MADRID, SPAIN—Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of the Republic of Malta, has been nominated as Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The appointment took place at a ceremony held at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Headquarters in Madrid.
The President of Malta underlined in her intervention the relevance of sustainable tourism as a means to build peace, social cohesion, and prosperity for all of humanity.
Cultural diplomacy, peace building and understanding were some of the components of sustainable tourism highlighted by the President of Malta. “Tourism shows us that positive experiences in new destinations can transform people’s perceptions, and give them a new understanding of different cultures,” she said.
“Tourism has the power to make us aware of our enriching diversity. In an increasingly globalized world, tourism provides opportunities for social solidarity, community empowerment, and potential peace building,” she added.
“When designating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the UN recognized tourism’s contribution to people and planet; to peace and prosperity. The Mediterranean is a melting pot of civilizations; a testimony of our origins and an inspiration for our future and having the President of Malta as a contributor to the International Year is a privilege,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
The event served also to introduce the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, of which the President of Malta is a Patron. Established in 2013, the Foundation aims to increase the potential for sustainable tourism growth across the Mediterranean and to transform the Mediterranean into an area of peace, cooperation and prosperity by investing and promoting sustainable tourism.