Tourism Minister K J Alphons is leading the Indian delegation at the 109th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council in Manama, Bahrain, according to a statement from the ministry on Wednesday.
The three-day session of the UNWTO Executive Council began on October 30. The Executive Council will discuss several topics on the agenda that are related to the development of global tourism sector.
During the opening day of the Executive Council meeting, Alphons chaired the 'programme and budget committee' meeting of the UNWTO.
In his opening remarks, the minister highlighted the role of tourism in socio-economic development through job creation, enterprise and environment development and foreign exchange earnings.
As the chair of the committee, the minister informed the session that for the first time, UNWTO had a surplus budget and most of the arrears due have been paid.
India will be the chair of the programme and budget committee of UNWTO Executive Council till 2021.
On the sidelines of the event, Alphons met the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, and discussed on involving UNWTO in developing tourism as a strong agent for the better future of the world and establishing the global public-private partnerships.
UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
(With inputs from agencies.)