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In Colombia the next General Assembly of WTO

REPORT – WTO 16TH GA 2005: After the truly good efforts of Malaysia and Colombia, which had been candidates for the…

REPORT – WTO 16TH GA 2005: After the truly good efforts of Malaysia and Colombia, which had been candidates for the organization of the 17th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization in 2007, the plenum voted Colombia with secret ballot.

The plenum based its previous decision from 2001 with force from 2002 for maintenance of the geographical distribution rotation of the countries, which will organize from now on the General Assembly of WTO. Because the General Assembly of 2001 and 2003 held in Asian countries (Korea – Japan in 2001 and China in 2003) as TravelDailyNews had predicted, Colombia was chosen and specifically the city of Cartagena de Indias for the next assembly. The government of Colombia will choose the date of the next assembly.

Even though Malaysia, which had been represented by the country’s Minister of Tourism, claimed its 50th anniversary of independence and the importance of tourism in country’s economy, it didn’t manage to invert the decision of ‘rotation’. Colombia had a strong presence with a press conference and actions full of passion, as is written in its advertising slogan ‘Colombia is Passion’ from the Vice-President of Colombia Francisco Santos Calderon who had been present in all procedures of General Assembly and officiated in all the contacts in all levels. A noteworthy part was the special video with recorded messages from celebrities from the area of politics, art and sports, who were inviting the members of WTO in their country for the next assembly. The video was shown in Colombia’s event the night before the voting.

Colombia’s communication policy effort based in the already excellent convention (convention center of 3.500 seats for the plenum) and hotel infrastructure (more than 3.000 beds in 4 and 5 stars hotel) that city of Cartagena de Indias has, in order to accommodate such a wide range event (and that was a fact which had ‘spoken’ to the hearts of the participants in this year G.A. who didn’t make positive remarks for Dakar’s infrastructure and organization) but also the high level of security that Colombia can now present. Furthermore, Colombia’s effort for sustainable development of its tourism product and the support that tourism industry has on its economy in the elimination of poverty was suitable with the equivalent aims of WTO for the global development of tourism.

Countries, which have organized the General Assembly of WTO until now, are:

  • 1st General Assembly: Madrid (Spain)

  • 2nd General Assembly: Torremollinos (Spain)

  • 3rd General Assembly: Torremollinos (Spain)

  • 4th General Assembly: Rome (Italy)

  • 5th General Assembly: New Delhi (India)

  • 6th General Assembly: Sofia (Bulgaria)

  • 7th General Assembly: Madrid (Spain)

  • 8th General Assembly: Paris (France)

  • 9th General Assembly: Buenos Aires (Argentina)

  • 10th General Assembly: Bali (Indonesia)

  • 11th General Assembly: Cairo (Egypt)

  • 12th General Assembly: Istanbul (Turkey)

  • 13th General Assembly: Santiago (Chile)

  • 14th General Assembly: Seoul (Korea) and Osaka(Japan)

  • 15th General Assembly: Beijing (China)

  • 16th General Assembly: Dakar (Senegal)

  • 17th General Assembly: Cartagena de Indias (Colombia)

We have to notice that the withdrawn of Czech Republic for the 17th General Assembly and Greece’s failure in 2001 to assert the organization of 2003 didn’t help Europe as the continent haven’t seen WTO’s G.A. in european soil since 1997 in the 12th G.A. in Istanbul. 2009 may be the chance of Europe to organize the G.A and to abrogate the informal “blockade penalty” because of the consecutive organizations in the first years of WTO existence.

Below there are photographs of the Colombia’s efforts to assert the 17th General Assembly of WTO. Click to enlarge.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.