EDITORIAL: UNWTO Affiliate Membership

COTRI accepted as an Affiliate Member of the UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Dear readers,

The past week has been eventful and enjoyable for COTRI, and not only because of the unprecedented continuation of warm summer weather at this time of the year in Northern Europe. Your humble editor has been elected to become a member of the Beijing-based WTCF World Tourism Cities Federation Expert Committee, but even more importantly, COTRI has been accepted as an Affiliate Member of the UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The World Tourism Organization was started in 1974, and just 15 years ago, in 2003, the WTO General Council and the UN agreed to establish the WTO as a specialised agency of the UN, which resulted in the change of the name from WTO (easily confused with the World Trade Organization) to UNWTO. The then WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli envisaged at that time “increased visibility and recognition for the WTO”. This goal was certainly fully achieved under his successor Dr. Taleb Rifai, who between 2010 and 2017 established the organisation as a major voice for the increasingly important sector of human activity which is travel and tourism. The new SG Zurab Pololikashvili has declared his intention to “lead UNWTO with a strong focus on building partnerships, fostering jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change”.

COTRI is proud to be affiliated with the UNWTO and will use the new opportunities this position brings to increase further the quality of its work for the Chinese travellers and the companies and organisations providing services for them.

Looking forward to meeting some of you – virtually – during the next Forward Keys & COTRI Webinar on June 20 and June 21!

Best wishes from the COTRI Weekly Team!

Wolfgang Georg Arlt