Spain to host UNWTO GA in place of Morocco

The General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which was to take place in Marrakech at the end of November, will finally take place in Madrid, Morocco, having abandoned its hosting due to health conditions, the Spanish government announced on Monday.

“At the request of the organisation”, Spain will “host the 24th meeting of the General Assembly” of the UNWTO, scheduled for 30 November to 3 December and dedicated to the resumption of tourism activity after the pandemic, the Spanish Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.

The change follows Morocco’s decision to “omit” the event “in view of its health status” and measures implemented in this country “to limit travel,” as explained by the organization to its members. For the states,” he said.

outbreak of covid-19 cases

Morocco – which seeks to avoid a rebound in the pandemic as the number of infections and deaths in the country decline after this summer’s outbreak – decided last week to suspend flights to Germany from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Moroccan authorities, which had already suspended relations with Russia on 5 October, have also just installed an anti-Covid vaccine pass, which allows access to public places or travel between provinces and provinces. mandatory.

The choice to hold the UNWTO General Assembly in Madrid, where the organization is headquartered, shows that Spain is “a safe destination” and a “leading player in tourism”, said a press release by Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes. killo.

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Spain, the world’s second largest tourist destination

Spain’s government in early September accused Saudi Arabia of working behind the scenes to relocate the UN organization to its soil. According to Madrid, Riyadh has finally given up on his project.

The tourism sector, which had the worst year in its history in 2020, with a decline in international activity of 75% according to the UNWTO, is an important sector for Spain, second only to France before the pandemic with 83.5 million foreign tourists The world is a tourist destination. in 2019.

UNWTO, the United Nations agency responsible for promoting tourism in the world, has been established in Madrid since 1976. It is made up of 159 member states and has been headed by Georgian Zurab Pololikashvili since January 2018.

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