The Chairman, African Tourism Board Mr. Cuthbert Ncube has congratulated the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Secretary General, Mr. Zurab Pololikhashvili on his confirmation as the new SG of the UNWTO for another term of office by the Member States, endorsing him and giving their confidence to the man who has been at the healm of affairs of the organisation during the most unprecedented times where the tourism industry has experienced the most challenging situation in the history of the global tourism economies.

I congratulate Mr. Zurab Pololikhashvili as the Member States found him worthy to continue to lead the global tourism body, UNWTO as the Secretary General, we therefore affirm our commitment to work with the Mother Body in driving the recovery agenda and re-shaping the sector with an emphasis on rebranding the African continent and advocating for an equal global status of Africa within the global community“, Ncube said.

With the advent of the new Omicron variant which has created another unexpected set back and a greater havoc to tourism business, ATB is fully committed to coordinating, cooperating and driving the tourism recovery mechanisms and unifying the entire continental resolves with the framework of the resilient economies within the sector.

Ncube also took the opportunity to inform the SG on the urgent need to add his voice to the current discussion that bordered on the travel ban against the Southern region of Africa.

Let me also request Mr. Pololikhashvili to wade into the issue of travel ban on Southern Africa, which negates a true spirit of openness in declaring health situations within that space. Lending his own voice to the current reality especially on the decision by certain countries labelling South Africa and imposing travel ban on the entire Southern African region, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres described such a decision as “Travel Apartheid” which seems not out of place judging by the hasty, irrational and unfathomnable reaction from the concerned countries, ATB Chairman requested.

ATB hopes to create further synergy with UNWTO as they forge ahead to reinvigorating continental and global tourism, a task that requires a collective attention.

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