Zurab Pololikashvili is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since 1 January 2018 after being elected by the 22nd Session of UNWTO General Assembly. He was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Andorra, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, and Permanent Representative of Georgia to the UNWTO until December 2017.
Between 2009 and 2010, Mr. Pololikashvili was Minister of Economic Development of Georgia. He was instrumental in launching an innovative tourism development policy to prioritise agendas of both public and private sectors through policy reform, marketing, infrastructure improvement and visa liberalisation. These paved the way for sustainable tourism development and poverty alleviation of Georgia, and nearly doubled the country’s international tourist arrivals from 2009 to 2011. He also successfully led the economic liberalisation processes, introducing supportive policies for SMEs and incentive programmes to attract foreign infrastructure investment.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Pololikashvili was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Spain. From 2005 to 2006, he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. He was responsible for implementing more liberal and secure visa regimes, facilitating processes to ease border crossing procedures, and deepening relations with various international organisations.
Mr. Pololikashvili’s experience in the private sector includes several years in the financial and banking sectors, serving as Manager of International Operations of TBC Bank, Director of TBC Bank’s Central Branch Office from 2001 to 2005, and Vice President of TBC Group from 2010 to 2011. He was also Chief Executive Officer of Georgia’s professional football team FC Dinamo Tbilisi from 2001 to 2011.
Mr. Pololikashvili graduated from Georgian Technical University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking. In 2009, he completed the Global Senior Management Programme of IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.