UNWTO expands global presence with Rio de Janeiro office to boost tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

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In a significant development, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is making strides toward its vision of establishing a more prominent presence in various regions worldwide. Recently, the UNWTO inked an agreement with Brazil, solidifying plans to set up an office that will oversee operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Following the inauguration of the Middle East office in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UN tourism body, under the visionary leadership of Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, is unwavering in its commitment to working closely with member countries to expand its presence to other parts of the world.

Rio de Janeiro is slated to be the headquarters of the UNWTO office in South America and the Caribbean. This move is expected to significantly bolster tourist activity in Brazil and the entire region.

The decision to host UNWTO offices in the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Brazil was thoroughly discussed during the 24th General Assembly held in Madrid, Spain. The matter was subsequently referred to the executive council, which outlined the necessary modalities for the establishment of new offices.

During the 25th General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, the assembly ratified the resolution to establish the offices in Morocco and Brazil, paving the way for agreement to be signed between world tourism body and the latter.

Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of UNWTO, expressed his excitement, stating, “The agreement to establish the UNWTO Regional Office in Rio de Janeiro marks a momentous occasion in the history of our organization. I am very eager to lay the foundations for our prosperous cooperation.”

Following the historic signing, Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, Celso Sabino de Oliveira, emphasized the significance of the agreement, describing it as a momentous day for UNWTO, Brazil, and the South American region.

He stated, “It is a great moment and a great opportunity for South America and the Caribbean to develop our tourism. This office will provide us with the opportunity to engage in discussions about tourism, propose new initiatives, and enhance tourism education. We aspire to promote ecotourism, sustainable tourism, and new programmes focusing on villages and beaches.”

Sabino de Oliveira maintained that he anticipates the office to serve as a strategic hub to promote the natural wonders of Brazil and the wider region and added that work is being expedited to inaugurate the office by mid-December.

“With beautiful beaches in Brazil, the Caribbean, and South America, we want European and Asian regions to discover the charm of our beaches and forest areas. The office will play a vital role in facilitating this endeavour. After the signing of the agreements at the General Assembly, we are working diligently to open the office on December 15, 2023,” the Minister emphasised.

Click here to listen to the Brazilian Minister of Tourism

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