San Salvador, El Salvador – At the close Friday, January 11, of the 71st Meeting of the Central American Council of Tourism (CCT), held in Suchitoto, Cuscatlan, Central American tourism agencies made two decisions: to open a shared office in the United States for the promotion of regional tourism and to work together at tourism fairs in Europe.
The gathering, which ended at 3:00 pm, brought together El Salvador’s Tourism Minister Ruben Rochi, the country’s Vice Minister of Tourism, Michelle Gallardo de Gutierrez, Honduran Tourism Minister Ricardo Martinez and Presidential Commissioner of Tourism of Guatemala, Willy Kaltschmitt.
Joining them was Sara Sanchez, on behalf of the Minister of Panama, and Allan Flores, General Manager of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) on behalf of the ministry of Costa Rica.
The Minister of Tourism of El Salvador, who assumed Presidency Pro Tempore of the Council from the Presidential Commissioner of Tourism of Guatemala, announced that consensus had also been reached to approve visas for eliminating border impediments, as well as to begin working toward establishing a System of Tourism Safety (SST) throughout the region, where El Salvador is the only country with such a system.
El Salvador’s SST was developed by the World Tourism Organization at a cost of 144 thousand euros. In El Salvador it was initiated with the purchase of equipment to strengthen the tourism division of the National Civil Police (vehicles, motorcycles, uniforms, two-way radios, etc.) in which some $700,000 is being invested.
Among the agreements there is also one concerning a traffic survey system that will be similar in all its basic procedures. To implement this system, the Salvadoran experience will be taken into account and a Spanish company will be contracted to undertake the task, according to Minister Rochi.
The participants also conducted an evaluation of the results achieved by the Central American Tourism Agency (CATA) that the CCT established in Spain, and that, according to Willy Kaltschmitt, has played a decisive role and brought benefits to the region.
Another announcement made by the region’s tourism officials is that they will jointly participate in world tourism fairs in the future, the next one being the FITUR fair in Madrid, Spain, followed by BIT in Milan, Italy, and ITB in Berlin, Germany.