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eTurboNews will not be silenced by UNWTO

eTurboNews will not be silenced by UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Polalikasvili

The UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Polalikasvi is worried about eTurboNews and started blocking this publication. With more than 11,205 articles about UNWTO archived on the eTN Network since 2007 and many more between 1999 and 2007, this publication is the undisputed leader in reporting about the World Tourism Organization in the world. Extensive reports includes coverage of most UNWTO events, including General assemblies for the last 20 years.

eTurboNews publisher Juergen Steinmetz served for many years on the UNWTO Task Group to protect sexual exploitation of children through tourism. This group was eliminated without comments and after many years the minute the new secretary-general took leadership in 2018.

2019 is a special year for eTurboNews – UNWTO relations. The UNWTO General assembly is getting together in Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg. The United States is expected to join the world organization, and eTurboNews is not allowed to attend. More interesting all readers with a UNWTO email address are now unable to receive eTN newsletters and emails.  eTN sent requests to all UNWTO readers to subscribe with a private email outside the UNWTO system at

In response, eTN asked delegates attending the UNWTO to provide reports and updates. Dozens of emails are pouring in every day.

Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTN said: ” I am not worried about keeping up with reports from Saint Petersburg. We have a good “undercover network in place.” Ever since Dr. Taleb Rifai left UNWTO, not one request for an interview or response from Marcelo Risi, the head of communication for UNWTO was received. However, it’s encouraging to get so many emails from our friends at UNWTO. They simply don’t have a voice in this important organization but are true patriots of the global tourism world. My message to them: We are here for you!”

“I am thankful to those that are forced to work underground, risking their job, just to communicate with us. We will never give up a source we promised to keep confidential  Many UNWTO staff now subscribe to us using their private Gmail or Hotmail address, and our articles about UNWTO receive top openings. eTN will not be silenced.”

Two weeks ago the top advisor for the UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Polalikasvili related a message to Steinmetz saying, Mr. Polalikasvili was ready to discuss a positive way forward about cooperation between UNWTO and eTurboNews.  Steinmetz was ready to establish such a path, but in the meantime, eTN was blocked by UNWTO and clearly excluded from attending the General Assembly. Apparently Zurab put his advisor forward to avoid critical coverage by this publication.

Zurab’s top advisor Anita Mendiratta also told Steinmetz today after the organization was caught red-handed: “I am sure you will be able to understand, and respect, that the UNWTO and the Office of the Secretary-General are both which I serve with enduring commitment, clarity of purpose, and gratitude. By implication, I do so with respect for its authority. I cannot, therefore, interfere with a decision/position taken by the UNWTO, by whomever it may have been taken. Thank you for your understanding.”

Surprising is Mendiratta was also the top advisor under the past Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai, who was also now excluded from attending the General Assembly this week.

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eTN believes in independent media and the Freedom of the Press. “We contacted Isabell Hill, Director for the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industry.”
We hope the United States delegate will support us in allowing American Media to not be discriminated by the United Nations Special Organization.




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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.