Dear Affiliate Members

I would like to convey my most sincere appreciation for your valuable participation in the 42nd UNWTO Affiliate Members Plenary Session, which took place on 5-6 November 2020 in Madrid, Spain, under the theme “Recovering Tourism. Rebuilding Trust. Reinforcing Partnerships”.

The event, which was celebrated in a hybrid format combining in-person participation at the Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, and a very consistent virtual involvement, counted with the participation of high-level political authorities and over 200 representatives of our Affiliate Members from all over the world.

I am proud that we could organize a highly valuable hybrid event, despite the current difficult circumstances. Our goal was to make it possible for our network of more than 500 Affiliate Members to attend, either in person or virtually.

I am convinced that the most important annual meeting of the private sector affiliated to the UNWTO, our Plenary Session, provided us with an excellent opportunity to send to the sector a clear and strong message on the importance of the public-private partnership, along with the perfect platform to give visibility to the projects and good practices of our Affiliate Members.

The topics discussed during both the Plenary Session and the Thematic Sessions covered a wide thematic range and enabled us to develop a fruitful exchange of information to strengthen the public-private partnership within the tourism sector.

The feedback and comments received from all the participants – Affiliate Members, authorities, and UNWTO – was very positive and encouraging, this representing a very significant message to continue reinforcing our membership and the value of the brand “Affiliate Members”.

I was really honored to have such committed and active members presenting and sharing their work and experiences with a view to support tourism recovery, and to prepare our Programme of Work 2021. I would like to inform you that in the following days we will send you the updated draft of the PoW 2021, where we included the most consistent proposals provided by our Affiliate Members.

The COVID-19 crisis has showed us that we need to learn from each other and that we need to work together. The good news is that the means, the strategies and the knowledge are already available. We just have to learn from them, share our knowledge and strengthen our coordination to implement them. Our 42nd Plenary Session has proven to be a very important forum for this and we must carry on with the work done. I am looking forward to continue discussing and sharing with you projects and initiatives for our common goal of jointly rebuilding a stronger tourism sector.

I am looking forward to continuing the dialogue and further sharing with you projects and initiatives for our common goal of jointly rebuilding a stronger tourism sector.

Ion Vilcu

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