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Published on : Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Tourism ministers from around the world arrived this week in Baku, Azerbaijan for attending the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue. Apart from hearing the Azerbaijan president, the meeting brought many candidates competing for the position of the Secretary General together one last time before the Executive Council meets in Madrid on May 12 to vote for the UNWTO Secretary-General position.
Among candidates attending was Madam Dho Young-shim from Korea, Hon. Walter Mzembi from Zimbabwe and Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili from Georgia who was not seen very often at other UNWTO events recently.
To quote the current UNWTO Secretary General, Mr. Taleb Rifai in Baku, “We today heard important messages from Azerbaijani president.” He added, “As global leaders, we must head to tright direction in a single ship. We must provide freely traveling of the people. Today, the world faces hardships in several places. People must respect one another”.
Dr. Rifai said that one out of 10 jobs is related to tourism: “Share of tourism will increase in the coming years. However, if we have authority, we also should bear responsibility. Movement of 1,800,000,000 people creates an opportunity for development of national economies”.
He said that skills of the youths will definitely improve by traveling to various places: “People get rich spiritually and know one another by traveling. Today, there is a lack of tolerance and understanding. People must unite and struggle against stereotypes. This year will be declared as a year of tourism. This allows us to unite our efforts. Global challenges may be eliminated through partnership. We must respect people, environment and we express self-respect by this. We’ll always travel to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a nice place, Land of Fire. You have good people”.