Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general, UNWTO, appointed Messi during a visit to FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium following the team’s match against CD Leganés on April 07. Messi scored a hat-trick during his side’s 3-1 victory, making it an all-round great day for the Argentina captain.
“During my travels I have had the opportunity to know other cultures and societies as well as others ways to see the world and this is very enriching,” commented Messi. “UNWTO, as a specialised agency of the United Nations, works to make tourism a source of development and I am happy I can join this mission of promoting responsible tourism.”
Pololikashvili added, “Messi is a unique sportsman and an example of how willpower and constant work yield good results. It is a great honour to have Messi joining UNWTO and other well-known personalities in promoting the positive values and benefits that tourism represents.”
Messi joins ex-Spain captain Fernando Hierro and former Spain boss Vicente del Bosque as the first UNWTO personalities that have been appointed to advance the links between sports and tourism, and promote the transformative power of responsible tourism.