June 26, 2024

UN Tourism And Germany Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

Germany Praised For Sustainable Tourism

In a landmark agreement, the United Nations Tourism body and the German Federal Government have pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation, focusing on gender equality, sustainability, and improved tourist protection.

During his official visit to Berlin on June 7, 2024, UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili engaged in crucial discussions with Dieter Janecek, the Federal Government Coordinator for Maritime Economy and Tourism. Additionally, Pololikashvili participated in a Committee on Tourism of the German Bundestag session, marking a significant step towards deeper collaboration between the two entities.

At the heart of their discussions were several priority areas:

Protection of Tourists: Both parties acknowledged the pressing need to fortify measures ensuring all travellers’ safety, consumer protection, and well-being amidst global challenges.

Sustainability: A shared commitment to sustainable tourism practices was emphasised. Pololikashvili invited Germany to leverage UN platforms to share its wealth of knowledge and expertise in preserving natural resources and cultural heritage, with a strong focus on climate action.

Women Empowerment: The success of the Centre Stage initiative, supported by German authorities in collaboration with UN Women, was lauded. Empowering women across the tourism sector emerged as a shared priority for future collaboration.

Rural Development: Discussions centred on initiatives promoting rural destinations as drivers of sustainable development, with Pololikashvili highlighting the potential of UN Tourism’s Best Tourism Villages initiative.

Following the bilateral meeting, Pololikashvili presented a comprehensive report on UN Tourism’s recent achievements during a session of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Tourism.

Highlights included:

  • Post-Pandemic Recovery: Efforts to aid the tourism sector’s recovery from the pandemic were outlined, focusing on policy guidance, safety protocols, and technical cooperation projects.
  • Strengthening Organisational Capacity: Measures to ensure stable financial contributions, including membership fees, arrears collection, voluntary contributions, and private sector partnerships, were detailed.
  • Advancements in Sustainable and Responsible Tourism: Initiatives promoting environmental conservation and inclusion in the tourism sector were spotlighted, including the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and projects like the Centre Stage initiative and the San Marino Action Agenda for Accessible Tourism for All.
  • Multilateral Cooperation: The role of UN Tourism as a platform for knowledge exchange and expertise was underscored, with Germany’s potential contribution to the process highlighted.

Pololikashvili expressed gratitude for Germany’s proactive stance in promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism and stressed the importance of ongoing collaboration to tackle the global tourism industry’s evolving challenges.

Featured image: UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili addresses the Committee on Tourism in Berlin on June 7, 2024. Credit: UN Tourism

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