UNWTO Summit concluded within the Dominican Republic
The UNWTO originally planned a last-minute ministerial meeting for the Americas in the Dominican Republic, which was in direct conflict with the recently concluded WTTC summit in Cancun, Mexico.
- American tourism heads of government came together for a meeting postponed due to originally conflicting dates with the WTTC summit.
- The host Dominican Republic, which has 15 ministers and vice-ministers for tourism from America, has partnership agreements and procedures to resume tourism.
- Discussions included restoring confidence in travel and protecting businesses and jobs.
On March 31, eTurboNews criticized the UNWTO for insisting on holding a meeting of tourism ministers within the timeframe directly at odds with the WTTC World Summit in Cancun in April 2021. This caught the attention of the UNWTO host country, the Dominican Republic. The Minister of Tourism contacted WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara and apologized. He postponed the UNWTO Americas event that was taking place.
In the past, the UNWTO has always participated in high-level WTTC meetings and the WTTC has participated in important UNWTO events. This important collaboration, which was even more important in a global crisis, did not take place this time.
Tourism Minister David Collado and 15 other Ministers and Vice-Ministers for Tourism in America signed partnership agreements and procedures for the revitalization of tourism in the region in a meeting convened by the World Tourism Organization and chaired by Luis Abinader, President of The Dominican Republic.
America’s leading tourism companies are committed to working together to reactivate tourism, make the sector a priority and adopt international protocols. In addition, they agreed to emphasize innovation and digital transformation, develop sustainable tourism and strengthen support mechanisms for workers and affected companies.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, praised the way the Dominican Republic has dealt with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that “the restoration of confidence in travel An important first step in this direction is tourism recovery, which brings hope to millions of Americans and which stimulates economic recovery in general. “
In welcoming tourism ministers and representatives from across America, President Luis Abinader highlighted the UNWTO’s role as a catalyst for innovation and synergy and urged those present to strengthen themselves as a common goal and as a region through unity, determination and empowerment. Focus and shared vision.
Minister Collado stressed that the tourism sector creates employment opportunities for more than 500,000 families and contributes 15% to the country’s gross domestic product. Similarly, he advocated engagement “with the Dominicans, with sector partners and with the millions of tourists eager to visit and get to know the beautiful destinations in the Dominican Republic”.
Main topics of discussion included restoring confidence in travel, protecting businesses and jobs, and ensuring that the benefits of revitalizing tourism are felt beyond the industry. Ministers and vice ministers from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haitis, Honduras, Mexico, Panamas, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as practically government officials from Argentina, Barbados and Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Peru, took part in the working sessions.
The meetings were developed under the coordination of the host country by the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic with the participation of representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation International Organization (ICAO) and the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic, among other industry organizations .
The summit ended with participants signing the Punta Cana Declaration, which sealed the commitment of regional leaders to make tourism a pillar of sustainable development and to ensure an effective recovery plan after COVID.