The summit brought together more than 200 delegations from over 10 countries and its agenda focused on promoting opportunities for the sector to accelerate the transformation of the future of tourism to a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive industry.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. National and international tourism, economic and environmental authorities launched the international conference Transforming Tourism – the Destinations of the Future, which brings together more than a dozen countries to strengthen global initiatives for sustainable tourism.
Mauricio Ramirez, resident coordinator of the United Nations (UN) in the country, said that from the agencies, funds and programs of the UN system in the country and in accordance with our framework of cooperation for sustainable development 2023-2027, agreed with the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, we emphasize the promotion of sustainable tourism as one of the strategic priority actions to promote sustainable development in the Dominican Republic.
David Luther, executive director of the Dominican Institute for Integral Development (IDDI), warned that a quick response is crucial for the tourism sector, because after its post-pandemic recovery, there is an opportunity for the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to accelerate the transformation of the sector’s future towards a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive industry,” Luther added.
For his part, the Vice Minister of Marine and Coastal Resources of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MIMARENA), praised the efforts of the tourism sector, initiatives that combat pollution and promote the use of renewable energy and sustainable gastronomy, in order to move towards sustainability and resilience as part of a roadmap towards the goals of the national development strategy and the 2030 Agenda.
The meeting’s agenda included panels and presentations by experts in financing, sustainability, social inclusion, sustainable gastronomy, as well as business leaders from leading tourism companies, who had the opportunity to explain their efforts and innovations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce and manage their solid and liquid waste, promote ecosystem regeneration, and contribute to the improvement of local economies.
The event, organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and TOURCERT, with the support of the German government and the Austrian Development Agency, is an important step for the tourism sector in many destinations, including the Dominican Republic, to face the main current and future challenges.
The inaugural conference was led by Fabien Monteils, representative of UNEP, Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children, Mauricio Ramirez, UN Resident Coordinator in the country, and David Luther, Executive Director of IDDI, as well as Angela Giraldo, Head of Empowerment of TourCert, and Vice Ministers Carlos Peguero and Alexis Cruz Rodriguez, from the Ministries of Tourism and Economic Planning and Development, respectively.
The Vice Minister of Economic and Social Analysis of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MINECONOMIA), Alexis Cruz Rodríguez, recalled that tourism is the fastest recovering sector in the context of the Covid19 pandemic, with a growth of 10.2% in 2022 and could exceed 8.5 billion dollars with the arrival of more than 7 million tourists by the end of the year.
Cruz Rodríguez underlined the importance of the environmental sustainability of the Creole tourism, as an essential measure for the security of the development and the Dominican economy, especially in our condition of small insular state.
The coordinating organizations emphasized in conclusion that the new models of development of the tourist destinations require local governments capable of promoting changes and improvements in the territory; the new models of development of the tourist destinations must promote the well-being of their communities and the rescue and/or regeneration of their natural spaces. A new tourism is needed and is already taking place as this forum on Destinations of the Future has observed.
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