Here we go again. eTN was the first to disclose it on May 2 in an article: UNWTO Secretary General Election: Corrupt or for sale?
Zurab Pololikashvili has been nominated on May 12 by the UNWTO Executive Council in Madrid as the recommended candidate for the Secretary General position. On May 2 eTN reported about deal cuttings outside travel and tourism. We reported about deals cut by the foreign ministry of Georgia, or directly by Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to secure the nomination of its Madrid ambassador to score this important international position within the United Nations network.
None of the deals had anything to do with tourism. Here we go again. Instead for Zurab to come out after his successful nomination, facing the press and showing his interest, knowledge and engagement in travel and tourism, he is again teaming up with his foreign minister and prime minister mobilizing the full strength of the Georgian network of embassies and diplomatic connections. In the process his foreign minister is ready to cut new deals, voice promises to secure the confirmation for Zurabs confirmation at the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China. He needs 2/3 of all 151 UNWTO member countries to confirm him as the next Secretary General.
It appears the subject is not world tourism, but favoritism and bilateral issues.
eTN received information from numerous diplomatic insiders about ongoing deal-cutting and outreach by Georgia.
With such maneuvering and quid pro quo deals, tourism becomes irrelevant.
It can only be hoped the world is watching this time, and the integrity of countries and the importance of global tourism are not up to play by the Republic of Georgia again.
What counted for our article on May 2, counts now again today: The responsibility to vote for the most qualified candidate to lead world tourism becomes irrelevant. If elected, the credibility and authenticity of the UNWTO with a new Secretary General from a country that made agreements and deals for votes will be a very dark day for world tourism.