Press Release

Investment key for tourism development: UNWTO Secretary General meets First Vice President of the EBRD

Madrid, Spain
PR No.: 
PR 18037
04 May 18

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili at the Talk Session at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, met on Friday in London with Jürgen Rigterink First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Discussions centred around the growth of the tourism sector and its capacity to generate welfare and jobs, the need for infrastructure development and the support to business along the tourism value chain. Mr  Pololikashvili stressed the relevance of establishing dedicated tourism lines in global and regional financial institutions considering that tourism is today the third global export in the world and a main job creator.

Recently the Bank approved two important Frameworks - the Cultural Heritage Framework and the Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean – with a significant potential to support tourism development.

“We very much appreciate the EBRD´s role in investing in tourism for sustainable development. We believe that the Bank’s countries of operation are very important and will contribute to make tourism a driving force for economic growth and social inclusion and we look forward to strengthen our collaboration” said Mr Pololikashvili.

“UNWTO has become an important partner to the EBRD since the signing of the MOU in 2015. We would like to extend our gratitude for their cooperation and look forward to continuing this special partnership to further support economic growth and social inclusion within our countries of operation” said Mr Rigterink.

UNWTO and the EBRD have been long working together since they signed a MoU in 2015. In recent years the partnership has been reinforced in view of tourism’s growing economic role. UNWTO has provided technical input into the Bank’s projects and among the joint activities is a forthcoming conference on ‘Investing in Tourism for a Better Future: Why it matters and The Way Forward’ to be held in Athens, Greece, on October 2018. The Conference is organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Greece, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Investment Bank.

The Conference will explore tourism’s impact in the economy, discuss challenges of seasonality, best practices in financing models and regulatory frameworks, as well as discussing joint policies and strategies for creating a framework for sustainable tourism development, investment and promotion in the region. Key issues will include investment, skills development, sustainability, transnational cooperation and innovation and digital transformation, as well as supply-chain management.



UNWTO Senior Media Officer Marcelo Risi

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 /

UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218 /