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Spies Now Admitted to the UNWTO General Assembly in Madrid

UNWTO delegates attending the General Assembly November 30- December 2, should not expect to see the blue and white eTN logo and eTN reporters’ handing out business cards, because officially this publication is banned from attending.

Friends of eTurboNews including government, private industry, and media officials are ready to leak information from the upcoming General Assembly in Madrid.

What those allowed to attend the General Assembly in Madrid will see is the largest delegation of any country, the delegation from the Republic of Georgia, ready to give support to Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili in his election confirmation.

In May 2017, this publication reported about the same Georgian delegation of embassy officials physically shielding candidate Zurab Pololikashvili in the hotel lobby and during the Secretary-General voting process. Zurab was seen by an eTurboNews reporter unknown to him and standing in the midst of the group of Georgian embassy officials. Zurab was talking to someone in the room where Executive Council members were meeting to vote for the next Secretary-General. Zurab was using his mobile phone connected by SKYPE to give instructions to someone in this room.

A partial list of the Georgia delegation expected to attend this week:

  •                 Ms.         Ana        Gochashvili         Head of department       Tourism Administration Georgia Yes                                                                        
  •                 Mr.         Bacho    Rusishvili              Chief of Protocol               Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
  •                 Ms.         Helen    Mdivani                Primera Consejera           Embajada de GeorgiaGeorgia                                                                                                     
  •                 Mr.         ILIA         GIORGADZE        Ambassador       Embassy of Georgia         Georgia                                                                                               
  •                 Mr.         IRAKLI   GIGAURI               Counsellor           Embassy of Georgia         Georgia                                                                                               
  •                 Mr.         Leri         Muradashvili      Cameraman        Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia                Georgia
  •                 Mr.         Luka       Mamulaidze       Cameraman        Georgian Tourism Administration  Georgia                                                           
  •                 Ms.         Mariam Kvrivishvili           Deputy Minister                Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Georgia
  •                 Ms.         Maya     Omiadze              Head of Strategic Communications Department  Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia       Georgia
  •                 Ms.         Medea  Janiashvili            Acting Head        Georgian National Tourism Administration            Georgia                                                                                                
  •                 Ms.         Natia     Turnava                Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia    Government of Georgia           Georgia     
  •                 Mr.         Nikoloz Sabulua Photographer    Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia                Georgia
  •                 Ms.         Nino       Turmanidze        Assistant              Embajada de Georgia      Georgia                                                                                
  •                 Ms.         Nino       Kiltava   Asistente             Embajada de Georgia      Georgia                                                                                
  •                 Mr.         Teimuraz              Basilaia Counsellor           Embassy of Georgia         Georgia                                                                                            Mr.      Zurab  
  • Mchedlishvili   Senior Adviser of the Embassy of Georgia  Embassy of Georgia            Georgia                      

Without a doubt, and just a Google search away, eTurboNews remains the leading news outlet in the world covering UNWTO issues, as it had been for 20 years. eTurboNews played an active role in the UNWTO system but was never known to perform lipservice.

UNWTO is hosted by Spain, an European Union Country. EU nationals, which includes German eTurboNews reporters do not need a special journalist visa to report from Spain.

Freedom of the press is the right of newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter to publish news without any control from the government. The freedom of the press in Spain, a Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary Democracy, is guaranteed in section 20 of its Constitution written in 1978, after the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco which ended in 1975. Spain has been ranked by the World Press Freedom on 29th place in 2017.

This may be the reason why eTurboNews currently enjoys more than 2 million readers every month.

Ever since 2018, coverage about the Stalin-inspired UNWTO leadership has been critical, resulting in eTurboNews being banned from all UNWTO supported press events.

At the recent World Travel Market in London (WTM) the eTurboNews publisher was deliberately prevented from entering a public UNWTO/WTTC event. WTTC was not aware of this UNWTO decision.

Marcelo Risi, head of communication for the World Tourism Organization was a friend of eTN under the former UNWTO leadership. eTurboNews reporters were hosted by UNWTO for every major event before Zurab took over.

Marcelo was now threatened to lose his job if he would respond to eTurboNews. It’s the reason he did not once answer media questions by this publication since January 1, 2018.

The same has been true for Anita Mendiratta. She contributed articles for eTurboNews for many years, and she was promoted to the top advisor for the previous Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai.

Since January 1, 2018, she took the post of top advisor to the current secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili. Perhaps her job was also on the line if she was to communicate with eTurboNews?

After the General Assembly in Zambia/ Zimbabwe in 2013, Anita Mendiratta coordinated a partnership between eTurboNews, UNWTO, IATA, ICAO, and CNN under the name CNN TASK Group

In a 2017 press release, CNN and eTurboNews agreed: “CNN and eTN are proud to continue setting the standards for excellence with this new turn-key solution, building long-term strategic partnerships in the world of tourism and economic development.”

Dr. Taleb Rifai said 8 years ago:

The partnership between UNWTO and CNN International is a significant step towards highlighting the potential of travel and tourism. The industry continues to grow, employing millions of people, contributing to the socio-economic development of the world’s poorest countries. Through this partnership, destinations are provided with the opportunity to maximize their benefits in a highly competitive market through the TASK Group’s destination marketing.
UNWTO will continue to work together with CNN to further the growth of tourism development and position it as a key player in the global development agenda.”
Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO

Nia Dos Santos, and Geraldine Finnegan will attend the General Assembly on behalf of CNN and the TASK Group to attract CNN advertisers.

Daniella Wagner of Jacobs Media, the owner of Travel Weekly will be in Madrid to find business opportunities for her media company. You will not find a critical paragraph (if anything) about UNWTO in Travel Weekly.

“Sometimes commercial interests become secondary,” said Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews “I served on the UNWTO Task Group against Sexual Exploitation of Children and represented the global travel media for many years. Everyone in this group was stunned when it was eliminated the day the new Secretary-General took lead in 2018.”

“When I see the changes in leadership, the manipulation, the fear for their jobs some UNWTO staff are experiencing every day, the recent ethic report, any media with a conscience should not put silence before possible revenue opportunities. Travel and Tourism are too important as an industry sector, especially in a time of crisis.”

It appears eTurboNews remained consistent in its criticism of UNWTO together with a handful of other brave news outlets, including Hosteltur in Spain.

“The threat of telling the truth was the reason eTurboNews was banned from the General Assembly two years ago in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2019 eTurboNews told UNWTO, it will not be silenced. eTurboNews was banned at all regional, executive council conferences, media, and trade show events since January 1, 2018.”

The truth can be inconvenient, but eTurboNews will continue to cover UNWTO in good and bad times, directly or indirectly. We hope better times will start soon again.

A team of eTurboNews friends will be sharing information from the UNWTO General Assembly. Anyone with information can email [email protected] or WhatsApp: +1-808-953-4705

Besides CNN and Travel Weekly, the following not-so-critical media is allowed to attend the General Assembly.

  • ADAM   ALHASSAN          Political Reporter             AFRICA PARROT ONLINE NEWSPAPER, RADIO AND TV
  • ANTHONY            FORSON               REPORTER           FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE
  • Benjamin             BOULY RAMES   Coordinateur vidéo Agence France Presse Espagne            AFP
  • Blessing Oregbe Asemota              Correspondent  INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION
  • Chidebere Henry              Eze         Photographer    Daily Independent Newspapers
  • Cristina Giner     Journalist / Correspondent           EURONEWS
  • Ekaterina             Vorobyeva           chief foreign correspondent        Russian news agency TASS
  • Elena     Shesternina        corresponsal en España RIA Nóvosti (MIA Rossiya Sogodnya)
  • elie         flouty    Media Advisor   Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities
  • Emeka Emmanuel            Eze         Correspondent  INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION
  • Fausto   Triana    Corresponsal jefe             Agencia Latinoamericana de Noticias Prensa Latina
  • Favour Ebere      Chukwuemeka   Senior Reporter Daily Independent Newspapers
  • Fetis       Alain      Founder               JOIE DE VIVRE & YOU
  • Forster Uchenna               Chikezie                Photographer    Daily Champion Newspapers
  • FRED      AYO        CAMERAMAN    FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE
  • GERARD               LEFEBVRE            Senior Analyst & Editor  CLEVERDIS / SAFE
  • JABIR     RAZAK   Environmental Reporter                AFRICA PARROT ONLINE NEWSPAPER, RADIO AND TV
  • JOHN     Momoh CHAIRMAN/CRO               CHANNELS MEDIA GROUP
  • JOHN     HYANATOR          ASSISTANT EDITOR           AFRICA PARROT ONLINE NEWSPAPER, RADIO AND TV
  • Joseph Chinagorom         Kalu       Correspondent  INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION
  • Kenenna Ugochukwu      Nwaeze Reporter              INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION
  • kouasssi Michel Bernadin              KOUADIO             responsable logistique et photo voyagesafriq
  • MANUELA INES GRESSLER            External Collaborator      Folha de São Paulo // Zero Hora (brazilian newspapers)
  • MATTHEW KOFI ESSAH   SENIOR EDITOR AFRICA PARROT ONLINE NEWSPAPER, RADIO AND TV
  • Nikolai  Mironenko          Press center       Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation
  • Nkemgika John  Ozoagu Reporter              Daily Independent Newspapers
  • Noemi   Gragera Journaliste          Agence France Presse
  • Okechukwu Johnbosco  Okoye   Photographer    Daily Independent Newspapers
  • Oluwatobi           Momoh Corporate Strategist        Channels Television
  • Onyedikachi Anthony     Ezekiel  Senior Reporter Daily Independent Newspapers
  • Osawaru Lucky  Ohenhen              Camera Person  INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION
  • Paschal Chukwuemeka   Oparaocha          Camera Person  INDEPENDENT TELEVISION AND RADIO STATION
  • PAUL AYINDENABA          ANAAFO               SENIOR CAMARA MAN   AFRICA PAROT ONLINE NEWSPAPER, RADION AND TV
  • RAMON                DE ISEQUILLA     Corresponsal en España Portal de América
  • ROTIMI IJIKANMI              REPORTER           FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE
  • SARAH AKOSUA BAIDOO                ASSISTANT CAMARA WOMAN     AFRICA PARROT ONLINE NEWSPAPER RADIO AND TV
  • SOLOMON           CHUNG REPORTER           FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE
  • Sopiko   Beridze Journalist             Imedi TV
  • Stanislav              Zalesov Press center       Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation
  • Stanislav              Solodkin               Press-secretary  Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation
  • STANLEY               NWOSU                REPORTER           FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE
  • Symphorien Tano             KOUABILE            Content Director               VoyagesAfriq
  • valery    jojishvili                cammeraman    Imedi TV
Are you attending the UNWTO General Assembly and want to become a Reporter for eTurboNews? Email [email protected] or click here to contact us by phone, WhatsApp, SKYPE.

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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.

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