UNWTO honours Georgian PM with unveiling of Honorary Plaque

An 'Honorary Plaque' was unveiled at the UNWTO's headquarters in Madrid, Spain. Photo by the PM's press office.
Agenda.ge, 18 Jan 2017 - 11:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) honoured Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili yesterday with the unveiling of an Honorary Plaque at the organisation’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

PM Kvirikashvili left for Spain yesterday to participate in the Tourism International Fair which will be held from January 17- 21 in Madrid. He attended the official opening ceremony of the Fair where he was welcomed by Secretary General of the UNWTO Taleb Rifai.

We are blessed and honoured to have the Prime Minister [of Georgia], of whom I think very highly. When it is about Georgia, I am biased. Georgia is a wonderful country, a country full of life and energy, the most beautiful people, happy and smiling, that make you feel at home. I am very touched and honoured that the Prime Minister of Georgia took time from his very busy schedule and accepted [our invitation] to be here with us today”, Rifai stated after a meeting with Kvirikashvili.
When you travel all over the world, you start seeing beautiful things in every situation, and I must say, Georgia is a beautiful country”, he added.

The UNWTO honoured PM Kvirikashvili with the unveiling of an Honorary Plaque at the organisation’s headquarters in Madrid. Photo by the PM's press office. 

Rifai also addressed Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze who is with Kvirikashvili in Madrid.

Let me also welcome a very dear and special person, the Foreign Minister of Georgia, a very good and dear friend. As you can see, Georgia is full of young political talents. He is probably one of few people not working directly with tourism, but I can tell you, when we were upstairs for a few minutes, he and the Prime Minister were talking about tourism as if it were their own baby. I am sure you understand what I mean, because each of you who has been in charge of tourism for many years knows what it means to have support from the Prime Minister, from the Head of the Government”, Rifai said.

PM Kvirikashvili thanked the Secretary General for his years-long support of Georgia's tourism sector and thanked him for the Honorary Plaque.

Georgia's PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili (L) and the UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai. Photo by the PM's press office. 

The Head of the Georgian Government said each plate at the WTO headquarters symbolises the high-level support that the tourism sector receives from governments across the globe.

We have all gathered here because we believe in the transformative power of tourism; we are united by the values, principles and ideals that tourism is the key means of developing people-to-people relations, exchanging cultures and achieving economic prosperity. Each of us is here to exemplify that no matter the challenges, the sector will remain strong and supportive of every destination”, Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.

According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, under the leadership of Secretary General Rifai, the UNWTO and the tourism industry have achieved tremendous success in boosting tourism around the world.

Georgia's Prime Minister met high officials from the UNWTO yesterday. Photo by the PM's press office. 

The candidate for the position of Secretary General that Georgia is humbly nominating, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Georgia's Ambassador to UNWTO and to Spain, with his very strong background in tourism, will become an excellent candidate for this very highly-esteemed position. He will be a worthy successor to uphold the values and priorities deeply entrenched in this organization, with the personal contribution of Mr. Taleb Rifai”, the Prime Minister stated and wished success to the participants of the International Tourism Fair.

The Prime Minister then invited guests to sample Georgian wine.

With 8,000 years of wine-making traditions recognized by UNESCO, Georgia is considered to be the birthplace of wine, and we are happy to be able to share these traditions with you today”, Kvirikashvili addressed guests.