Location changes in GITT events and their challenges.

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There are many reasons that affect the choice of a host city to hold an event: infrastructure, socio-political situation of the country, international relations at a global level, etc. But what happens when, a few days or months before the celebration of these events, the venue is changed? This is something that happens constantly for very different circumstances: social crises in the host country, financial crises that make it impossible to meet the investment required for an event of this nature, natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, and so on and so forth.

These changes have led to a major disruption in the logistics of preparing GITT (Governmental and Institutional Travel and Tourism) travels, for each of the delegations attending this type of event. If anything, this leads to more last-minute changes in these trips, more uncertainty, more delays in confirming the services required by the delegations, etc. In other words, they contribute to a GITT trip becoming a real logistical nightmare.

This happened in 2019 with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) in its 25th edition. The event was to take place in Chile, but its government requested, about 30 days before the date of celebration, the cancellation of the event due to the socio-political crisis that the Andean country was experiencing. A few days after the Chilean government's communication, Madrid offered itself as host, having to organize, in record time, all the preparations for hosting an event of this magnitude.

History has recently repeated itself with the 24th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which was to be hosted by the city of Marrakech, and which will finally take place next week in the Spanish capital, Madrid. On this occasion, the Moroccan government has been forced to decline hosting the event due to the epidemiological situation in the country, as COVID-19 is currently threatening a new wave of contagions in the African country.

However, what on other occasions has been a major setback for the travel units and specialized agencies in charge of organizing GITT trips, on this occasion, due to the experience and the situation the world has been facing over the last 2 years, has had a slightly lesser impact due to the prudence of the delegations in delaying the confirmation of the services (flights, hotels, cars, etc.) that will be used during their stay.

The city of Madrid already has experience in successfully organizing and holding global events on short notice. We are confident that, on this occasion, the 24th UNWTO General Assembly will once again be a success, as well as a clear example of logistical efficiency and excellent organization by the city of Madrid.

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