No one is allowed to openly talk about it in Madrid at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary-general of the UN affiliated agency has competition.
Pololikashvili did not expect anyone would be able to react timely enough to compete with him in the upcoming 2021 election. In September he shortened the window for a nomination from March to January (2020). His explanation was to have the Executive Council voting meeting to be co-inside with the FITUR travel industry trade show in Madrid
Deepak Joshi, former head of the Nepal Tourism Board told eTurboNews in a recent interview: “I had planned to put myself forward as a candidate, but there was simply not enough time to do this considering the world if going through an epidemic.”
A fair move by Zurab Pololikashvili would have been to allow more time and not less time for candidates to come in.
FITUR was canceled for January, but the UNWTO Secretary-General still kept the January date for the voting meeting. It’s exactly what he wanted, and eTurboNews called it the the perfect scam
It has been a week now, and no official press-release by UNWTO about the competition from Bahrain was issued. HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa from Bahrain registered her candidacy for the Secretary-General post a week ago.
UNWTO however issued a press-release yesterday about the Secretary-General has reaffirmed his commitment to working closely with the Government of Brazil to help the country’s tourism sector recover and become a key driver of sustainable development. The statement of support came as Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili led a UNWTO delegation to meet with President Jair Bolsonaro and Minister of Tourism Marcelo Álvaro Antônio.
Brazil is a member of the Executive Council and will vote at the upcoming election in January. Only 1/5th of all UNWTO members can actually vote for the Secretary General.
It explains why 35 countries had always been the center of attention for this UNWTO leadership. It also becomes obvious why this visit to Brazil is so important.