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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has once again brought together leaders from all sectors for high-level talks aimed at strengthening cooperation between the public and private sectors. The 42nd Plenary Session of the Affiliate Members of the UN specialized agency focused both on the immediate priorities for the vital resumption of tourism and on the long-term task of ensuring that the sector continues to grow. be an essential pillar of sustainable development. The event provided a unique high-level platform for members to share their best practices and recovery proposals. With the theme “Recovering tourism. Rebuild Confidence. Strengthening Partnerships ”, the session echoed UNWTO’s broader priorities, especially restoring confidence in international travel and promoting collaboration at all levels. Participants were encouraged to use the new Affiliate Membership Virtual Corner, launched to coincide with the plenary session. United behind UNWTO’s work program The plenary session focused on laying the foundations for the UNWTO work program for 2021. This roadmap includes continuing to make tourism a key pillar of the The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to further strengthen sustainability and inclusiveness across the sector. UNWTO Affiliate Members, which include businesses, academia and civil society actors, will play an important role in the work of the UN specialized agency in the difficult months ahead. UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The committed participation of all sectors of our sector will be necessary to revive tourism and stimulate recovery. Since the start of this crisis, tourism has shown the way by adapting to the new reality and by prioritizing public health concerns. Today, tourism needs the support of governments and international organizations to grow and become stronger and more resilient again, benefiting millions of people and businesses around the world. True to UNWTO’s commitment to lead by example, this hybrid meeting once again demonstrated that international travel is safe and that tourism is proactively adapting to the new post-COVID reality. In all, over 200 delegates took part in the plenary session, in person or virtually, with the diversity of tourism in full display Celebrating tourism at its best In the context of the plenary session, the Affiliate Member Distinction Awards of UNWTO show how tourism is living up to its status as a privileged sector par excellence. The event pays tribute to the stakeholders who best embodied the spirit of solidarity and determination that underlined the sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. IFEMA was rewarded for its response to the crisis, in particular for having made it possible to redevelop its exhibition spaces for health. At the same time, CNN has been recognized for its inspiring communications campaigns, including its work to bring the UNWTO #TravelTomorrow campaign to a global audience of millions. Other Affiliate Members recognized at the 2020 awards include Chameleon Strategies for its work in Asia, and Facility Concept and Africa Tourism Partners Company for advancing UNWTO’s work in Africa. The Xcaret Group was recognized for its work in reviving attractions and theme parks, while IATA was praised for its work in support of the global airline industry. At the same time, CaixaBank has been recognized for supporting tourism businesses of all sizes, with Ayuntamiento de Madrid leading by example in encouraging public-private partnerships for response and recovery. The ceremony also highlights the broader contribution of tourism and the role Affiliate Members play in advancing this field. EGEDA has been recognized for its work in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, the Seoul Tourism Organization has been praised for its work in promoting tourism as a tool of peace and reconciliation, while the Royal Commission for Al Ula was recognized for its promotion of inclusive community development through tourism. Related



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