The Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit had its sixth edition in Guanajuato, Mexico
The event that took place from August 31 to September 2, had "the change" as its central theme and covered issues of sustainability, corporate responsibility and climate change.
It all started with an opening ceremony that had among the attendees important national and international government and tourism authorities such as Dirk Glaesser, director of UNWTO Sustainable Tourism; Jeremy Sampsom, CEO The Travel Foundation; Phillip Schukat, coordinator of the GIZ Climate Change Cluster; Lorena Gudiño Valdez, from the ADAPTUR-GIZ project; Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Office Director, Iberostar; and Jorge Moller, GSTC Latin America representative. During the opening gala, the prize for Sustainable and Social Tourism in Ibero-America was presented and the ribbon for the FRAGILE photographic expo was cut.
The welcome to the second day was given by the Secretary of Tourism of Guanajuato Juan José Álvarez Brunel and Fernando Mandri Bellot, President of the Organizing Committee of the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit, who prepared the public for the Master Conference Adapt or die: Tourism in a changing world, led by Jeremy Sampson, who emphasized collaboration and the development of new skills and abilities to face change and make a difference. Along these lines, a collective signing of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism was carried out.
The Sustainable Tourism Expo was then inaugurated, linking more than 300 entrepreneurs, businessmen and civil society organizations with the tourism sector in Mexico and opening channels of dialogue on experiences, services and products linked to corporate responsibility, environmental care and the local economy.
Climate change, environmental policies and financial solutions for sustainable tourism were some of the topics that were discussed in the various panels on the first day. During the day, the "Sustentur Academy" was also launched, a proposal for training, integration and updating on sustainable and social tourism issues that pursues the objective of professionalizing the tourism sector in Mexico and Latin America. In addition, seven simultaneous thematic workshops were held on climate change, enodestinations, entrepreneurship and innovation in sustainable tourism and financing.
On the second day of activities, actions at the local level were discussed and emphasis was placed on sustainability and quality: "This is an industry of love and ties, what do we need? no more tourists, better tourism," he said about closing Jorge Moller.
A panel was then developed featuring the winners of the Sustainable Tourism Award: Barrancas del Cobre, winner of the Environmentally Responsible Tourism award; and the Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism, which won the Award for Solidarity Tourism.
The event, which had more than 1,000 participants from 19 countries, 35 speakers and a record number of more than 600 virtual attendees, ended by informing that there will be a new edition in 2023 in Guanajuato. "The Summit of emotions. We all left this Summit changed, we left much more aware. This event is a vehicle for things to happen, we are all agents of change. I leave happy," said Fernando Mandri Bellot about the end.