- FITUR is the largest travel industry event in Madrid. It took place after postponed from its original day in January.
- UNWTO went on a propaganda exercise at the just concluded FITUR saying it united leaders from the public and private sectors to send out a strong message that tourism is ready to return. WTTC, the accepted leader of the travel industry had no part in this unification offer by UNWTO.
- In reality, only because of working with FITUR, the current Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvilli was elected despite manipulation and borderline illegal maneuvering using FITUR as an excuse.
Absent from the Arabian Travel Market, but during FITUR UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili welcomed distinguished guests to the Royal Theatre in Madrid, among them the newest UNWTO Ambassadors, including the manager of Atlético de Madrid football club Diego Simeone and model and entrepreneur, Valeria Mazza.
Only because the Secretary – General was able to cut off competition in his concluded election for a second term, FITUR was used as the reason the UNWTO chief had to cut short the election process to go co-inside with FITUR in January.
Even after FITUR was changed to May and a petition by all former UNWTO Secretary-General was not enough for Zurab to reverse his decision, this UNWTO event at FITUR cannot be seen as good news for a UNWTO agency in midst of a crisis.
This was the open letter signed by former UNWTO Secretary-General Franceso Frangialli and Dr. Taleb Rifai after SG Zurab Pololikashvili cut short the election process siting FITUR.
The letter to the UNWTO SG started:
We are writing to you today, in our capacity as two former Secretaries-General of our esteemed UNWTO, having served in office for a combined 20 years. We are concerned about the impact that the international spread of Covid-19 is having on the upcoming elections of the Secretary-General for 2022-2025.
Click here to read the full letter calling for decency in the UNWTO election.
UNWTO in its propaganda released last week said: “Reflecting unprecedented levels of political support for tourism, joining UNWTO at the evening event were Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism of Spain and the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida. Furthermore, the sector’s ability to touch on almost every part of society was further reflected in the naming of UNWTO’s latest Ambassadors. Joining Mr. Simeone and Ms. Mazza in accepting the honor in Madrid were the latest UNWTO Special Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism, chef Ramón Freixa Riera and business leaders Alejandro Bulgheroni and Frank Ranieri.
It remains to be asked why UNWTO is not facing WTTC and the leading private sector? What the real agenda is in the Spanish Government for continue to be blind about this manipulation of a UNWTO agency based in its country? What is the connection between FITUR and Zurab? It started already in 2016 when the Georgia Prime Minister misused a FITUR audience to unethically campaigned for Zurab.