Bahrain candidate for UNWTO Secretary General is confident of a winning majority – For Immediate Release

Bahrain candidate for UNWTO Secretary General is confident of a winning majority – For Immediate Release

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will conduct the 113th session of the Executive Council Meeting in Madrid on January 18 and 19, 2021. The election for UNWTO Secretary General for 2022-2025 is on the agenda.

Current Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili from the Republic of Georgia will be competing for the position along with Her Excellency Shaika Mai Al Khalifa from the Kingdom of Bahrain for the top post in this UN-affiliated agency.

HE Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa is spending a few days in Madrid to present her candidacy for UNWTO Secretary General. During her stay, she has met with a wide range of representatives of member states to set out her vision for the future of the tourism sector. She faces many challenges – the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, unseemly political maneuverings by an entrenched rival candidate, and even an unprecedented snowstorm in Spain. Yet Shaikha Mai remains characteristically optimistic.

She comments:

“I am enjoying the beautiful city of Madrid, and my visit so far has been very successful. I am confidently approaching a winning majority based upon the commitments of those who believe that it is time for a paradigm shift for the tourism sector.”     

HE Al Khalifa promises dynamic and transparent leadership of UNWTO. In her vision statement, she promises that within the first twelve months of her term she will have listened to every member state of the organization and drafted a strategy based on what the members need. She also pledges to work tirelessly to secure the resources required to realize those aspirations.

In her own words:

“I am confident that the tourism sector will recover from this crisis as it has recovered from many previous crises. I believe that we need to work closely on the issue of travel protocols, in addition to working with governments on fiscal support schemes,” she said, remaining committed to this proposal.

She went on to say: “On a personal note, I am grateful for the commitment I have received from so many countries … and look forward eagerly towards a new era for UNWTO. On the issue of gender, I would be proud to be the first woman to lead the organization. Diversity of all kinds binds organizations and leads to shared hopes and strengths.

“We are now confident we have a winning majority to deliver on this mandate.”

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