Tourism ministers of the Americas agree to unify sanitary protocols

The Ministers of Tourism of the Americas approved and signed the “Declaration of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, in which they committed to adopt and disseminate unified international biosecurity and travel facilitation protocols for the resumption of tourism in a safe, expeditious and high quality manner.

At the activity coordinated by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the executives also reaffirmed the responsibility and commitment of all governments and international organizations to support tourism to ensure its rapid, effective, safe and sustainable recovery.

They also recognized innovation and digital transformation as essential factors in making tourism more resilient and moving decisively forward in implementing new development models.

The “Punta Cana Declaration” consists of 10 points, in which the region’s tourism ministers agreed to guide the reactivation of tourism towards a responsible and sustainable sector that promotes inclusion, gender equality and accessibility for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

They also agreed that the reactivation of tourism is an opportunity to transform the sector based on a long-term vision that places the conservation, preservation and protection of biological diversity at the center of tourism strategies and contributes to the solution of the major global problems associated with climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation.

They also agreed to promote public-private partnerships and governance mechanisms through cooperation, analysis and the generation of policies and joint actions among all national, regional and international stakeholders that affect the tourism value chain.

“This in order to strengthen governance in the implementation of transformative actions, improve employment conditions in the territories and contribute to the economic dynamization of the countries and the region,” the document indicates.

The ministers of the region also pledged to strengthen support and coordination mechanisms to help workers, destinations and companies that are struggling to survive, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through instruments to support the sector.

Another point within the agreement is that it urges the governments of the Americas, within the framework of the sovereignty of member states, to coordinate their labor policies to ensure the safeguarding of livelihoods, cultures and ancestral knowledge, and the protection of the most vulnerable segments of society.

“Reaffirm our commitment as ministers and heads of delegations of the UNWTO member states of the Americas, on behalf of their governments and in compliance with their laws, to work together to revive the tourism sector through concrete and comprehensive measures that contribute to the sustainable economic growth of tourism and the simultaneous satisfaction of environmental, social and cultural aspects,” the executives agreed.

In the activity, which was headed by the president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, the secretary general of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, said that the Dominican Republic demonstrated its leadership in tourism worldwide and that there is a very high compliance with the protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Dominican Republic demonstrated its leadership and for me it is one of the best examples worldwide, not only for the Americas, to initiate tourism, to make decisions and comply with sanitary protocols,” said the UNWTO representative.

At the meeting, held in Punta Cana last Friday, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, showed his gratitude to the UNWTO and said he hopes that the other countries can strengthen their destinations.

“I understand that we have to strengthen the multi-destination, air connectivity between the countries of the Americas, and that the secretary general has spoken in favor of the country and has mounted this event in our country, is motivation, momentum and confidence,” Collado said.

He emphasized that this event is the bellwether for the recovery of tourism in the Americas.

“This responsibility and endorsement that the WTO gives us to practically or symbolically lead the recovery of tourism in the region is a commitment that we will continue to carry with great responsibility,” said the Minister of Tourism.

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