Considered by many the best football player of all times, Lionel Messi was appointed by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as its Ambassador for Responsible Tourism, after the match F.C. Barcelona – Leganés.
“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. The World Tourism Organization as a specialized 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”, said Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi is an example of talent and constant work in football. Messi is admired all around the world not the least due to the positioning he brought to the F.C. Barcelona in recent years, team with which he won a total of 30 titles, including eight Spanish Leagues, four Champion Leagues and five King’s Cups of Spain.
“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” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
Messi is the first football player in history who won five Ballon d’Or – the first four won consecutively – and four European Golden Shoes.
Lionel Messi joins the Spanish football player Fernando Hierro and the mythical Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque, as the first personalities that UNWTO appoints to advance the links between sports and tourism and promote the transformative power of responsible tourism.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development worldwide.