Russia is officially no longer a member of the World Tourism Organisation

2 min reading time

Published on 29/04/22 - Updated on 29/04/22


The UNWTO announced at the beginning of March that it would suspend Russia from its bodies following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has decided to withdraw from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on Wednesday 27 April 2022, taking the step ahead of a vote by member states. The country had announced its decision to the UNWTO during the organisation's general assembly, a suspension that would be "effective immediately".

The UNWTO nevertheless clarified via a post on Twitter that Moscow's withdrawal would not prevent the exclusion procedure from continuing. The UNWTO, composed of 159 member states, had "unequivocally" condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine in early March, denouncing "a clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of that country.

The following day, Thursday 28 April, Russia was finally suspended from the World Tourism Organisation. The decision was approved by a large majority of the organisation's member states. 

UNWTO members have sent a clear message that tourism is a pillar of international peace and friendship, and that UNWTO members must uphold these values or face consequences, without exception. This emergency session of the General Assembly shows that the actions of the Russian Federation are indefensible and contrary to the very principles of UNWTO and international governance.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General

In a statement, Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto, who chaired the General Assembly session, welcomed the choice of the Member States, "in line with the principles" of the UNWTO. While the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced an "illegitimate" decision. 

According to the UNWTO, this is the first time that the organisation has met to suspend one of its members. A strong decision that demonstrates the solidarity shown by the various international tourism actors towards the Ukrainian people. This support can also be seen in the actions taken by professionals in the sector throughout the world.

Organisation Mondiale du Tourisme

Organisation Mondiale du Tourisme

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  • Organisation Mondiale du Tourisme Europe
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