During this conclave, led by the Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism, David Collado and the UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.
All the leading players in the tourism industry worldwide discussed progress, experiences, strategies and challenges for the future, and as a primary theme, sustainability in tourism, in the search for the development of more sustainable tourist destinations.
What UNWTO is bringing to the Dominican Republic
The Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, David Collado, showed his appreciation to UNWTO for choosing the Caribbean country for the first time in its history to hold its 118th session of the Executive Council.
At the beginning of the summit, UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, highlighted the achievements made by the Dominican Republic in tourism, especially its rapid recovery, stating that the Dominican Republic has become a world reference for tourism.
“Minister David Collado, without you and your team it would have been impossible to organize this summit, the most important for our organization and most important for tourism,” Pololikashvili said.
Promoting sustainable tourism
Of great importance for the Dominican Republic has been the celebration of the inter-institutional forum of Sustainable Tourism of the Dominican Republic, as well as “Tourism for the Sustainable Development Goals”, the project “Transforming tourism value chains in countries and small island developing States”.
The priority in the current administration of the Minister of Tourism, David Collado is “to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism aligned with the sustainable development goals of the UN”.
In this context, Collado called on UNWTO tourism ministers to seek a joint solution to common issues such as sargassum, the macroalgae that affects much of the Caribbean.
In his speech, the minister said that individual actions will not solve the problem affecting the region and believes that “organizations like this should help small countries find solutions when we do not have them” betting on unity in the face of common causes in favour of the development of sustainable tourist destinations.
How the Summit benefits the Dominican Republic
Collado highlighted the fact that the annual summit of the Executive Council meeting has been held in the country for the first time, understanding it as recognition of the success story that the tourism industry has had in recent years, which has made the country a leader in the region.
The Dominican Republic Ambassador to UNWTO, Aníbal de Castro and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Carlos Peguero, among other officials, have been accompanying Minister Collado during the celebration of the Council.
In addition, Collado stated that tourism is not a luxury for the Dominican Republic, but something essential because of the impact it has on the economy, which represents more than 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
For his part, Roberto Alvarez Gil, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, also remarked the importance of the UNWTO Executive Committee meeting:
“We hope that this forum will be especially conducive to promoting responsible, local, sustainable and universally accessible tourism,” said the Dominican Foreign Minister.
Quisqueya (Dominican Republic in ancient Taino language) joined the UNWTO Executive Committee, after more than a decade, thanks to the work of the government and the results in the recovery of tourism.