A Welcome Message from the UNWTO Secretary-General

It is my pleasure to welcome you to St Petersburg on the occasion of the 23rd General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization.

Our General Assembly comes at a pivotal time for global tourism. Now that the sector has firmly established itself as not just a major economic force but also a key part of the global sustainability agenda, it is becoming increasingly important that this continued growth is managed responsibly.
Consequently, this is also a pivotal time for UNWTO.

Our mandate is to manage this growth for the benefit of the many, not just the few. This means harnessing technology and innovation to create more and better jobs. It also means working with our Member States to ensure the positives that tourism undoubtedly bring are shared as widely as possible, while any possible challenges are identified and met with cooperation and determination.

This General Assembly is the biggest and most important high-level meeting of sector leaders in the world. It is UNWTO’s chance to share with you the progress we have made towards making tourism a key part of sustainable development and economic growth. And it’s a chance for you to contribute to the discussions as we look to the future.

Thank you for being part of our General Assembly and once again, on behalf of everyone at UNWTO, welcome!