Latin American eco-tourism plans to be discussed

European ministers are due today to discuss plans to make tourism more environmentally friendly.

Today (January 18) in the town of Alcalá de Henares near Madrid the first ministerial meeting focusing on tourism issues will see European Union ministers gather for what has been called 'Towards a Model for Socially Responsible Tourism'.

During the meeting, discussions will take place on issues ranging from the transversality of innovation and new technology, to tourism as a driver of development and welfare in local communities, environmental sustainability as a factor for competitiveness and knowledge, and innovation and technology as key factors for tourism recovery.

Delegates attending the meeting include the Spanish secretary of state for tourism, Joan Mesquida, the Argentine secretary of state for tourism, Carlos Enrique Meyer and the secretary general of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Taleb Rifai.

A spokesman for current EU presidents Spain said: "The talks will enable the EU to announce the various programmes and projects available to Latin American governments and tourism industries.

"Attempts will be made to use the current world crisis situation to learn and draw conclusions that will enable countries to be better prepared for the future.

"Being part of the Latin American community and the particularly close and strong relationship with these countries are pillars of Spain's foreign policy; it is therefore fitting that the first ministerial meeting convened by the State Secretariat for Tourism during the Spanish Presidency should be this particular one."

Luke Walsh


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