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Pope Francis addresses lobal Youth Tourism Summit

By Maria Diamond
02 July 2022   |   2:43 am
Pope Francis has called on all youths globally to be messengers of hope. The Pope sent this message of support to young participants at the ongoing UNWTO’s first Global Youth Tourism Summit in Sorrento, Italy.

[FILES] Pope Francis (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

Pope Francis has called on all youths globally to be messengers of hope. The Pope sent this message of support to young participants at the ongoing UNWTO’s first Global Youth Tourism Summit in Sorrento, Italy.

  
The summit, which is a landmark for the sector, as well as UNWTO, prioritises youth empowerment, education and training for about 130 students from 60 countries who will take part in a series of workshops, debates and discussions. Participants are aged between 12 and 18 alongside a delegation from Ukraine.
  
Pope Francis who implored the youths to make the most of the unique opportunity by developing the knowledge and the skills they will need to build a better future for tourism and for their home communities said: “The experiences that you will make in Sorrento will be enshrined in your memories. This is how you will grow and will be prepared to assume more important roles. I wish that you would be messengers of hope and of rebirth for the future. I send you my blessings and my greetings.”
  
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The Global Youth Tourism Summit celebrates and promotes the role that young people will play in shaping our sector in the years to come. By giving them the knowledge and the tools they need to lead the sector forwards, participants can act on Pope Francis’s welcome words and become ambassadors of tourism for peace and solidarity.”
 
 
UNWTO has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Holy See, which has held observer status to the Organisation since 1975. In 2019, Secretary-General Pololikashvili enjoyed an official visit to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, using the occasion to highlight tourism’s essential role in eradicating poverty and promoting peace.
  
The first Global Youth Tourism Summit will also feature the support and participation of a number of UNWTO Ambassadors as well as leading figures from across the sector, including Ministers from every global region. The weeklong event will also feature a mock UNWTO General Assembly to allow the youngsters to debate the theme of tourism and discuss the innovative proposals for the future of the sector within the global framework of the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).