UNWTO Ambassador of Responsible Tourism and footballing legend Didier Drogba helped bring the first Global Youth Tourism Summit to an inspiring close with a special masterclass for more than 120 young delegates.
The masterclass was the culmination of three days' worth of intense and interactive discussions where leading figures from across the fields of gastronomy, sport, and business, shared their visions for sustainable tourism and personal testimonies leading up to their own success.
Addressing young delegates from 57 countries, the Ivorian made clear the links between tourism and sports, both sectors with the power to bring hope and opportunity for all, including across Africa. Mr Drogba engaged in an honest and open dialogue covering many topics ranging from his personal journey to fame, the importance of giving back through his own philanthropic Foundation, and the vital role of tourism as a driver of mutual respect, sustainability, and for bringing together sports fans from all over the world.
"In my career, I was lucky enough to travel widely: from Lagos, to Shanghai, London, and Sarajevo, just to mention a few, and meeting people from different traditions was one of the things that brought me the most joy," he said.
Working towards a common goal
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili added: "As a UNWTO Ambassador, Didier Drogba brings the drive and energy he showed on the football pitch to promoting the power of tourism for growth and development. Like UNWTO, Drogba is empowering global youth and so helping to build a more sustainable and resilient future for us all."
The inaugural Global Youth Tourism Summit was organized by UNWTO in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism of Italy and the Italian National Tourism Agency (ENIT). It was open to young people aged 12 to 18, giving them a unique platform to engage with tourism leaders from the public and private sectors and to develop the skills and knowledge they will need to become leaders themselves.