As the UNWTO General Assembly welcomes more than 1,300 delegates to Chengdu, China, for its General Assembly, António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, delivered the following welcome.
It is a pleasure to greet the global tourism community at the 22nd General Assembly session of the World Tourism Organization.
I thank Secretary General Taleb Rifai for his leadership.
You gather during the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly. This observance aims to raise the profile of travel and tourism – one of the most impactful socio-economic sectors – within the international development community.
Your Assembly is also an opportunity to chart the sector’s course in helping to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Tourism is connected to the entire agenda, yet we still have to fully harness its power to be a transformative force for economies, societies and planet.
In this landmark year for tourism, I encourage you to do your utmost towards making tourism a pillar in every nation’s agenda for sustainable, inclusive, equitable and prosperous development.