The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the appointment of acclaimed actor Winston Duke as its newest Ambassador for Responsible Tourism. Recognized for his exceptional talent and commitment to global philanthropic efforts, Duke will advocate for sustainable tourism practices and raise awareness about the transformative power of travel, in support of UNWTO’s latest campaign, “Tourism Open Minds.”
Duke, renowned for his captivating performances in critically acclaimed films such as “Black Panther,” “Us,” and “Nine Days,” has consistently demonstrated his dedication to social causes, making him an ideal choice for this prestigious role. As UNWTO Ambassador for Responsible Tourism, Duke will actively support UNWTO’s mission to promote responsible and sustainable tourism practices. He will work closely with the Organization to advocate for the importance of tourism in fostering economic growth, preserving cultural heritage, and protecting the environment.
The “Tourism Open Minds” campaign, launched by UNWTO on the occasion of World Tourism Day on 27 September, aims to promote inclusive and sustainable tourism by fostering dialogue, understanding, and respect among travelers and local communities. It encourages travelers to embrace diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives, while also highlighting the positive impact of tourism on local economies and the environment.
Expressing his enthusiasm for the new role, Winston Duke stated, “I am deeply honored to join the United Nations World Tourism Organization as an Ambassador. To journey, to travel is the act of confronting the truth…in that truth, we see that we are so much more alike than we are different, and without knowing it, we build bridges. If travel is a bridge, then tourism is the engineer. Tourism is the globe’s lifeblood of our global economy. It is the most human sector of our economies. With it, we can engineer mutual respect amongst nations as it is a reminder that, though we are individual spaces, what we have in common are a bounty of beautiful people and experiences.”
UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, welcomed the appointment, saying: “UNWTO is honored to welcome Winston Duke as our Ambassador for Responsible Tourism. As an actor, he is a master storyteller and capable of showcasing the power of tourism to open minds and transform lives, and as a humanitarian, he lives tourism’s values of empathy, delivering opportunity for all and going the extra mile for the common good. UNWTO looks forward to an exciting and fruitful relationship with Duke.”
Winston Duke will actively participate in various initiatives, campaigns, and events organized by the UNWTO across the world to promote responsible tourism practices and advocate for the sector’s recovery. His influential voice and global reach will undoubtedly contribute to raising awareness and inspiring positive change within the tourism industry.
Duke wrote on social media:
“I am absolutely thrilled and deeply honored to share with you all that I have been appointed as the UN Ambassador for the World Tourism Organization!
Last week, during the incredible World Tourism Day event held in the stunning city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the announcement was made, leaving me completely floored and filled with gratitude.
Growing up in the captivating islands of Trinidad and Tobago, I have always been a passionate advocate for the power of tourism. I have witnessed firsthand how tourism can transform local and global economies, providing job opportunities and fostering cultural exchange.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili for this tremendous honor. It is truly humbling to be given the opportunity to serve as a UN Ambassador for an organization that plays a vital role in promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism worldwide.
I am beyond excited to embark on this new journey and work alongside the World Tourism Organization to further promote the transformative power of tourism. Together, we can create a more prosperous and interconnected world through responsible and sustainable tourism practices.”
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