Marrakech Host the 24th General Assembly of World Tourism
Marrakech will host the 24th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Spring 2022. Minister of Tourism, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, and the UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, met in Rabat on February 3rd, 2021 and signed a letter of intent to formalize Morocco hosting this international event.
“This working session is part of preparations for the 24th session of the UNWTO GA, which will take place for the first time in our country, in Marrakech.” said the Minister of Tourism. Alaoui highlighted the importance of the conference, which will take place during a time when the tourism industry around the world needs optimism after the exceptional crisis induced by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus. “This signing coincided with the start of vaccination campaigns around the world and provides a strong signal and message of hope to the international tourism community, and to Moroccan tourism operators in particular,” claims Nadia Fettah Alaoui.
The General Assembly of World Tourism Organization event will offer a key post-pandemic venue to discuss challenges and prospects for tourism globally. Nadia Fettah Alaoui also expressed Morocco’s “pride and honor” to host the UNWTO. intending to collaborate with all stakeholders in order to guarantee a smooth running of the global tourism event. She noted that Marrakech has always been honored to organize several major events, in particular COP22 that “under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, our country gives particular importance to tourism, which has a significant economic impact with a contribution of 17% to the national GDP.”
During her talks with Pololikashvili, Alaoui presented some of Morocco’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector. She also spoke about Morocco’s active contribution to various UNWTO initiatives, notably in the fields of training and education. Pololikashvili, who also met head of the Government Saad Eddine El Othmani and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, reiterated the support of the UNWTO for Morocco especially in these very difficult times, with the launch of interesting projects, while paying particular attention to the education/training sector.He said Morocco is well positioned to help other African countries unlock their tourism potential. Morocco, alongside Kenya, represents Africa in the UNWTO Online Education Committee. This allows the country to share its expertise in training tourism workers, the Minister of Tourism stated. Meanwhile, Pololikashvili described the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly as “historic,” because it will be the first important post-pandemic tourism event. “All the forces of our country are mobilized to make the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly a great success.” underlined the Minister of Tourism, during a working session between the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili.
The UNWTO secretary-general also pledged that the UN organization will make all the necessary efforts to contribute to the success of the upcoming event which takes place after the imposed lockdowns around the world, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He stressed in this regard that the convening of the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Marrakech testifies to the leadership of the Kingdom, “which has all the assets to host this event in the best possible conditions.” The tourism expert, who previously served as Georgia’s ambassador to Rabat, said Morocco, and specifically Marrakech, is “an excellent destination” to promote tourism. The Marrakech meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the future of the tourism sector, which was the hardest hit in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pololikashvili concluded.
The Kingdom of Morocco was officially chosen as the host of the 24th Session of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in September 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. During the event, Morocco won the majority of votes to host the next meeting. Out of 104 votes cast, Morocco earned 76, the Philippines 15, and Kenya 13. After the vote, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism at the time, Mohammed Sajid, said the distinction was an illustration of Morocco’s status as a leader in world tourism. “This victory is that of Morocco and the strategy outlined by King Mohammed VI to achieve sustainable and inclusive development in all areas,” Sajid told Morocco state media. “It also demonstrates the Kingdom’s privileged position in the field of tourism, thanks in particular to its development and stability.”