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UNWTO Regional Summit for the Americas: Technologies in tourism

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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), together with the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador and the Honduran Institute of Tourism of Honduras, have jointly held the 61st Meeting of the Commission of the Organization for the Americas. The meeting, which took place in San Salvador and Roatán on May 30 and 31 respectively, has been culminated with an international seminar on new technologies applied to tourism .

The UNWTO Americas Summit (CAM) was held for the first time in two locations – in the Salvadoran capital and in Roatán, Honduras – and was attended by 20 delegations from 24 Member States. 13 Affiliate Members and relevant partners such as Amadeus IT Group were also present at the Meeting.

In a region clearly differentiated by its natural heritage, the celebration of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 will lead the debates. The majority of Member States noted the importance of sustainability in sectoral policies as a key area beyond the global campaign of the International Year.

Countries such as Colombia and Nicaragua expressed their interest in expanding the social, identity and culture dimension that the concept of sustainability entails in order to make it an added value of its tourism sector. For its part, Costa Rica, a pioneer Member State in the commitment to sustainable tourism, pointed out the importance of working on sustainability from the educational system and in the family, emphasizing the need to involve the media.

The relationship between sustainability and new technologies was the main theme of the International Seminar held after the Regional Summit. Around 120 participants, both international and local, addressed the current trends in this discipline, especially in relation to the Big Data and the new platforms of tourist services.

The value of the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories, one of the main initiatives of UNWTO in assessing the impact of the sector, was one of the points that generated more agreements in the Regional Meeting.

“We are in a region that presents a multitude of good practices related to sustainable tourism that can be beneficial in other areas of the world,” commented UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai. The Secretary General of the Organization, who met with the President of El Salvador, José Sánchez Cerén, received during his visit the decoration of the liberator of the slaves José Simeón Cañas, the Great Gold Plate Cross. Also the Government of Honduras also decorated the Secretary General of the WTO, Taleb Rifai, with the order of Francisco Morazán in the degree of Great Officer.

The CAM 62 Meeting will be held in Chengdu, China, on 12 September 2017 within the framework of the UNWTO General Assembly.

About the author


Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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