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Greek Minister in Madrid for UNWTO’s Global Tourism Crisis Committee Meeting

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis will attend the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee’s first meeting of the year in Madrid, Spain, on Monday, January 18.

The meeting, held to advance concrete plans to ensure the restart of tourism, will take place in the context of the 113th session of the UNWTO Executive Council to take place on Tuesday.

As president of the UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Europe and chair of the committee’s technical group, Minister Theoharis will table Greece’s proposal for an EU-wide Covid-19 vaccination certificate to facilitate travel. Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, had tabled the idea last week in a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

At the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee meeting, Minister Theoharis will present the Greek PM’s proposal and the prospects of its use, the importance of rapid antigen tests, as well as the adoption of common protocols for the safe opening of tourism in 2021.

Moreover, during his stay in Madrid, the Greek tourism minister will hold bilateral contacts with his counterparts and also attend a meeting with King Philip of Spain, as head of the UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Europe.

Greece’s Secretary General of Tourism Policy and Development Vicky Loizou will accompany Minister Theoharis in Madrid.

1st meeting of Global Tourism Crisis Committee for 2021

Archive photo of the last meeting of the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee for 2020.

The Global Tourism Crisis Committee was established by UNWTO at the very start of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as a means to unite the sector and lead a strong and consistent response to the crisis.

Its first meeting of 2021 will be a hybrid event, combining in-person and virtual participation. Once again, the committee will bring together tourism leaders from around the world, as well as UN agencies and representatives from civil society and the private sector.

Key issues on the agenda include exploring how vaccines against Covid-19 can be part of a harmonized approach to restarting tourism, including through the potential use of health passports and other measures. UNWTO will also call on members of the committee to join forces for a global campaign aimed at restoring confidence in tourism.

The following day, the 113th UNWTO Executive Council will take place. The meeting will also include the election for the position of UNWTO Secretary-General for the term 2022-2025.The Executive Council is the UNWTO’s governing board and is responsible for ensuring that the ‎organization carries out its work and adheres to its budget.

Greece is currently serving a four-year term (2018 – 2021) on the UNWTO Executive Council.

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