Argentina was chosen to represent the Americas block at the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization and will formally take the seat next October in Morocco for the next four years. Argentina's Tourism minister Matias Lammens participated in the 66th WTO commission for the Americas, virtual meeting, which was headed by WTO chairman Zurab Pololikashvili and the current president of the Council, Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's tourism minister.
WTO meets twice a year and the 24 member Council is made up of ministers representing the six regional committees, the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Pacific area and South Asia, in which the 158 WTO country members are divided. The purpose is to address the industry's issues geared by a responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism for all
This means Argentina will be part of the space where plans for the recovery and re-launching of global tourism are debated and decided.
It's an honour for our country to represent the region in the Executive Council of the UN OMT. It involves us directly in making decisions regarding policies for the recovery of tourism and this is a challenge we accept with great enthusiasm, indicated Argentine minister Lammens, following his confirmation.
If there is something we understood from the beginning of the pandemic is that overcoming it must be a collective effort, sharing experiences among nations, with short, medium and long term plans, and intending to have tourism as one of the development engines of the region, he added.
Working jointly with the private and public sectors is the path to sustain the industry and we are convinced it will be the key to keep transiting the reconstruction effort in the next stage.
Besides the strong lobbying, Argentine sources said that the fact the country was chosen as a member of the Executive Council is an acknowledgement of the policies the government took to support the tourism industry during the pandemic.
Allegedly the PreViaje Plan benefited some 600,000 people with a significant financial turnover. Likewise, during the summer season, it is estimated some 15 million Argentines effectively enjoyed domestic tourism, which earned a prize at the recent Fitur fair in Madrid, plus the financing of subsidies, credits and payrolls to help the industry survive.