Shaika Mai Al-Khalifa from the dominion of Bahrain will problem the incumbent, Zurab Pololikashvili, for the function of secretary basic of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Pololikashvili was appointed to the function in 2017 and can search a second three-year mandate throughout an government council assembly of the physique in Madrid this month.
Al-Khalifa is at the moment within the Spanish capital for the occasion, presenting her candidacy for the function.
Throughout her keep, she has met with a variety of representatives from member states to set out her imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the tourism sector.
Final yr was a massively difficult one for tourism, with worldwide arrivals falling by 72 per cent over the primary ten months of 2020.
The sector was hit by restrictions on journey, low shopper confidence and a worldwide wrestle to include the Covid-19 virus, all of which contributed to the worst yr on document within the historical past of tourism.
In line with the newest tourism data from the UNWTO, locations welcomed 900 million fewer worldwide vacationers between January and October in comparison with the identical interval of 2019.
This interprets right into a lack of US$935 billion in export revenues from worldwide tourism, greater than ten instances the loss in 2009 beneath the impression of the worldwide financial disaster.
Forward of the assembly, Al-Khalifa mentioned: “I’m having fun with the attractive metropolis of Madrid, and my go to to date has been very profitable.
“I’m confidently approaching a successful majority based mostly upon the commitments of those that consider that it’s time for a paradigm shift for the tourism sector.”
Al-Khalifa promised a dynamic and clear management of UNWTO.
In her imaginative and prescient assertion, she states that inside the first twelve months of her time period she may have listened to each member state of the organisation and drafted a technique based mostly on what the members want.
She additionally pledges to work tirelessly to safe the assets required to grasp these aspirations.
Al-Khalifa added: “I’m assured that the tourism sector will get well from this disaster because it has recovered from many earlier crises.
“I consider that we have to work intently on the difficulty of journey protocols, along with working with governments on fiscal help schemes.
“It has been extraordinarily tough on account of journey restrictions to journey to the member states and meet the nationwide tourism organisations in individual; however I’ve completed essentially the most I may do given the limitation of time and the circumstances of the pandemic.
“I’m grateful to the dedication I obtained from so many nations and look ahead to beginning a brand new period.
“We at the moment are assured we’ve a successful majority to ship on this mandate.”
The Arab Tourism Ministers’ Council earlier unanimously authorised the nomination of Al-Khalifa for the function.
She is at the moment president of the Bahrain Authority for Tradition & Antiquities (BACA).
For extra info on the 113th government council assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, set to happen on January 18th-Nineteenth in Madrid, head over to the official website.