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Georgia wants to lead UNWTO next

Georgia wants to lead UNWTO next

Competing for this move with the outspoken Hon Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Zimbabwe, the country of Georgia on November 15 has named Zurab Pololikashvili, ambassador to Spain and permanent representative to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), for the position of the organization’s secretary general.

Mr. Pololikashvili speaks English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Japanese
In 1998 he graduated from the Technical University of Georgia with an degree in International banking.
In 1993 he studies French at the International Language School in Paris.
As of April 15, 2012 Mr. Pololikashvil is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia in the Kingdom of Spain
March 2011-March 2012 General Manager of FC Dinamo de Tbilisi
July 2010 – February 2011 Vice President of Grupo TBC
August 2009 – June 2010 Minister of Economic Development of Georgia
June 2006 – August 2009 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia in the Kingdom of Spain
July 2005 – January 2006 Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia
February 2005 – July 2005 Head of Central branch of TBC Bank
February 2001 – February 2005 Director of the Mtatsminda branch of TBC Bank
March 1999 – February 2001 Assistant Credit Manager TBC Bank
March 1998 March 1998 Accounting Correspondence Manager, TBC Bank
November 1997 – December 1998 manager of international operations, TBC Bank

Courses completed
· 2008-2009 – Business Executive Course, Instituto de Empresa de Madrid
· January 2004 – JICA International Economics Program (Tokyo, Japan)
· October 2001 – KPMG Barents Group. Seminar of Management of branches (Varna, Bulgaria)
· December 200 – Banking Financial Academy. The New Accounting Standards (Tbilisi, Georgia)
· November 2000 – Financial Academy Banking. Marketing Banking (Tbilisi, Georgia)
· March 1999 – Credit Commercial de France (CCF, Paris) Internship in Commercial Management
· April 1999 – Program for small and medium-sized enterprises (Yerevan, Armenia)
· January 1998 – Banking Financial Academy, Business English Course
· April 1998 – Credit Commercial de France (CCF, Paris) Documentary Operations Seminar (Tbilisi, Georgia)
· March 1998 – USAID in Cooperation with the Barents Group LLC. Seminar on Documentary Operations (Tbilisi, Georgia)
· April 1997 – USAID in Cooperation with KPMG Peat Marwick. Credit Analysis Seminar (Tbilisi,

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said on November 14 when nominating Pololikashvili that he has played a great role in promoting the country’s tourism potential and attracting foreign investments to this sector. He also noted that Pololikashvili’s background fully meets the eligibility criteria for assuming the UNWTO Secretary General’s duties.

Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic that’s home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. It’s famous for Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery dating to the 12th century, and the ancient wine-growing region Kakheti. The capital, Tbilisi, is known for the diverse architecture and mazelike, cobblestone streets of its old town.

Georgia is affiliated with the European Union and has shown its desire to become a tourism destination. New hotel developments in Tbilisi are witness to this move, but so far the country has not made a major impact in global travel and tourism. The tourism industry is in a developing mode at this time.

In the meantime the Hon. Walter Mzembi from Zimbabwe had been traveling the globe, attended many important UNWTO meetings, trade shows,  and events, bringing  creative ideas of a fresh global approach to the world in how to lead UNWTO in a different world. His experience as one of the longest serving tourism ministers in the world is hard to find and may be a big challenge for the Georgian candidate.

The term of office of incumbent Secretary General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, a Jordanian national, is coming to an end next year. The new Secretary General for 2018-2021 will be selected in May 2017 by the organization’s executive board comprised of 33 nations, according to the Georgian government’s office.

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