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Thursday, Oct 22, 2020

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Central America will create a forum for tourism innovation and entrepreneurship

The Ministers of Tourism in Central America agreed this Saturday to work on the creation of a sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship committee that will serve as the basis for everything that is done in terms of tourism in the region.
The idea of ​​this committee was launched by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in the forum Creating Alliance Strategies for the Promotion of Multi-destinations based on the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Region, within the virtual event "Experience Panama Expo" held in Panama City.

The Panamanian Minister of Tourism, Iván Eskildsen, said that the most interesting thing about this forum that closed the virtual expo was the challenge of creating this committee "focused on the sustainability of this natural and cultural heritage", launched by Natalia Bayona, senior expert in Innovation and Digital Transformation and Investments of the UNWTO.

The UNWTO expert was the moderator of the forum during which the ministers explained their research initiatives on said heritage, as well as the actions for the reactivation of the post-pandemic tourism sector through intraregional tourism.

Bayona indicated that she would like the UNWTO to give life to this sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship committee, because, she believes that right now education, investment promotion, sustainable tourism and support for entrepreneurs have to be stronger than ever.

In that sense, Bayona pointed out that only 50% of the people who work in tourism in the region go to secondary school.

I would like us to create a committee where sustainability, innovation, entrepreneurship with natural and cultural conservation become part of the basis of everything we do to see if we make tourism and Central America an inclusive, sustainable region and innovative, expressed the specialist.

Eskildsen indicated that he launched the challenge to work to share links and information in order to make Central America more attractive as a region for tourists.

The Panamanian minister stressed that this is an issue that Panama will promote "one hundred percent" when he assumes the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Tourism Council (CCT), which Nicaragua now has.

The Nicaraguan Minister of Tourism, Anasha Campbell, who holds the pro tempore presidency of the CCST and the Board of Directors of the Central American Tourism Promotion Agency (CATA) said that her country joins the challenge of the committee raised by the UNWTO.

Campbell highlighted that the CCT has already been working on this and has achieved results in terms of joint promotion, on training issues, and added that they have a memorandum of understanding between the Secretariat for Central American Tourism Integration (Sitca) and the UNWTO, which, they have to take advantage of and start it up.

The Nicaraguan tourism minister pointed out that she supports the UNWTO proposal, and that it has to be something in the long term and also take advantage of the spaces that already exist, such as a quality and sustainability committee in the Central American region in the which are the 8 countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA).

Campbell recalled that Central America has been working together on the committee's ideas for a long time, and announced that in the framework of the celebration of World Tourism Day the CCT will hold a virtual fair aimed at wholesalers and media in the European market, where each country will present its offer to achieve this recovery and reactivation of the tourism industry.
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