Mexico and Spain hold a binational forum on regulatory and biosanitary experiences for tourism
The Secretary of Tourism of Mexico and the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of the Government of Spain participated
The Secretary of Tourism of the Government of Mexico, Miguel Torruco Marqués, and the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of the Government of Spain, María Reyes Maroto Illera, headed the First Binational Forum of Tourism Bioseguro Mexico-Spain: “Regulatory and Bio Sanitary Experiences for Tourism ”, in which it was highlighted that this event is a space for dialogue and exchange of experiences between two sister countries, and a bridge between the Americas and the European continent.
The head of the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) indicated that in 2019 Spain was the sixth largest issuing market for Mexico in the world, with 392 thousand tourists who arrived by air, which represented an expense of just over 392 million dollars . In turn, Spain was the first European destination visited by Mexicans, with 598 thousand tourists, that is, an increase of twenty percent compared to 2018.
However, he argued that in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything, since Mexico received one hundred thousand Spanish tourists, which represented a fall of 74.5 percent compared to 2019, with an economic spill of 99 million dollars and a 75 percent decrease.
He expressed that, in recent months, health authorities and the main players in the tourism industry in the world have made significant progress to counteract the effects of the pandemic.
"In Mexico, according to the Ministry of Health, by the end of April the vaccination of medical personnel, older adults and teachers in the education sector will have been completed, and progress will continue to be made to cover the entire population this year. ”, He highlighted.
He took advantage of the meeting to, in his capacity as president of the Inter-American Tourism Commission (Citur) of the Organization of American States (OAS), to convey to the European Union a message from the American continent: that the governments of our continent are joining efforts for the safe reactivation of international traveler mobility in the region and regain their confidence.
In this sense, Secretary Torruco Marqués announced the agreements reached in the working session that was held on March 26, with the attendance of the 35 CITUR member countries, as well as Italy, as a guest country, for bringing the presidency of the G20 2021.
Among the agreements, he reported, is to seek synergies at the national and regional level, which facilitate tourist mobility, both within each country and between nations, respecting the health provisions established by the various governments and avoiding discriminatory practices; reach an inter-American consensus on the homogenization of bio-sanitary protocols; collaborate with the private sector in the development of a unique technological tool that facilitates the reactivation of travel and tourism in a safe way; and seek rapid, effective, and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
"By virtue of the leadership of the government of Spain in Europe and in the presence of Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), I would like to ask you to be the link so that these agreements reach a broader table of analysis with global reach, because we know that efforts at the regional level are not enough, "he said.
He remarked that in Mexico, since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Health, as well as with the private sector, through its associations and tourism chambers, has worked on the implementation of a series of bio-health protocols aimed at guaranteeing the safety, in terms of health, of the entire value chain of the tourism sector.
Among these protocols are the "National Guideline for the Gradual Reopening of the Tourism Sector"; and the "Clean Point Quality Seal 2020 version, Good Practices for Hygienic-Sanitary Quality in the Tourism Sector". "We are also about to develop and implement a sixth protocol, the" Safe Business Seal ", which would be granted by the Secretaries of Health and Tourism to accelerate the recovery of such important industries in our country such as Congresses and Conventions," he said.
From the conclusions reached in this meeting, Torruco Marqués specified that it is necessary to promote collaboration through these meetings, share knowledge and exchange good practices between regions and countries, "since it will always be a source of inspiration to find innovative solutions in a new regional and global context ”.
He reported that on January 19, Mexico held a meeting with the presidents of "Brand USA" and "Destination Canada", tourism promotion agencies of its two main source markets, where work tables were set up for the exchange of precise information on the bio-sanitary measures carried out in the three countries, in order to reactivate the mobility of travelers in the North American region and recover air connectivity as soon as possible.
Therefore, he proposed to follow up on this binational forum, setting up a work table to exchange information on the biosafety and epidemiological control measures implemented by the main tourist destinations and actors in the sector. "It would be like this, a permanent tourist observatory among our nations," he said.
He also invited the Spanish authorities to use the Legal Instrument for Tourism Cooperation that already exists between Mexico and Spain, the Memorandum of Understanding signed on January 24, 2019, within the framework of the International Tourism Fair of Spain (Fitur), in order to establish a roadmap that leads to a speedy recovery of the tourist flow between the two countries.
Finally, the head of Sectur proposed a meeting in Madrid, during the 2021 edition of Fitur, to resume the agreements reached at the meeting. He also celebrated the exchange of experiences and ideas that led to this first Binational Bioseguro Mexico-Spain Tourism Forum.
Also participating in the meeting were Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization; Roberta Andraghetti, regional advisor on International Health Regulations of the Department of Health Emergencies of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Peter Cerdá, regional vice president for the Americas of the International Air Transport Association (IATA); Humberto Hernández-Haddad, Undersecretary of Quality and Regulation of Sectur; and Fernando Valdés Verel, Secretary of State for Tourism of the Government of Spain.
During the Forum, two panels of experts were held. In the first, entitled: "Facilitate safe travel," participated Sabina Fluxá, vice president and CEO of the Iberostar Group; Guillermo González Vallina, Iberia Sales Director for Spain, Portugal and North Africa; and Encarna Piñeiro, president of Inverhotel.
In the second: "Biosafety protocols: homogenization of health security in tourism", Miguel Molina Urías, Technical Support of the Epidemiological Operational Research Directorate, and collaborator of the International Health Regulations, of the Ministry of Health took part; Christian Pastrana, Director of Communication and Public Affairs of Aeroméxico; Jorge Manos Esparragoza, Technical Secretary of the Union of Secretaries of Tourism of Mexico (Asetur); Juan José Fernández Carrillo, president of the Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels (AMHM); Luis Barrios Sánchez, president of the National Association of Hotel Chains (ANCH); José Manuel López Campos, president of the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco Servytur); Germán González Bernal, President of the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac); Cuitláhuac Gutiérrez, general director of the National Air Transport Chamber (Canaero) and director of IATA in Mexico; and Hilario Pérez León, general director of Tourism Certification of Sectur.
Also present were María Carmen Oñate Muñoz, Ambassador of Mexico in Spain; José Alfonso Zegbe Camarena, Head of Unit of the Executive Directorate of Strategy and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Relations; and Juan López Dóriga Pérez, ambassador of Spain in Mexico.