Costa Rica Minister of Tourism Giant Step for a New UNWTO Election and World Tourism in General

Written by Juergen T Steinmetz

  • The Hon. Gustav Segura Costa Sancho, minister of Tourism for Costa Rica, is in the center of world tourism today. He is taking a giant step for the future of world tourism in demanding a secret vote for the upcoming UNWTO General
  • Assembly confirmation hearing to confirm or reject Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili for a 2022-2025 term.
  • The Hon. Minister of Tourism for Costa Rica, Gustavo Segura Sancho, today officially informed UNWTO Secretary General, the Hon. Zurab Pololikashvili, about Costa Rica requesting a secret ballot for the election of the Secretary General at the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly in Madrid.

Costa Rica became the first country officially making it impossible to have the reconfirmation for the second term for the Secretary General decided by acclamation.

This is a giant step forward for the world in a fight for a fair election to this post that started in 2017 with the original appointment by Secreteray Zurab Pololikashvili.

In an open letter signed by two previous UNWTO Secretary Generals and other senior former UNWTO officers, and circulated by the World Tourism Network Advocacy Committee on Monday, it was urgently suggested that in accordance with article 43 of the UNWTO Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, to request a secret vote on this agenda item, and if the vote so determines, mandate the Executive Council to launch a new and proper election process.

Exactly this happened today with Costa Rica taking a sudden lead in this movement.

In 2019, contribution in Costa Rica for travel and tourism was 13.5% of the GDP, making travel and tourism an important factor. Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. Costa Rica is about the size of Denmark.

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