Colombian becomes World Tourism Organization’s deputy secretary-general

Jaime Cabal (Image: United Nations Industrial Development Organization)

Colombia’s Jaime Cabal has been appointed deputy secretary general of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Cabal will be the UN organization’s second most important executive after Zurab Pololikashvili of Georgia.

Colombia unsuccessfully proposed Cabal to become Secretary-General in September last year.

After the election of Pololikashvili, the UNWTO asked Cabal to become deputy.

Cabal told newspaper El Tiempo that he will focus on carrying out proposals he has made to modernize the UN organization and broaden its reach.

The new secretary general has begun to renew his team and inject new blood. This is part of the proposal. In financial regards, more resources are needed. UNWTO lives on memberships and affiliations, but has little capacity to generate its own resources, when it could do so through cooperation and education programs, working with governments and generating value.

Jaime Cabal via El Tiempo

According to Cabal, the UNWTO has approximately 400 private partners around the world, “but could have 10 times as many.”

The new Colombian executive, who spent almost a decade leading his country’s hotel association, said he hopes to increase the perceived relevance of his new employer also by improving the provision of tourism information to the public.

In Colombia, the UNWTO executive hopes to see improved infrastructure to support the growing number of foreign visitors.

The hotel infrastructure has been improved, but there is enormous room for growth in new specialized luxury tourism and resort projects… Roads and airport structures have been improved, but the infrastructure of many destinations needs to be improved. It needs more harmonized work between local governments and the National Government to improve attractiveness.

Jaime Cabal via El Tiempo

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