Georgia’s Pololikashvili nominated to head UNWTO

The executive council of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has recommended Georgia’s ambassador to Spain, Zurab Pololikashvili, as nominee for the post of secretary general.

Pololikashvili is a former deputy minister of foreign affairs and minister of economic development and acts as Georgia’s permanent representative to the UNWTO in Madrid.

He was selected by the executive council from among six candidates on Friday following the last-minute withdrawal from the election of former Seychelles tourism minister Alain St Ange.

Pololikashvili’s nomination will be submitted for ratification to the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China, in September.

If successful, he will begin a four-year term as leader of the organisation from January 2018.

Serving UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai is due to stand down at the end of this year after heading the organisation since 2010.

World Travel & Tourism Council president and chief executive David Scowsill, who has worked closely with Rifai, is also due to depart next month.

The UNWTO represents 155 UN member states, although the UK is not a member. It plays a leading role in representing the industry to governments around the world.

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