The Sustainable and Social Tourism Summit, to be held in Mexico, will be “unique in Latin America,” for the balance it will make between the aspects of social responsibility and economic benefit, said Sergio Rodríguez, vice president of the International Social Tourism Organization ( ILOS).
The forum states that people can have a development option based on the management of their resources; “That’s the difference and that’s why we think it’s a unique forum,” said Rodríguez.
From March 14 to 17, national and international experts will meet in Cancún in the second edition of the Summit of Sustainable and Social Tourism, to analyze the current situation of the sector and provide “sustainable solutions” for the sector.
Rodriguez stressed that, unlike other international forums, this will talk about social responsibility, without separating the issue of benefit for communities that offer tourism services and control of their own resources.
He indicated that there are other international forums where only flora, fauna, water care and energy savings are discussed, and stressed that it will be the first time that in a single meeting actors who care about both issues meet: for the human aspect- social and for environmental and patrimonial resources.
“It has a different and new approach, proposes a supportive, sustainable and socially responsible tourism,” he added.
For his part, Vicente Ferreyra, general director of Sustentur, civil organization that heads the organizing committee, told Efe that in Mexico there is no event at this level of discussion.
Ferreyera said that “the idea of this forum is to be continuous and that each year we can measure progress and push the issue of sustainable tourism sharing experiences to mature in Latin America.”
This 2018 will be attended by experts from Spain, Ecuador, Argentina, the United States, Korea, Canada, France, Brazil and Peru, among other countries.
The objective of the Summit is to be the main meeting and reference point in the world for the dissemination, updating and exchange of knowledge of these issues, Ferreyra informed.
The central theme of the meeting (sustainable solutions) will highlight the actions and success stories that help build a socially responsible tourism in Mexico and Latin America, he said.
Five main areas will be addressed: tourist over-density, value chains, transformative projects, decent employment and inclusion.
Issues that are trends in tourism and that require innovative solutions for the integration of the value chain and achieve fair trade, as well as to face the challenges imposed by the massification of destinations, which in many cities of the world has generated the phenomenon called as “turismophobia”.
The Summit will also host the ninth edition of the “Sustainable Tourism Expo”, which presents service and product providers, as well as community ecotourism initiatives.
In the opinion of Ferreyra, the main challenge is the misinformation of tourists: “We have been very shy in telling tourists that their trip has an impact, tourists arrive at a destination and have a responsibility,” he said.
“We need to make tourists participate in conservation and social development, no matter how many policies there are, if we have an irresponsible tourist, it will be difficult to implement actions,” concluded Ferreyra. efe