UNWTO urges Ibero-American leaders urged to adopt tourism as a development engine
The potential of the tourism industry to promote sustainable development has been highlighted during the 27th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government in Andorra
With a special focus on the role of innovation in sustainable development, the hybrid summit brought together leaders from the 22 Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America and Europe. In this context, the Ibero-American Business Meeting brought together senior executives from the main companies in the region, including the banking and aeronautical sectors. Addressing this meeting, UNWTO highlighted its leadership role in addressing the key challenges facing tourism. Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili highlighted the demonstrated economic and social importance of the sector for all participating countries and reiterated his strong call for clear leadership, coordination and joint action.
Coordinated restart and recovery Coordinate the introduction of protocols for safe international travel to avoid adding uncertainty and undermining confidence.
Given that tourism is a pillar of development and employment in all Ibero-American economies, Mr. Pololikashvili underlined "the opportunity that tourism has to help us grow better." At the same time, he noted the urgent need to "coordinate the introduction of protocols for safe international travel to avoid adding uncertainty and undermining confidence." The 'Digital Green Pass', which aims to reactivate tourism in the European Union for June or July, “should be an example to follow for other regions and countries of the world; the cost of more chaos is simply too high not to, ”he added.
UNWTO outlined its new Destination Tracker, produced in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to address travel uncertainty and lack of confidence. Participants were also briefed on UNWTO's enhanced partnerships with international financial organizations to ensure that tourism jobs and businesses receive the support they need in this time of crisis. Going forward, UNWTO's work with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will help ensure that the resumption of tourism generates benefits for rural communities on both sides of the Atlantic.
The UNWTO Delegation was joined by His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, together with the Head of Government of Andorra, Espot Zamora, the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, and the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, in Andorra for the biennial meeting. Leaders of the other 17 Member States of the Ibero-American Community, as well as their Associate Observers and Consultative Observers from international organizations, virtually joined the proceedings.
The Andorra summit followed high-level meetings between UNWTO leaders and the presidents of the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. The day before the summit began, the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, and the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, made official visits to the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid.
In these meetings, the UNWTO highlighted the importance of cooperation to reactivate tourism jointly. The importance of tourism for both countries was also highlighted, including not only the economic importance of the sector, but also its contributions to rural development and the opportunities it creates for indigenous communities.