Colombian nominee for UNWTO Chief post seeks to harmonise tourism & sustainable development

Published on : Monday, April 17, 2017

UNWTO logoSeeking to make tourism an instrument for sustainable development worldwide, the Colombian candidate for secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Jaime Alberto Cabal, believes this United Nations agency could be a lot more useful for its member states.


“We should begin to harmonise the goals of world tourism with the goals the world needs for sustainable development,” Cabal told EFE in Vienna, with regard to his plans for the Madrid-based UNWTO if he is elected secretary general.


Cabal, Colombia’s former economic development minister and current ambassador to Austria, is one of seven candidates attempting to succeed Taleb Rifai for the 2018-2021 term.


One of the Colombian candidate’s proposals to “renovate and transform” UNWTO is to create a Tourism Development Fund for projects in less-developed countries,
financed by governments, multilateral banks and private companies of the sector.


“Just as there is awareness of tourism’s social and economic benefits, there is also concern at many tourist destinations about what it’s doing to the environment,” a dichotomy for which he, if picked to head the UNWTO, would work to achieve a “healthy balance.”


Specifically, cooperation between governments and the private sector is one of the things that Cabal says makes UNWTO unique and that could and should be strengthened.


Another of Cabal’s goals is to lure big countries that are important to tourism, like the US, UK and Canada, into the UNWTO.

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