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July 28, 2017

A great day for Georgia, but also for the world of tourism?


Is this a good or a sad day for World Tourism? The large camp attending the Executive Council in Madrid from Georgia obviously is having a great day.

Zurab Pololikashvili, the candidate for the UNWTO Secretary General from Georgia was elected this afternoon as the next secretary-general. He received 18 votes in the second round  in Madrid today. In the first round, Georgia had 8 votes, Walter Mzembi from Zimbabwe 11 votes.

One can only congratulate the prime minister of Georgia for his support. The Georgian ambassador in Madrid almost appeared to be on the sideline during the campaign.

This election result may not have been the best candidate, but about international politics and deals in return for favors.

After his victory, Zurab Pololikashvili was seen drinking champagne with his team. He did not attend the press conference with Taleb Rifai after the election. During his campaign, there was no media outreach, and the candidate was absent from most international events. For most of us in the press, Mr. Pololikashvili remains a no-one.

The secretary general-elect related a message to all candidates after his inauguration and offered to work with them in the future.

Plan B  for defeated candidates would be to contest the election at the upcoming General Assembly in China?
In such a case 2/3 of all member countries have to confirm the recommendation of the executive council.

Taleb Rifai said at the press conference today he knew Zurab for many years. He called him a good man capable of doing the job. He cited his experience as the former minister of tourism for Georgia. He ended in saying democracy had spoken.

The secretary general also said. There were two criterions for the vote:
1) The character, vision, and knowledge of a candidate.
2) The country this candidate represents and its standing in the world.

It appears this type of “democracy” may be controlled actually by the foreign ministries or heads of state and not the tourism ministers or tourism representatives in many voting countries.

Bilateral deals are cut by foreign ministers or heads of state and are often unrelated to travel and tourism.
A voting executive council member actually not only has a responsibility to its own nation, but to 4 other countries. There is 1 executive member for every 5 UNWTO member countries

Perhaps such an important decision should only be made by the full general assembly of the UNWTO.
Our largest industry, travel & tourism is too important to be dealt with on a sideline.

  • Fernando Zornitta

    Tourism, along with other human activities that have the potential to promote local, regional, and national development, and help to promote the rapprochement of peoples and peace; Should be extremely well guided by the highest authority of world tourism and by all public managers in countries, regions and cities (but not only by them, who represent society only).
    Whether we like it or not, the UN is responsible for all the major countries in the world and its voice has been considered the Law. Undoubtedly, this entity helps and collaborates with the knowledge and to more than a hundred nations with its programs directed to this important activity. It produces a quantity of “didactic” material that can be accessed by any affiliate or person, with excellent quality and content and advises through its employees those countries that need it.
    However, its structure cannot be embedded in interests and groups – whatever they are – because tourism, because of its characteristic “of being difficult to coordinate”, because there are components and interests of various economic sectors and all orders: Public authorities, private initiative, class entities and other organizations directly and indirectly involved in tourism), and that, although they are difficult to coordinate and understand “everyone must be heard” to compose the whole that must satisfy the expectation of the Tourist and the inhabitant of the localities visited.
    Each of these different levels of decision-making (of public power, private initiative, class entities and other sectors and bodies directly and indirectly involved in tourism) usually promote their specific actions and interact with one another in function of their objectives And interests. As a result, an “unstable administrative structure” is created, which is dependent on these different levels of decision in which each one is “pulling the coal for his roast” and without a correct administration “of center” and that order the mess, Such as the forgotten actions of protection and local organization – a task that should be of the public power instituted – is not properly fulfilled, because interests have always opened the doors to their investments – while the public power turns a blind eye to problems that can be generated – environmental, sociocultural, etc …
    Tourism management cannot therefore be left alone in the governmental sphere, but rather in a more open and centralized management structure, especially in those backward countries, where public power is in the hands of politicians without essential skills and knowledge On this matter.
    In the year 2002 I presented at the International Seminar MEDAMERICA, organized by the University of Barcelona, an alternative of tourism management – the “Integrated System of Chambers of Tourism”, which is a differentiated and more adequate structure for managing tourism. A structure with legal personality of foundation and that, by the particularities of the tourist activity “hears and makes listen to all the parts and interests involved” under three main focuses and aspects: the economic, the socio-cultural and the ecological-environmental. It is proposed to be applied in countries with internal subdivisions – such as federated or by regions.
    The administration of tourism, by its own characteristics and, especially, “difficult to coordinate” should be open and not centralizing or in favor of interests of one or another sector, business, class entities, governments – among others; Where academia and knowledge may be being relegated.
    More than that and in the UNWTO, attention must be multiplied, because in the more backward countries – those of the south axis of the world – where tourism can help in the development process – absolutely nothing can go wrong in the direction of management policies, since under The umbrella of the UN and its agencies, including UNWTO, are unprepared governments to guide and organize tourism properly.
    And there are also countries with serious problems of political, economic and environmental instabilities; with serious problems generated by accelerated urbanization, environmental devastation – among others; which evoke “knowledge” for the correct conduct of this activity.
    I wrote a few years ago an article opposing the installation of a shipyard in the city of Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil, because this shipyard, which is a highly polluting industrial activity, would be built on a vocational and already active tourism track in this city. I argued with tourism theory that “tourism combines with some activities developed in the territory, does not combine with potentially polluting activities like that proposed” (of a shipyard in an active range and tourism potential), as if the shipyard were installed where Was being proposed by the government itself and by the business-econometric forces and in the absence of an economic macro-planning – where tourism was already considered important. It won the logic and the yard was not installed there, but 60 km away and in a more appropriate area and destined to these highly impacting types of activity.
    (Link to access in https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/amigosdofranklin/h4hc_6LGY6c )
    In these backward UNWTO member countries, where public structures for tourism management are a joke and a handicap and actions that border on ridicule and whose management is politicians and politicians on duty, who do nothing – absolutely nothing – know about the Tourism and that do not give chance to the “knowledge” that comes from the experience and the academy and can help to lead this activity; This type of incongruity and conflicts of functions occur frequently and prevent tourism activity from being efficient and can qualify the territory and protect its basic resources.
    Although rulers are instituted in power because they were elected – that is, by voting – it is no guarantee that rulers are “democratic”; To make good governments and not to correctly direct the various areas pertinent to their management. And tourism, which is seen as an “anomalous activity” (analyzed from a market and “product” perspective, since it is produced and consumed in the destination-destination itself); Should be organized and protected with the focus on the quality of the destination – attention that can not even be waived by those who manage to avoid knowledge of the systemic and multidisciplinary structure of this activity.
    Listening to and accepting good ideas is a quality of the manager, even when the structure of the institution under his command is not the most appropriate. So while the WTO needs to be far-fetched and appropriate for new times and planetary situations, let it, at least for the time being, pin good projects, encourage and finance good ideas, even if they come from outside its structure, Be directed to the governments of nations or to their most powerful partners, as the planet is in need.
    But if you want to go further, think about the reformulation of the institution, the exact harmony and context that tourism moves – the economic, the socio-cultural and the ecological-environmental; as well as new philosophies such as the “intelligence to be applied in destinations” – which need to involve the already agreed themes – of innovation, technologies, accessibility, sustainability – but priority “knowledge-based destination governance”; Knowledge that has great “friendship and harmony with the intelligence” that moves us and that puts us on a plateau of other species since the time of the caves.
    And so let us celebrate all – whether with champagne or not – for we shall be honest with mankind and with this planet that dies on earth, in water, and in air; A planet with uneven paradoxes and problems that with good will and organization are easy to solve – and that tourism can help. We toast and so on.

  • Fernando Zornitta

    • Opinion of Fernando Zornitta – Brazil Architect and Urbanist, Specialized in Leisure, Recreation and Tourism (fzornitta@yahoo.com.br)

    Tourism, along with other human activities that have the potential to promote local, regional, and national development, and help to promote the rapprochement of peoples and peace; Should be extremely well guided by the highest authority of world tourism and by all public managers in countries, regions and cities (but not only by them, who represent society only).
    Whether we like it or not, the UN is responsible for all the major countries in the world and its voice has been considered the Law. Undoubtedly, this entity helps and collaborates with the knowledge and to more than a hundred nations with its programs directed to this important activity. It produces a quantity of “didactic” material that can be accessed by any affiliate or person, with excellent quality and content and advises through its employees those countries that need it.
    However, its structure cannot be embedded in interests and groups – whatever they are – because tourism, because of its characteristic “of being difficult to coordinate”, because there are components and interests of various economic sectors and all orders: Public authorities, private initiative, class entities and other organizations directly and indirectly involved in tourism), and that, although they are difficult to coordinate and understand “everyone must be heard” to compose the whole that must satisfy the expectation of the Tourist and the inhabitant of the localities visited.
    Each of these different levels of decision-making (of public power, private initiative, class entities and other sectors and bodies directly and indirectly involved in tourism) usually promote their specific actions and interact with one another in function of their objectives And interests. As a result, an “unstable administrative structure” is created, which is dependent on these different levels of decision in which each one is “pulling the coal for his roast” and without a correct administration “of center” and that order the mess, Such as the forgotten actions of protection and local organization – a task that should be of the public power instituted – is not properly fulfilled, because interests have always opened the doors to their investments – while the public power turns a blind eye to problems that can be generated – environmental, sociocultural, etc …
    Tourism management cannot therefore be left alone in the governmental sphere, but rather in a more open and centralized management structure, especially in those backward countries, where public power is in the hands of politicians without essential skills and knowledge On this matter.
    In the year 2002 I presented at the International Seminar MEDAMERICA, organized by the University of Barcelona, an alternative of tourism management – the “Integrated System of Chambers of Tourism”, which is a differentiated and more adequate structure for managing tourism. A structure with legal personality of foundation and that, by the particularities of the tourist activity “hears and makes listen to all the parts and interests involved” under three main focuses and aspects: the economic, the socio-cultural and the ecological-environmental. It is proposed to be applied in countries with internal subdivisions – such as federated or by regions.
    The administration of tourism, by its own characteristics and, especially, “difficult to coordinate” should be open and not centralizing or in favor of interests of one or another sector, business, class entities, governments – among others; Where academia and knowledge may be being relegated.
    More than that and in the UNWTO, attention must be multiplied, because in the more backward countries – those of the south axis of the world – where tourism can help in the development process – absolutely nothing can go wrong in the direction of management policies, since under The umbrella of the UN and its agencies, including UNWTO, are unprepared governments to guide and organize tourism properly.
    And there are also countries with serious problems of political, economic and environmental instabilities; With serious problems generated by accelerated urbanization, environmental devastation – among others; Which evoke “knowledge” for the correct conduct of this activity.
    I wrote a few years ago an article opposing the installation of a shipyard in the city of Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil, because this shipyard, which is a highly polluting industrial activity, would be built on a vocational and already active tourism track in this city. I argued with tourism theory that “tourism combines with some activities developed in the territory, does not combine with potentially polluting activities like that proposed” (of a shipyard in an active range and tourism potential), as if the shipyard were installed where Was being proposed by the government itself and by the business-econometric forces and in the absence of an economic macro-planning – where tourism was already considered important. It won the logic and the yard was not installed there, but 60 km away and in a more appropriate area and destined to these highly impacting types of activity.
    (Link to access in https://groups.google.com/f… )
    In these backward UNWTO member countries, where public structures for tourism management are a joke and a handicap and actions that border on ridicule and whose management is politicians and politicians on duty, who do nothing – absolutely nothing – know about the Tourism and that do not give chance to the “knowledge” that comes from the experience and the academy and can help to lead this activity; This type of incongruity and conflicts of functions occur frequently and prevent tourism activity from being efficient and can qualify the territory and protect its basic resources.
    Although rulers are instituted in power because they were elected – that is, by voting – it is no guarantee that rulers are “democratic”; To make good governments and not to correctly direct the various areas pertinent to their management. And tourism, which is seen as an “anomalous activity” (analyzed from a market and “product” perspective, since it is produced and consumed in the destination-destination itself); Should be organized and protected with the focus on the quality of the destination – attention that can not even be waived by those who manage to avoid knowledge of the systemic and multidisciplinary structure of this activity.
    Listening to and accepting good ideas is a quality of the manager, even when the structure of the institution under his command is not the most appropriate. So while the WTO needs to be far-fetched and appropriate for new times and planetary situations, let it, at least for the time being, pin good projects, encourage and finance good ideas, even if they come from outside its structure, Be directed to the governments of nations or to their most powerful partners, as the planet is in need.
    But if you want to go further, think about the reformulation of the institution, the exact harmony and context that tourism moves – the economic, the socio-cultural and the ecological-environmental; as well as new philosophies such as the “intelligence to be applied in destinations” – which need to involve the already agreed themes – of innovation, technologies, accessibility, sustainability – but priority “knowledge-based destination governance”; Knowledge that has great “friendship and harmony with the intelligence” that moves us and that puts us on a plateau of other species since the time of the caves.
    And so let us celebrate all – whether with champagne or not – for we shall be honest with mankind and with this planet that dies on earth, in water, and in air; A planet with uneven paradoxes and problems that with good will and organization are easy to solve – and that tourism can help. We toast and so on.

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