As a founding Member State, joining in 1975, Israel has played an active role in UNWTO’s work and continues to serve on several important Committees and bodies. Following on from the official visit of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, to the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid in July, the UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili led a delegation to Israel for a series of high-level discussions around shared priorities.

In Jerusalem, Secretary-General Pololikashvili held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Eli Cohen. Mr Pololikashvili commended Israel’s active role in tourism governance and its commitment to several UNWTO priorities for the sector.

Also in Jerusalem, Secretary-General Pololikashvili and the UNWTO delegation received a warm welcome at the Ministry of Tourism, to discuss the deepening of cooperation between UNWTO and Israel. Discussions focused on shared priorities for tourism both in the country and across the wider region, most notably education, innovations, sustainability, data collection, accessibility, legal instruments.

To conclude the official visit, the UNWTO delegation visited Kfar Kama, named as one of the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO in 2022. The village was given the award in recognition of its commitment to harnessing the power of tourism to preserve and celebrate its unique local culture. The Israeli village of Neot Semadar was also selected to be part of the Best Tourism Villages Upgrade Programme.