Official opening of the 108th session of the UNWTO Executive Council

San Sebastián, Spain
Lehendakari Urkullu,
Siempre es un placer volver al País Vasco. Muchas gracias por su hospitalidad. Y por su generosidad.
Nos honra poder celebrar el primer Consejo Ejecutivo de esta nueva era de la OMT, en San Sebastián.
Donostia es una ciudad que reúne todos los atributos que definen la importancia del turismo: entorno natural, cultura, gastronomía y calidez humana.
Ministro Nadal,
Gracias por su firme y cercano apoyo a la OMT.
Su presencia aquí refleja nuevamente su compromiso con el turismo y con nuestra sociedad.
Bajo su liderazgo, España, que es el hogar de la OMT, está destinada a mantener su posición destacada en el turismo mundial.
Ministro Santos,
Muchas gracias por su apoyo y por presidir este Consejo.
En los tres años al frente de este órgano, ha contribuido a consolidar al turismo en Argentina como una verdadera herramienta de desarrollo.
Distinguished members of the Executive Council,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the Executive Council for the first time as UNWTO Secretary-General.
We have a very full agenda over the next days. I look forward to hearing from all of you.
I have been here before and I have listened to the thoughts and recommendations you shared on the future of UNWTO.
Now is my first chance to do so as Secretary-General of this great Organization.
I know that UNWTO is also your Organization.
The importance of UNWTO depends on your cooperation, and I thank you all for your support.
You have all been given my management vision and priorities for the coming term.
I will present these later. As part of this outline, several members of UNWTO staff will deliver more detailed presentations.
These presentations offer a look ahead.
My colleagues will outline some of my key priorities and expected benefits for you, our Member States, and the sector:
We must make tourism smarter – by investing in innovation and digital transformation.
We must grow our competitive edge – by supporting investment in small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship.
We must create more and better jobs – improving skills, education and specialized training on the ground.
We have the blueprint to achieve these priorities: the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, adopted by the international community.
Following this roadmap means not only to grow more; but especially to grow better - it’s about quality for people and communities.
These priorities, along with security, make up our suggested way forward for the UNWTO programme of work.
As we set this direction, UNWTO is here to listen to your ideas.
I wish to introduce a new leadership structure to make the Organization more efficient.
The Deputy Secretary-General and two Executive Directors will each guide various departments and support me in moving UNWTO into this new stage.
My aim is to realize a more comprehensive vision for development of the tourism sector.
A vision that considers tourism as a policy priority, a knowledge creator and innovator, and a sector of maximum value for all of our Members.
This vision will only be possible with your support and the great strength that comes from all of us in partnership.
I look forward to expanding our partnerships.
I thank you and wish you a productive meeting.