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UNWTO Invites EU Tourism Ministers to Work Together, Make Sector Pillar of Peace

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister Delegate for Tourism; Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General; and François Rebsamen, French politician. Photo source: French Presidency of the Council of the EU / Photo © Jonathan Sarago / MEAE

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister Delegate for Tourism; Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General; and François Rebsamen, French politician. Photo source: French Presidency of the Council of the EU / Photo © Jonathan Sarago / MEAE

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) promoted the tourism sector as a pillar of peace and recovery during the Conference of Tourism Ministers of the European Union held in Dijon, France.

Addressing delegates, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili warned of the ‘triple threat’ of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency and war in Europe.

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, UNWTO has added its voice to the strong condemnation of the wider United Nations system and other international bodies.

In Dijon, representatives of the French Presidency were joined by Ministers from across the region in commending the unequivocal stance taken by the UNWTO leadership.

Tourism as a beacon of peace and hope

Photo source: French Presidency of the Council of the EU / Photo © Jonathan Sarago / MEAE

Photo source: French Presidency of the Council of the EU / Photo © Jonathan Sarago / MEAE

Secretary-General Pololikashvili stressed that, in the face of such challenges, “tourism has an active role to play in reasserting our shared values and promoting peace”, adding that it is a role the sector is fulfilling.

“Just as we did during the pandemic, we are seeing the best of tourism, and this support will grow in size, scope and power over the days ahead,” he added.

‘We are stronger together’

As the Ministers of Tourism of the 27 EU states met in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic, UNWTO also made the case for enhanced cooperation and solidarity.

“We are stronger together,” Secretary-General Pololikashvili told the conference, which also featured the participation of European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton.

Family photo of the ministers responsible for tourism in the EU’s member states. Photo source: French Presidency of the Council of the EU / Photo © Jonathan Sarago / MEAE

Family photo of the ministers responsible for tourism in the EU’s member states. Photo source: French Presidency of the Council of the EU / Photo © Jonathan Sarago / MEAE

All of the delegates were urged to recognize the key role that the restart of tourism will play in promoting international solidarity and in providing hope for millions of people in every global region.

The Conference of Tourism Ministers of the European Union in Dijon was organized by the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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