Based on the recommendations of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh concerning the need to utilize ICT in developing the tourism sector, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism approved the establishment of the UNWTO International Smart Tourism Center.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh will announce the Center during the UNWTO 22nd General Assembly session which will be held in Chengdu, China September 11-16 under the theme “Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals – Journey to 2030”.
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Headquartered in Amman and hosted by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, the Center will be headed by Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh as chair and a Board of Directors which includes high-profile individuals, UNWTO Special Ambassadors and experts in the field of tourism with HE Mr. Taleb Refai as the honorary chair.
“The Center will have all the required resources to develop the tourism sector, locally, regionally and globally. Members of the Board of Directors will have the combination of expertise and dedication to solve, amend and plan all tourism-related issues for the next 50 years,” Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said.
“I am happy that the UNWTO has decided to establish the Center with Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization and at the same time we are happy to host at our headquarters in Amman and it will be fully operational and staffed with the needed expertise and technology,” he added.
Early this year in Madrid, the UNWTO named HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh a Special Ambassador in recognition of his special contributions to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017).
The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development which aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is worth noting that Senator Abu-Ghazaleh has chaired more than 14 UN taskforces and initiatives and he was Vice Chair with Their Excellencies Kofi Anan and Ban Ki-moon of the UN Global Compact as well as being a member of several UN programs, most recently being named Special Ambassador to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and a member of the United Nations Social Impact Fund High Level Advisory Board (UNSIF-HLAB).
The UNWTO 22nd General Assembly session will be attended by delegates from 161 states and representatives from more than 500 UNWTO Affiliate Members representing public and private organizations, destinations, NGOs and educational institutions.