UNWTO General Assembly re-elects Dr. Taleb Rifai as Secretary General


(Posted 29th August 2013)

The 20th UN World Tourism Organization’s General Assembly, which is ending today after being co-hosted by Victoria Falls and Livingstone, the twin towns across the Zambezi rivers, has yesterday re-elected Dr. Taleb Rifai for a second term of office for a further four years.

Dr. Rifai has championed the cause of advancing Africa’s tourism industry and been seen as instrumental in developing mechanisms and plans to have the African continent claim a fairer share of global travel movements, which while in excess of 1 billion last year only saw some 53 million travellers, or a meager 5 percent, generated for Africa. Dr. Rifai is also credited for bringing the 2013 General Assembly meeting to Africa where Zambia and Zimbabwe co-hosted the meetings, producing some added focus on Africa’s tourism attractions.

While the UNWTO is expected to release a full documentation about the meetings’ agenda, discussions and resolutions made, notably did two announcements important for Africa come out at the earlier stage of the event. Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, immediate former CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, was appointed as the UNWTO Regional Director for Africa followed by the election of Mr. Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, to the UNWTO Executive Committee.

Congratulations to Dr. Rifai on his re-election for another term of office and again to the Seychelles delegation for their success in securing the two positions.

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