Tourism Observatories group meets in San Miguel
By Sandra Ríos
For three days, San Miguel was the host of the Second National and International Meeting of Tourism Observatories, Guanajuato 2014, whose main objective was to stimulate the efforts of the major actors in the tourism sector in research and measurement, to create strategies to strengthen the economic development across tourism and to share the results that have been obtained.
In an interview, Luigi Cabrini, President of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and Advisor to the General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization, made clear that tourism is one of the most important factors of economic growth in many developing countries. He considers sustainability a means of growth, which makes the destination acquire an added value, improving its position in the international market. “Today, ecological and sustainable tourism is more attractive than a destination that does not meet these criteria,” he said.
Professor Victor Góngora Chalet, Assistant General Director of the Instituto de Competitividad Turística de la Secretaria de Turismo (ICTUR, Competitive Tourism Institute of the Ministry of Tourism) highlighted that according to the WTO (World Tourism Organization), Mexico was the seventh most visited country ten years ago, and now it is number fifteen. In order to solve this decline, he recommended first to generate information for decision-making, then to make plans for development of our tourist destinations, and next to promote the destinations.
Chalet said that ICTUR, supported by resources of CONACYT (National Council of Science and Technology), asks all research locales in the country, such as universities, research centers and even consultants, to address the problems of tourism from a scientific research perspective. So far, the group has already completed 13 research projects under this plan. One of them has to do with emissions and reduction of the greenhouse effect in the hotel industry. The hotel reports information about how many lamps, heaters and refrigerators they have and the program recommends measures to mitigate the effects. Moreover, they also have a new hotel classification system in Mexico. This research was completed and handed over to SECTUR. This type of work will allow movement toward a more competitive position within tourism.
Fernando Olivera Rocha, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Guanajuato, stressed that Guanajuato Observatory is now a member of the WTO (World Tourism Organization) as of June 6. It has been invited to be a member of the Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories. There are only six observatories in the world in this network, five in China, one in Greece and now one in Guanajuato, the first on the North American continent. The work done in the observatory goes hand in hand with the WTO through analysis, studies and impact indicators of cultural tourism. The Guanajuato Observatory has had sixty thousand visits, over a thousand followers on Twitter and over 2,300 mail contacts, to whom a monthly newsletter is sent regarding results of tourism in the State. He also said that the state of Guanajuato is currently building 22 hotels.