ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WILL VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE OF THEIR CHOICE ON NEXT TOURISM ELECTIONS! this was the remark made by European Council on Tourism and Trade President asked if he will endorse any candidate in the looming UNWTO elections or make any voting indication.

On the approaching UNWTO competition, H.E. Ambassador of Republic of Korea Mr. Kim Eun-joong had presented, in a special audience with H.E. ECTT President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, the program of Korean candidate for United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary general position.


H. E. President Dr. Anton Caragea perused the document and appreciated his context and his vision and wished all the future success to Korean candidate: Ambassador Dho Young Shim.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea remarked that:

This year race for UNWTO Secretary General top job is a special one, as candidates from all continents had submitted their candidatures and we wish them all success in bringing a new breath of life in the organization.

We have also being happy to see inscribed in the competition our member Academician Walter Mzembi, Africa`s candidate and a man that we value and hold dear.

Until now we did`not issued any recommendation for voting for our members in this election, announced President Dr. Anton Caragea.

I think is better if we leave all the countries to decide on the future leader of UNWTO on their own accord and taken under consideration the future of tourism interest and their national tourism development opportunities.

May the best one win! marked Professor Dr. Anton Caragea the end of his audience with Korean Ambassador .

Here is the vision of Republic of Korea candidate Ambassador Dho Young Shim regarding the future of tourism in the world:

Your Excellency

In just a matter of days, one of the most important decisions for the future of global tourism will be taken at the 105th session of the UNWTO Executive Council.

May 12th, 2017 is when 33 Executive Council Members will propose a successor to Dr. Taleb Rifai as the next UNWTO Secretary General.

This recommendation cannot be taken lightly – there is too much at stake.

Starting from day 1 of taking office, the new Secretary General must build on the invaluable work of Dr Rifai, maintaining and enhancing the support and cooperation achieved with governments, businesses, academia, the UN system, other International Organisations, NGOs, and travellers worldwide.

As you yourself know, the role of tourism in global development – poverty alleviation, sustainability, unity, inclusivity, peace and stability – is too important for leadership risk-taking. Making the right choice demands focus on candidate vision, credentials and character. The world of tourism depends on it.

From the outset of our candidacy, we are very grateful to you for having listened to our approach to the next leadership of the Organisation, which offers a combination of stability and renovation. Together, we will respectfully and responsibly build on the legacy received, injecting an enhanced level of energy and strategic mobilisation to take the Organisation to new heights.

Our candidacy as a team “ticket”, a woman and a man of different, yet complementary professional paths and accomplishments in the tourism sector, and from two regions of the world distant from each other, yet clearly determined to work together, is unique. Our combination is a perfect fit as a team, and our experience with UNWTO will ensure our effectiveness from day one. Over the past twenty years we both have been intimately associated to the Organisation, both externally and internally.

By choosing us the Secretariat of the UNWTO will be headed for the first time by a woman, and by someone from Asia, the second region of the world by its tourist activity after Europe, which has held the post of Secretary-General on three out of five occasions.

Importantly, the fact that we both come from the G20 and the OECD economically advanced countries – the Republic of Korea and Spain – enhances our ability to strengthen UNWTO membership, bringing back to the UNWTO the industrialized countries that are currently distant from the organisation or even those that were never with us.

Our partnership reflects our vision: one of a strong, delivery-focused UNWTO, championing global Tourism as a key enabler to fulfilment of the greater global growth agenda. Our immediate priorities will be:

To establish a lean, agile & delivery-focused structure with the necessary transparency of internal processes and resource allocation, together with sound financial management and effective generation of voluntary contributions.
To increase and strengthen the membership body, using our network of high-level connections as OECD countries and also within the UN System.
To adopt a customer relationship policy for members to reach high satisfaction levels and loyalty, and instil a sense of pride in being a UNWTO Member.

To define priority projects / themes, especially with regard to new marketing trends, as well as new tourism markets and tourist profiles, with a special focus on the main outbound markets

To amplify efforts toward an increased facilitation of travel in a safe, secure and seamless manner.

We will propose to use the privilege UNWTO possesses as a specialized agency of the UN, to put the two issues of tourism visas and travel advisories to the ECOSOC, in accordance with the agreement linking the two institutions.

To assist Small Islands States as well as coastal States, to apply sustainable development models to their fragile environments and to the low level of diversification of their economies

To promote women empowerment and gender equality in tourism

To pay a special attention to social tourism, promoting universal access to travel and leisure for vulnerable groups: seniors, disabled people, indigenous communities or disadvantaged groups

To encourage the development of Public Private Partnership initiatives among members

To make UNWTO an exemplary organization for sustainable development solutions and environmental and societal practices, and develop partnerships around climate change, green growth, etc.

To advance in the use of technology for smart destinations and the new concepts of digitalization applied to Tourism, identifying opportunities for members, including analysing, processing and application of big data, virtual reality, augmented reality for better understanding, planning and optimizing the visitors´ experiences.

To assist members in destination management and improving competitiveness and attractiveness, and defining standards, in terms of environment and quality of services at the destination level


To strengthen the research capacity of the Organisation producing a wealth of studies for advocacy purposes, including:

accurate measure of the economic and social effects of sustainable tourism with a methodology that cannot be questioned and all the necessary indicators
resources allocated by countries and destinations to marketing, branding and promotion activities to be able to design a global marketing model for measuring the impact and the efficiency of promotional campaigns on foreign markets
domestic tourism to better understand its nature and measure its impact
issues and impacts related to “private services on digital platforms”, inaccurately identified as “collaborative/sharing economy” incl. consequences on more traditional components of the travel industry
evolution of some niche markets including business tourism / MICE, cultural tourism, shopping tourism, urban tourism, cruises, adventure tourism, youth tourism, health & wellness tourism, religious tourism, gastronomy and wine tourism, as well as rural tourism and mountain tourism and evaluate the tourism impact of major sports and cultural events.

The Executive Council’s choice identification and proposal of the next Secretary General of the UNWTO needs to focus on competence in Tourism, for Tourism. The future of the UNWTO and wider UN system’s ability to utilise Tourism as a critical tool for development of nations, as well as fulfilment of the SDGs, depends on the Executive Council Members choosing carefully and responsibly the most capable and experienced leadership.

Together we must ensure it is a future defined by leadership before leaders.

We thank you.

The list of candidates for UNWTO secretary position:


Mr. Márcio Favilla submitted with the support of the Government of Brazil and received on 6 March 2017;

Mr. Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente submitted with the support of the Government of Colombia and received on 6 March 2017;

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili submitted with the support of the Government of Georgia and received on 2 December 2016;
Republic of Korea:

Mrs. Young-shim Dho submitted with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea and received on 24 February 2017;

Mr. Alain St. Ange submitted with the support of the Government of Seychelles and received on 18 January 2017;


Mr. Walter Mzembi submitted with the support of the Government of Zimbabwe and received on 4 March 2017;