UNWTO bans critical press in global travel market

  • UNWTO is an agency affiliated with the United Nations subject to international law.
  • Currently, the UNWTO has an illegitimate Secretary General who runs the organization like a dictator. According to a legal interpretation by the lawyer who was involved in creating the policies of the UNWTO, SG Zurab Pololikashvilihe was put in place only by manipulation. The original 2018 election should not be recognized.
  • The Secretary-General has managed to avoid all critical questions from the press since taking the helm on 1 January 2018. Today was an example of how far the UNWTO would go to silence anyone who was not d agreement with the Secretary General.

The first ministerial summit at the World Travel Market since the pandemic was held today in London at the WTM World Stage at the Excel Exhibition Centre.

As always, Ministers met to discuss issues relevant to the World Tourism Organization and the state of the industry. As was the case since the UNWTO was established as a United Nations agency, journalists were part of the audience, but they could not ask questions. After the ministerial discussion, it was customary to hold a press conference.

This all changed on January 1, 2018, when Zurab Pololikashvili became head of global tourism.

Press conferences at major trade shows or ministerial round tables no longer took place. Zurab only appears for photo ops and disappears.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the UNWTO Secretary General has avoided any critical press. Today in London, the Secretary General went even further.

To avoid any critical comments or questions, he deliberately blacklisted journalists who write for publications like this one, eTurboNews.

The reason: eTurboNews had been critical of the secretary general.

Avoiding negative perception is even more important now, as Zurab Pololikashvili is running for a second term, and his re-election is up for reconfirmation by the General Assembly in Madrid.

Having won the recommendation of the Executive Council for a second term in January due to heavy manipulation, having managed to move the venue of the General Assembly to Madrid, it gives Zurab a clear advantage to be reconfirmed for a second term as as UNWTO Secretary-General at the end of this month. Critical questions are not good for him.

Today’s ministerial meeting at WTM London was one such activity he attended for the first time since COVID. He needed to look good weeks before his confirmation hearing, but he couldn’t cope with the media.

The deputy. Najib Balala, tourism secretary for Kenya, was turned down by UNWTO last week after inviting the General Assembly to be held in Kenya instead of Madrid.

Minister Balala was in London today to attend the ministerial meeting. He was told that there were no more seats for ministers. He left the event minutes after entering, telling eTurboNews editor Juergen Steinmetz who was waiting at the exit door.

All journalists present at the WTM were seated for the event, with the exception of eTurboNews represented by Juergen Steinmetz. He was made persona non grata, not allowed to enter the top.

eTurboNews is an official media partner of the global travel market, but that didn’t make a difference. eTurboNews was threatened by a UN official when taking video of this incident.

The UNWTO appears to be successfully avoiding criticism from mainstream mainstream media.

CNN, for example, is an official media partner that earns millions of advertising dollars from tourist destinations. A CNN working group has been formed with UNWTO by Anita Mendiratta, senior adviser to the Secretary-General. The purpose of the CNN Task Group is to sell advertising. This group was formed years ago, initially with eTurboNews as a partner. and it was eTurboNews who saw a conflict of interest and left the group along with CNN, UNWTO, ICAO and IATA.

Marcelo Risi, head of communications for UNWTO, declined to speak to Steinmetz. He was seen running away from the situation saying, “Juergen, I’m busy.”

This is not only an embarrassing situation, but it is a clear violation of press freedom and a clear case of discrimination.

Not only did Steinmetz represent eTurboNews, but he is also president of the World Tourism Network, an international tourism organization. Steinmetz is also a board member of the African Tourism Board.

He attempted to contact co-host of the ministerial summit, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), but officials at the gate refused to ask a WTTC official to speak to him, saying they did not know. not what the WTTC stands for. for.

In a short meeting with the WTTC after the event, the leaders of this organization were not informed of what had happened.

Watch the iPhone video showing the evolving situation:

Willie R. Golden