China-initiated World Tourism Alliance established in Chengdu

Bahrain elected member of UNWTO Executive Council

Kenya: Balala Elected Chair of UN World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa

The ICHTO chief, who is also a Vice-President, will meet with the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization on the first day of his three-day visit.

All the elections to the seats were done by acclamation by delegates as agreed by the General Assembly.

"I feel quite honoured and humbled to be called upon to serve as the Vice President of the General Assembly of the UNWTO and it is a very big honour to Nigeria".

The bi-annual event, which this year takes place in Chengdu, China until September 16th, will discuss how to advance the contribution of tourism to the United Nations sustainable development goals and define the actions of the organisation for the period 2018-2019.

The UNWTO Executive Council, which comprises 33 member states, is the governing body that ensures that the organisation's decisions and recommendations are implemented.

He said: "With this new appointment, you will begin to look at yourself not just as a Nigerian citizen but as a World citizen and it means that a lot more will be expected from you".

"We also see that, more and more, governments and administrations across the world are prioritising tourism to transform their countries for the better".

Wang Yang, Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China, recalled that, since the inclusion of China in UNWTO in 1983, the tourism sector has grown to represent 10% of the country's economy.

89 organisations, institutions and enterprises from 29 countries and regions have joined the WTA as founding members.

It will also be attending the meetings of the Middle East Committee and the Committee on Tourism and Sustainability in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

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