Costa Rica, the Central American country known as the birthplace of sustainable tourism, has been named Executive Council Chair to the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The election took place in the General Assembly of UNWTO held in Medellin, Colombia from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14.
Costa Rica Minister of Tourism, Mauricio Ventura, said the appointment is a great achievement for Costa Rica, and the support from the UNWTO strengthens the country’s image as a leader in tourism.
“This election recognizes the investment Costa Rica has made in its tourism sector,” said Ventura. “Our country has established sustainability as thekey principle of its development, which in addition to ensuring the efficiency of resources and protection of biodiversity, drives tourism to effectively meet generate development, employment, wealth and prosperity to communities.These, together with the implementation of the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) – a standard created by the ICT and recognized by the World Organization of Tourism, are fundamental factors that warrant global recognition of Costa Rica.” Ventura said this new appointment allows the country to be an active voice for the interests of countries in the region and present important initiatives in the field of sustainability, ethics and social tourism.
Ventura reassured that this important appointment was achieved with the support of Foreign Minister Manuel González and the committee members.
Costa Rica has historically played an active presence in the UNWTO. It is a member of the Committee on Tourism and Sustainability, the Programme and Budget Committee and the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. The country has also previously chaired the Executive Council in 2011, and has served as the chair to Commission of the Americas. In addition, Costa Rica is involved various proposals that will benefit tourism development in the member countries.
This designation will further boost the country’s efforts to implement initiatives that will enhance global tourism competitiveness. Executive council is the highest deliberative body of the UNWTO, with representation in each region of the world in which the international tourism issues are discussed.
The title will be held for two years, beginning in 2015 and ending this in 2017. For more information on Costa Rica, please visit www.VisitCostaRica.com.