Sorrento, Italy, 2 July 2022 – A closing night packed with surprises, one that the young participants of the first ever Global Youth Tourism Summit will never forget as they head back to their respective homes across the world.
In the words of UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and UNWTO Director for Europe Alessandra Priante, fundamentally GYTS represents a manifestation of hope and peace through the crossing of cultures, and notably this is achieved through safer, more responsible, and sustainable tourism.
Valeria Mazza, UNWTO Ambassador for Responsible Tourism and the godmother of GYTS, encouraged the adolescents with a final message that each one of them have their own paths in life to follow and that this Summit facilitated this discovery through the many enriching talks held throughout the week, including speakers from sports, gastronomy, and business sectors. A written message sent by UNWTO special Ambassador Giorgio Armani was read out by Ms Mazza to the adolescents.
The night kicked off with the national anthem of Italy played by one of the GYTS-ers from Iran, Tara Ghahremani, with the traditional santur instrument. Following this, the Ukrainian National Folk Ensemble “Veryovka” charmed the audience with its choreographed dances, flamboyant dresses, and rhythmic tunes.
The orchestra was directed by maestro Carlo Ponti Jr, the son of Italian actress Sofia Loren who also sent an audio message, and regaled the audience of high-level guests including the Ambassador of Ukraine to Italy Yaroslav Melnyk, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake, UNWTO Ambassador for Sustainable Tourism Didier Drogba, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives Abdulla Mausoom, and founder of Small World Foundation Salam Hamzeh Ghaith.
In a concrete act of solidarity, the night ended with presentations of organizations which are performing goodwill and charitable work, namely the Los Angeles Virtuosi, the MSC Foundation, Didier Drogba Foundation, Pokrova Association, and finally the UEFA Foundation.