Former Jordanian minister selected new chief of UN tourism agency

11 May 2009

Taleb Rifai has been selected by the United Nations tourism agency as its new Secretary-General for a four-year term beginning in January 2010.

Mr. Rifai was nominated by the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) last week during its meeting in Bamako, Mali. He has to be confirmed by the agency’s general assembly when it meets during the first week of October in Kazakhstan.

A former Jordanian tourism minister, Mr. Rifai has been the Madrid-based agency’s acting chief since last March and, before that, the Deputy Secretary-General since 2006.

UNWTO serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Its membership includes 161 countries and territories and more than 370 affiliate members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.

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