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December 15, 2017

Brazil’s candidate for UNWTO: Marcio Favilla De Paula lays out his plan for Secretary General


Marcio Favilla L. De Paula hopes to become the next Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Marcio is currently serving as Executive Director for Operational Programs and Institutional Relations at the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid where he has been serving in that capacity since 2014. Appointed by Brazil, Mr. Favilla de Paula was the Vice Minister at the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency of Brazil from 2007 to 2009 before starting his assignment at UNWTO Madrid.

Between 2003 and 2007, he was Brasi’s first Vice Minister of Tourism, when played a key role in structuring and managing the first exclusive Ministry of Tourism in the country as well as in the formulation of the First National Tourism Plan and implementation of its five key objectives related to international arrivals and receipts, domestic tourism development, product diversification and job creation.

eTN publisher, Juergen Steinmetz, sat down with him for a discussion on the sidelines of ITB Berlin last week. Both Mr. Steinmetz and Mr. De Paula are serving on the Executive Committee of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection and met at a committee meeting held there.

With many other candidates competing for the job of Secretary General, it was refreshing to hear from Marcia Favilla De Paula:

“I will not comment on other candidates. I think every single candidate is highly qualified. After the election, we all have to work together. Let the best women or man win.”

“I am working hard on my campaign, with the help of my wife and my own financial resources.

Mr. De Paula summarized his goal to lead UNWTO during the next term based on the following policy priorities.

Sustain the policy focus on competitiveness and sustainability, in all its dimensions, in line with UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the 2030 Global Development Agenda.

Maintain UNWTO’s effective integration into the UN System and collaboration with UN sister organizations as well as with other governmental and private international entities in order to advance tourism relevance in the global development agenda.

Strengthen UNWTO’s technical output, knowledge development, and analysis capabilities in order to provide members with the most relevant and timely data and information, authoritative advice, and policy guidance, to serve and support memberships technically and politically.

Work closely with members, non-member states, relevant international organizations, and partners to jointly address the current global (and common) challenges of safety and security, while seamless friendly travel is preserved and enhanced. He said, “I know this is possible.”

Promote partnerships with the private sector, international organizations, development partners, and civil society as well as bi-lateral and regional cooperation initiatives in order to enhance investment opportunities, including those brought about by the  ICT revolution, especially for women and young entrepreneurial talents. It is hard to think of another sector or another activity where cooperation fits so well, Mr. De Paula said.

Foster human resources development so that the growing and diverse needs of destinations, businesses, and tourists are met by increasingly-qualified people with career perspectives in the travel and tourism sector.

Consolidate UNWTO’s full and affiliate membership and devote special attention to bring in some of the most important source and destination countries that are currently not involved.

Step up efforts in bringing additional extra budgetary resources and funding to strengthen UNWTO’s capabilities in delivering services and providing technical cooperation to members in order to address their priorities and needs.

Pursue and enhance, with the engagement of staff and membership, UNWTO’s track record of efficiency, professionalism, transparency, and good governance and also adapt UNWTO to the demands of a volatile environment.

With 37 years of professional, managerial, and political experience, starting from local grassroots field work to the state, national, and international levels, Mr. Favilla brings his own unique combination of personal skills, technical knowledge, professional achievements, strong commitment and solid experience, including 7 years as Executive Director of UNWTO, to the candidacy slate for Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization.

Mr. Favilla started his professional career in 1980 in Belo Horizonte as a credit officer of the Development Bank of Minas Gerais. He then held several managerial positions at the bank and at the State Secretariat for Finance of Minas Gerais, including that of Head of the teh State Treasury, before joining the Brazilian Federal Government in 1999.

Mr. Favilla has a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands. He speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and French. Mr. Favilla is married, has two children. He was born in 1958.

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