worldwide. In this regard, hosting a high-level meeting will further strengthen Georgia’s international position as a country that can safely host any high-level event in accordance with all international standards.

The Executive Board of the United Nations World Tourism Organization consists of 35 member states and it is the governing body of the organization. It ensures the effective work of the UNWTO and addresses key issues of travel and tourism industry policy set out in the global agenda. Thus, it can be said that the future orientations of the development of international tourism in the post-pandemic period will be clarified in Georgia.


Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. 2017 ©