Published on : Tuesday, October 17, 2017
As part of the Tourism as an Instrument for Development forum organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT), the WTO’s deputy director for the Americas, Alejandro Varela said, “Peace is one of the fundamental axes for developing sustainable tourism, because it is allows entrepreneurs and communities to take advantage of the opportunities.” In a message to the forum, President Juan Manuel Santos said Colombia was facing a “golden opportunity” in tourism, and it drives both reconciliation and social development. Santos further said, “Tourism reduces social inequalities, promotes inclusion with gender equity, helps ecological preservation and can be a tool to fight climate change.”
Deputy Minister Sandra Howard Taylor said that the WTO’s recognition will allow Colombia to consolidate its position as a world-class tourism destination.
Taylor also made special mention about the Colombian government’s “Tourism and Peace” program which will reach 100 municipalities in 25 departments by 2018. The program aims to strengthen via concrete sustainable tourism projects communities affected by the internal conflict.
Colombia also wants the world to visit its beaches by consolidating them in the Blue Flag quality list given to countries as an eco-label. Colombia has 195 potential beaches that could qualify for this international label.
The Blue Flag program is the world’s leading authority on beaches and marinas with more than 4,000 award-winning venues in 46 countries.