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Diriyah Company Group Ceo Jerry inzerillo appointed united nations Tourism Ambassador

Tuesday, April 16, 2024/ Editor -  

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  • Prestigious accolade granted in New York during first ever UN Sustainability Week
  • Honor granted to recognize Jerry Inzerillo’s career-long commitment to innovation in visionary tourism development
  • Joins elite group of nearly 50 tourism ambassadors from business; sport; the arts and gastronomy who include Georgio Armani; Lionel Messi and Placido Domingo

NEW YORK – APRIL 16, 2024 – Diriyah Company Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo has been appointed a United Nations Tourism Ambassador during the first ever UN Sustainability week in New York. The accolade recognizes his achievements as a global visionary in the hospitality industry and internationally acknowledged visionary in tourism development over a career spanning more than 50 years.

He was presented with the award by the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili during a day dedicated to debating and discussing future global tourism strategies and the vital role sustainability will play in that future. 

In his newly appointed role, Jerry Inzerillo joins an elite group of nearly 50 UN tourism ambassadors from the arts, business, gastronomy, and sport including Georgio Armani; Lionel Messi and Placido Domingo

Making the announcement, UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “The UNWTO is enormously proud to welcome Jerry Inzerillo as our newest Tourism Ambassador.  In this new role he will help to amplify the UNWTO’s key messages of the ability of tourism to drive change and achieve sustainable growth. In his leadership role at Diriyah he is also playing a transformative role in opening the world’s fastest growing and diverse tourism destination of Saudi Arabia to global audiences.”

The honor reflects the lifelong commitment he has made to the use of innovative design and development strategies that support local communities and create new and undiscovered tourism destinations. Born in New York, Jerry Inzerillo’s remarkable journey has led him to work with esteemed organizations such as Forbes Travel Guide, IMG Artists and Kerzner International where he established the Atlantis Resorts and One & Only brands. In 2021 he was awarded one of tourism and hospitality’s most prestigious accolades when he was named Corporate Hotelier of the World by Hotels Magazine. More recently, President Joe Biden awarded Jerry the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Diriyah, The City of Earth is located on the outskirts of Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, and at its core is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, the historic capital of the First Saudi State.

Spearheaded by Inzerillo, the development’s strategies uphold the highest international sustainability, preservation, and conservation standards, supporting mobility, health, and well-being of the local community. The development is inspired by traditional Najdi architecture enabling sustainable infrastructure, the planting of 6.5 million indigenous trees, shrubs and plants and utilizing carbon-negative building materials throughout the Diriyah project, receiving the LEED platinum-level certification for Cities and Communities by the United States Green Building Council for the first phase of its masterplan, a first of its kind certification in the Middle East.

Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, said: “It is an enormous honor for me personally, and by extension for the Diriyah Company, to have been granted the status of becoming a United Nations Tourism Ambassador.  

“In the area of tourism, we have the privilege to work in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors that employs 320 million people today and will add a further 100 million within the next decade. But with that privilege comes enormous responsibility to ensure that our developments are innovative, actionable and have real and enduring impact.

“A key part of our master planning strategy is that our commitment to sustainable practices must also extend beyond the day-to-day operations of Diriyah Company. We need to commit as a company – and as a global tourism sector – to the education of our people, the communities we work in and the millions who travel to experience the wonder of new destinations in ensuring a better understanding, knowledge and action in sustainability and contemporary tourism practices.

Speaking to delegates in New York, he explained that sustainable tourism and proactive policymaking must become a driver of change for the industry and become a catalyst for a vibrant and growing sector in Saudi Arabia and around the world. In addition to receiving the tourism ambassador accolade, Jerry Inzerillo also participated in a 1-1 discussion about the future of tourism and joined a vibrant debate on sustainable tourism practices with other global industry leaders.


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