Messi appointed Ambassador for Responsible Tourism by Georgian head of World Tourism Organization
12 April, 2018
Messi appointed Ambassador for Responsible Tourism by Georgian head of World Tourism Organization
Lionel Messi, a world famous footballer from Argentina, considered by many the best football player of all times, has been appointed as World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ambassador for Responsible Tourism by the Georgian UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. Lionel Messi joined the World Tourism Organization to promote the value of responsible tourism on April 9, 2018, at Camp Nou in Barcelona, after the match F.C. Barcelona – Leganés.
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Zurab Pololikashvili with the current president of FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu

The
website of UNWTO has published the comments and impressions of Lionel Messi and Zurab Pololikashvili.
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Josep Maria Bartomeu and Zurab Pololikashvili met after Barça vs. Leganés

Renowned Argentine football player expressed happiness related with his new mission and noted that The World Tourism Organization works to make tourism a source of development:

“During my travels I have had the opportunity to know other cultures and societies as well as others ways to see the world and this is very enriching. The World Tourism Organization as a specialized Agency of the United Nations works to make tourism a source of development and I am happy I can join this mission of promoting responsible tourism”, said Lionel Messi.
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Lionel Messi

According to the Georgian Secretary General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, Messi is a great talent and it is a big honor to have him as the part of the organization:
“Messi is a unique sportsman and an example of how willpower and constant work yield good results. It is a great honour to have Messi joining UNWTO and other well-known personalities in promoting the positive values and benefits that tourism represents” said Zurab Pololikashvili.
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Georgian Secretary General of UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili

It is noteworthy that in 2015 Georgia’s Dianmo Arena in Tbilisi hosted a pre-match between Barcelona and Sevilla. Within the frames of this match Lionel Messi visited Georgia and exercise was over the footballer was warmly met by his many fans.
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Lionel Messi arriving in Georgian in 2015

The world-famous footballer greeted his Georgian supporters and handed out autographs to the most little ones.

See the video below: BEHIND THE SCENES – FC Barcelona first day in Georgia

Messi is not the first sportsman who joined the work of UNWTO. Spanish football player Fernando Hierro and famous Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque have also been appointed by the organization in order to establish closer connections between sports and tourism.

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Suarez puts the captain's arm band on Messi at Dinamo Arena

“Lionel Messi joins the Spanish football player Fernando Hierro and the mythical Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque, as the first personalities that UNWTO appoints to advance the links between sports and tourism and promote the transformative power of responsible tourism,” reads the website of UNWTO.
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Messi celebrates after victory in the UEFA Super Cup between Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Dinamo Arena

Ambassador Zurab Pololikashvili from Georgia was elected as UNWTO Secretary General in September 2017. He was elected at the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly in China. The procedure was attended by Georgian Foreign Minister Mikhiel Janelidze.
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Ambassador Zurab Pololikashvili from Georgia was elected as UNWTO Secretary General in September 2017

It was the first case when a candidate of Georgia occupied the position of the head of this international organization.

Pololikashvili served as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Andorra, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco and Permanent Representative of Georgia to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) up to December 2017.

Between 2009 and 2010, he was Minister of Economic Development of Georgia.
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It was the first case when a candidate of Georgia occupied the position of the head of this international organization

As a Minister of Economic Development of Georgia, Mr Pololikashvili was responsible for overseeing the country’s long-term fiscal growth strategies, advancing foreign trade and investment policy initiatives as well as for promoting the development of the tourism, infrastructure and transportation sectors. He was instrumental in launching an innovative policy for the development of tourism in Georgia, prioritizing the sphere on both the government and private sector agendas.
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Between 2009 and 2010, he was Minister of Economic Development of Georgia

During Mr Pololikashvili’s tenure as Minister of Economic Development, through key policy reforms, marketing activities, improvement of infrastructure and visa liberalization initiatives, Georgia nearly doubled the number of international tourist arrivals, from 1.5 million (2009) to exceeding the 2.8 million mark by 2011. Those reforms paved the way for sustainable tourism practices in Georgia and poverty alleviation initiatives, placing Georgia among the top tourism destinations in the region.

Argentine football star Lionel Messi plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team.

Messi has a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards, four of which he won consecutively, and a record-tying four European Golden Shoes.
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Messi has a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards

He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won 30 trophies, including eight La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and five Copas del Rey.

Both a prolific goal scorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most official goals scored in La Liga (378), a La Liga season (50), a club football season in Europe (73), a calendar year (91), El Clásico (25), as well as those for most assists in La Liga (149) and the Copa América (11). He has scored over 600 senior career goals for club and country.
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He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona

Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment.

After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, finishing 2007 as a finalist for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat he repeated the following year.
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Barcelona after victory in the UEFA Super Cup between Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Dinamo Arena on August 11, 2015 in Tbilisi, Georgia

His personal best campaign statistically to date was the 2011–12 season, in which he set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in official competitions in March 2012.

An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.



His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared Messi his successor.

Related stories:

Lionel Messi gives autographs to his Georgian fans after pre-match practice in Tbilisi

Zurab Pololikashvili elected as UNWTO Secretary General
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