UNWTO’s over 400 Affiliate Members, including some of the world’s leading tourism organizations and companies, have elected their new Board and Chairman for the period 2012-2013.
In line with a new electoral process, 23 members were elected to the UNWTO Board of Affiliate Members. The Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE), represented by its Director General, George Drakopoulos, was elected to Chair the Board.
Commenting on his election, Mr. Drakopoulos said: “It is an honor to chair such a distinguished group of tourism businessmen/women and professionals. Being involved in UNWTO affairs for almost 15 years, I know the potential of the Organization and particularly the potential of the Affiliate Members.”
“While the Members represent different countries and different sectors, the main issues we address should be of worldwide relevance. For example, issues like mobility in travel and visas, taxation in tourism services, creation of employment and sustainability, are of worldwide interest with obvious regional impacts,” he continued.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, welcomed the new Board and Chair of the Affiliated Members, highlighting the importance of the Affiliate Members to the work of the Organization. “UNWTO is among the few UN agencies to include in its constituency representatives of the private sector, academia and civil society. Given tourism’s multifaceted nature, their contribution in the design and implementation of our Programme of Work is critical as it brings the different views of tourism development to the very heart of our work”, he said.
The Affiliate Members are companies, organizations, destinations, NGOs, educational institutions or bodies whose activities are related to tourism and which contribute their knowledge and expertise to UNWTO to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism.