Successful edition of the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit
This forum has become the most important of its kind in the Americas and is emerging as one of the most relevant globally
From the hand of the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico, Miguel Torruco, accompanied by Carlos Joaquín, Governor of Quintana Roo, Vicente Ferreyra, President of the Organizing Committee, he started the 5th edition of the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit, the sustainable tourism event and the most important socially responsible in Latin America, at the Convention Center of the Hotel Paradisus Cancún by Meliá, in the state.
Under strict health control and in front of the more than 500 attendees both in person and online, the opening ceremony was attended by Miguel Torruco Marqués, Secretary of Tourism of Mexico; Carlos Joaquín González, Constitutional Governor of the State of Quintana Roo; Mara Lezama Espinosa, Municipal President of the Benito Juárez City Council; Fredy Antonio Chiroy Barreno, President Pro Tempore of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development; and with virtual messages from Isabel Novoa, President of the International Social Tourism Organization (ISTO) and Juan Carlos Rivera Castellanos, President of the Association of Secretaries of Tourism of Mexico (ASETUR).
In his participation, the Secretary of Tourism highlighted that throughout the years Mexico has made progress in tourism. "The tourist potential of a nation should not be measured based on the number of tourists received, but on the foreign exchange received and to have more foreign exchange and therefore, more overnight stays and spills. You have to create, integrate, and market new products that impact the consumer, ”said the official. He also expressed that the goal of tourism is to satisfy the needs and expectations of tourists and referred to this activity as: "A tool for social reconciliation and above all promoting the development of localities."
For his part, the governor of Quintana Roo assured that tourist activity reinforces peace, security, economic and social development, being an antidote to instability, poverty and insecurity that cause the fragility and rupture of every community. "That is why sustainability is very necessary since it will allow us to promote, support and work for greater inclusion, to create conditions for peace, to promote stability and economic and social growth, which is the basis and aspiration for our modern societies" , said the official. "There is a long road ahead and we cannot lose sight of what follows, when developing a response we need to focus on the key moments that will help build a stronger and more resilient future," he concluded.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is to see and understand the world differently. To rethink life itself, our activities and our way of seeing and understanding tourism ”, added Vicente Ferreyra. He stressed that, in the current context, crises are a springboard to find new opportunities, in the case of tourism to find a common agenda at the regional level with other countries with which Mexico not only shares important natural resources such as the Mesoamerican Reef, but also also history, traditions, challenges and a big heart. Forums such as the Summit are "opportunities to promote new business models and to generate links between sectors that sometimes seem distant," said the president of the organizing committee of the event.
For Fredy Antonio Chiroy this event constitutes a great opportunity to achieve the political, strategic and technical articulation that the SICA region has with Mexico. Likewise, to promote joint work for the benefit of the territory, its inhabitants and ecosystems. "Tourism comes to our region for various reasons, including the richness of our natural and cultural resources. For this reason, we are pleased with the approach of environmental issues and tourism at the regional level through this Summit," he stressed. According to Chiroy, the above highlights the possibilities for intersectoral coordination in such an important area.
Prior to the opening ceremony, the High Level Panel was held: Private Sector Actions in favor of Sustainability and Social Responsibility¸ with the participation of José Chapur, member of the Advisory Council of the National Tourism Business Council (CNET); Mariana Pérez, president of the Women's Association of Tourism Business Executives of the Mexican Republic (AFEET); Jake Kheel, vice president of Fundación Grupo Puntacana, Dominican Republic, moderated by Arik Staropolski, CEO of STA Consultores.
In said panel, the importance of private companies in sustainability in tourism was taken up again. The panellists noted that companies need to run programs for the environment rather than to have some standing, because that is the only way they can have a long-term impact. They commented that by executing these programs correctly, it can also reach travelers and replicate some of them at home.
On the other hand, the Master Conference was held: Regenerative Tourism, triumph or tragedy? Taught by Ana Pollok from Concius Travel, who joined from the UK. In this conference, Anna pointed out that regeneration is the practice of patterns that nature has had for years through certain principles that we can apply today; It is not only doing good, but also making fundamental changes in our way of thinking, changing from seeing tourism as a machine to seeing it as a living system. He added that the real tragedy would be to trivialize this way of thinking and therefore ignore these changes that are needed in the sector.
Given the circumstances derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, throughout its three days of activities, the forum will be held for the first time in a hybrid way, that is, in a face-to-face and virtual way simultaneously. It should be noted that, prior to the opening ceremony, covid-19 detection tests were carried out on all face-to-face participants to guarantee the safety of both speakers and attendees.
Throughout its four previous editions, it has had participants from five continents, 35 countries, 160 national and international speakers, and has convened around 1600 tourism professionals.