Updated on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 – 11:56
The tender will be made in 2022 and the work will last about 15 months
The ministers, the mayor of Madrid and the secretary general of the UNWTO, during their visit to the future headquarters
The project for the new headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which will be located in the old Palacio de Congresos de Madrid, will begin in 2022, when the tender for the work project is made at the end of the year. Construction will take around 15 months so the new headquarters will be ready for 2014, as announced today by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.
The minister presented today, together with the Foreign Minister, Jos Manuel Albares, the details of the project amid the controversy over Saudi Arabia’s attempts to seize the headquarters from Madrid and take it to Riyadh. The country has been maneuvering for it for some time, although, according to Albares, there is still no request in this regard.
“Neither the authorities nor the secretary have received a request to change headquarters. There is bloc support from the EU and Latin America“for the headquarters to stay in Madrid, according to Albares, who highlights the” logic “seen in countries where the headquarters is in a tourist power such as Spain.
If there is a request for the transfer of headquarters “It will not be a challenge to the country, but to the multilateral system and balance”, has said. “The venues were not located in a capricious way. They respond to a reality of countries that are especially committed to the reality of that venue. Madrid, Spain, Europe, are the center of world tourism and the locations cannot be moved as if they were franchises of a store or baseball teams, “he pointed out.
No formal request
As there are no complaints, no request or demand, “there are no reasons for the headquarters to move,” said the minister. At the end of November the Assembly of the organization will take place and in order to be able to opt for the proposal to change the venue to be voted on at this meeting, Saudi Arabia must first submit a formal proposal, something it has not done.
Maroto and Albares have visited the future headquarters together with the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, and the mayor of Madrid, Jos Luis Martnez Almeida. “The building will give the new UNWTO headquarters visibility at a time when we are reactivating the tourism sector and where UNWTO will be the beacon of this modernization,” said Maroto.
The headquarters will have about 8,000 square meters, with an exhibition hall and three office floors, with all the elements of sustainability, in the heart of Madrid. With the remodeling of this complex, the Government is thus pressing to stop Riyadh’s attempts to take her away. According to Albares, “everyone recognizes the importance of the headquarters having been in Madrid since 1975 and no one sees any reason, complaint or request for it to move, on the contrary. There is total support and an illusion that this headquarters is a reality”.
Maroto has insisted that “Spain is committed to the UNWTO and they want to reinforce the role it has in the international sphere. “The UNWTO has been based in Madrid since 1975 and” Spain played an essential role in joining the United Nations in 2003. “There are 46 years of collaboration between UNWTO and Spain and today we are taking a step forward in this collaboration.”
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