The pandemic has placed the tourism sector in a reality never before imaginable
This was stated by the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico Miguel Torruco Marqués during a webinar organized by the Tourism University of Costa Rica
The Secretary of Tourism of the Government of Mexico, Miguel Torruco Marqués, participated this afternoon in the virtual panel "Post-Covid-19 challenges for the tourism industry in Latin America and the Caribbean", organized by the Tourism University of Costa Rica, where he pointed out that this topic, of great interest to the region, will also be discussed at the extraordinary meeting of the OAS Inter-American Committee on Tourism, which will take place on August 14, and which he called as president.
He explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed the tourism sector in a reality never before imaginable, with great challenges ahead.
“The closure of the establishment, the cancellation of flights, the dismissal of workers and the restriction of events made us turn our gaze towards a hidden reality: a limited healthcare system, workers lacking a solid social protection scheme, companies without reserves and liquidity. , lack of responsibility and commitment of tourists with their social, cultural and natural environment, among other aspects, in which we must work together to protect our activity from events like the one that currently afflicts us, ”he said.
He argued that this pandemic has also shown the practice of a carefree tourist for the crowds of tourist destinations; the change of urban appearance; the transgression to the daily life of the inhabitants of the tourist squares; the deterioration of the environment; and the preservation of the traditions and identity of local populations.
Against this background, he stressed that today the urgency is the economic reactivation and recovery of the tourism sector, but these highly relevant issues should not be forgotten, if the travel industry is to continue to be an engine of development and growth.
The owner of Sectur said that, after a long period of confinement, the sector is aware that tourism has changed and that it must adapt to the new needs and demands of a more informed and demanding tourist.
He explained that in order to safeguard the health of service providers, tourists and the inhabitants of tourist communities, several are the priority issues, such as the incorporation of strict hygiene measures in all areas of tourist activity, applying sanitary protocols approved with those already existing in the main tourism-emitting countries, a task that must be permanent.
Another aspect is the sustainability of the destinations, both in their environmental and social dimensions, because without these two elements the tourism industry is doomed to failure.
He stressed that Costa Rica, recognized internationally for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity, is a pioneer country and leader in the development of Ecotourism in the world.
“For decades, it has taught us how to do different tourism, with full respect for its natural environment. This has given it added value, placing it as a "green" destination in the world showcase, with original and differentiating tourist products, "he assured.
He added that, in the case of Mexico, the priority in tourism, ordered by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is to make tourism a tool for social reconciliation, where the environment is cared for and protected and historical and cultural identity is preserved. of its tourist destinations, but above all that is a source of well-being for society.
Finally, the secretary Torruco Marqués summoned the participants in this meeting to continue focusing their efforts on the consolidation of a sustainable tourism, which favors investment, the generation of jobs and the income of foreign currency, but that mainly contributes to the conservation of their natural resources and the recovery of social cohesion, through coexistence and cultural exchange.
For his part, the Minister of Tourism of Costa Rica, Gustavo Segura Sancho, affirmed that in his country they have a tourism industry that reaches all corners of the territory, which has helped prevent emigration, since this allows people to stay in their towns to show visitors their natural attractions.
However, he emphasized that for Costa Rica, as for many other Latin American countries, the entry of fresh currency is essential for its economy, so that at this time, in addition to the health pandemic, they are also experiencing an economic pandemic that affects all those who live on tourism, which are around 600 thousand people.