Dear Affiliate Member,

I hope all of you and your beloved ones are in good health in the current context. As you are probably all aware, we are approaching a new phase of cautious restart of tourism. Restrictions on travel are slowly being eased, allowing tourism to restart in a growing number of destinations.

Approaching this new phase, UNWTO continues to work with Member States, and the private sector around the world to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and ensure that tourism can help driving a responsible, inclusive and sustainable restart of the sector. In line with this, UNWTO restarted some of its “normal” activities, even if all is being done always respecting the health recommendations to ensure the safety of all the staff and the other actors involved.

During the month of June, 4 out of 5 UNWTO Regional Commissions has been held in a virtual format. Specifically, in this order, the Regional Commission for Africa, Americas, Europe and East Asia & the Pacific were celebrated. Given the current situation, all these ministerial meetings bringing together tourism authorities from across the continents focused on recovery strategies and the need for states to be resilient and ready to adapt to the new normal. I am happy to say that the Affiliate Members were institutionally represented in two of the Regional Commissions. In fact, the Chair of the Board of Affiliate Members Ana Larrañaga in the Regional Commission for Europe, and the Vice- Chair Jens Thraenhart in the Regional Commission for East Asia & the Pacific and South Asia, presented the role of the AMs and their involvement in the initiatives of the UNWTO in its efforts to mitigate the impact of the crisis and boost the restart of the sector.

Also, I am pleased to inform you that the 112th session of the Executive Council, during which the decision on the new Affiliate Members are taken, will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 15-17 of September 2020. This will be the first UNWTO event, after the crisis, that will be celebrated in a hybrid format, being both presential and virtual.

From our Department, we keep working with our Affiliate Members to support them in the recovery phase and we invite you to keep sharing with us your initiatives and thoughts as valuable contributions to the ongoing debate. I am also very proud to tell you about our leading role to ensure UNWTO participation in the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit. We set up a UNWTO Pavilion where the work and initiatives of UNWTO, and the most valuable from our Affiliate Members, were showcased. It was an amazing opportunity of networking and we are very happy about the results in terms of attendance and meetings we had.

As always, I am at your disposal and look forward to hearing any comment you may have.

Ion Vilcu


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