UNWTO’s Ambassadors for Sustainable Tourism are drawn from the worlds of sport, entertainment, business, gastronomy, and more. All leaders in their respective fields, volunteer their time and their voices to amplify the message of tourism for sustainable development and equal opportunity. Over recent years, the number of Ambassadors has continued to grow to reflect the sector’s significance and diversity.
UNWTO Ambassadors among sportsmen and athletes include Leo Messi who plays for the club Paris Saint-Germain, Didier Drogba former Chelsea player, Vicente del Bosque retired Reald Madrid Coach, Diego Simeone Manager of Athletico Madrid, Fernando Hierro former club manager, Andrés Iniesta, Iker Casillas former Real Madrid Goalkeeper, Viacheslav Fetisov former ice hockey defensemen, and Míchel Salgado former Spanish football player. Members from the gastronomy world include Gino Sorbillo, Ana Roš, Maria Margarita A. Fores, Paco Roncero, Ramon Freixa, and Javier Ruiz de Galarreta. Business leaders affiliated with the ambassador program include Adam Goldstein, Yavuz Selim Yukselir, Valeria Mazza, Alejandro Bulgheroni, Dr. Michael Frenzel, and Frank Ranieri. The rest of the ambassadors were chosen from the world of Arts, Design, and Culture. Members include Giorgio Armani, Placido Domingo, Dr. Zahi Hawass and Magic System the music band.
The most recent addition to the board of ambassadors was Yavuz Selim Yükselir ahead of big year for UNWTO Ambassadors. Ahead of the official opening of FITUR, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili met with entrepreneur and hotelier Yavuz Selim Yükselir. Visiting the Organization’s headquarters in Madrid, the Turkish national, who joined last year as UNWTO Tourism Ambassador, discussed opportunities for further collaboration, with a particular focus on hotels and tourism accommodation.
Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “I thank Yavuz Selim Yükselir for his enthusiastic support for UNWTO at the start of a year of great challenge and great opportunity for tourism. Now is the time for our esteemed Ambassadors for Sustainable Tourism to be the faces of our sector, using their status and influence to showcase its unique power to drive recovery and transform lives.”
Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus-building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary.
Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them. Reflecting the need for diverse voices, UNWTO counts on the generous support of its Ambassadors for Sustainable Tourism to amplify its messages and promote its work to audiences around the world.