Ministers and deputy ministers of tourism from 18 Latin American countries signed this Friday the Declaration of Punta Cana, which establishes the key guidelines and the commitment of the leaders of the region to relaunch the sector, promoting a more sustainable and inclusive tourism.
The signing took place within the framework of the Meeting of Ministers of Tourism of the Americas, which is being held in this tourist destination in the east of the Dominican Republic, and which is also attended by members of international organizations in this segment and representatives of the private sector.
COMMITMENT OF THE SIGNATORIES
Through the text, the leaders of the region commit to ‘reaffirm the responsibility and commitment of all governments and international organizations to support tourism in order to ensure its rapid, effective, safe and sustainable recovery’.
The document prioritizes ‘the adoption and dissemination of unified international biosecurity protocols,’ and recognizes ‘innovation and digital transformation as essential factors in making tourism more resilient,’ among other aspects.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE MEETING
The meeting, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), comes to alleviate the ‘lack of leadership’ that still exists, according to the secretary general of the entity, Zurab Pololikashvili, facing ‘the creation of tourist corridors that allow travel’ normally after the pandemic and to agree on the necessary protocols for this.
He also highlighted the success of this first post-pandemic meeting to discuss the future of the sector and assured that it was the first time that he had met “so many ministers and so many delegations” at an event of this type.
Restoring confidence in travel, protecting businesses and jobs, and ensuring that the benefits of tourism recovery are felt beyond the sector itself were some of the main topics of discussion.
During the different interventions, the message of the need for union and cooperation between countries was recurrent, and the idea was also conveyed that covid-19 will not go away in the short term, so that common guidelines related to health safety will have to be established.
There was also a call to make tourism a more sustainable and environmentally friendly sector, touching on aspects such as energy expenditure, water consumption, waste management and food wastage.
The Ministers and Vice Ministers of Tourism of Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela, and virtually, those of Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Peru are participating in the meetings coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic as host country.
Also present are representatives of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) and the Dominican Republic Hotel and Tourism Association, among other industry players.