UNWTO partners Paraguay to revamp tourism sector
In a bid to work towards making tourism a central pillar of economic growth and social opportunity, the President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, has welcomed UNWTO’s support to revamp the sector.
The task of the National Government is to promote Paraguay as a destination, hence the need to make tourism a priority for Paraguay.
Leading an official UNWTO delegation to Paraguay, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili met with President Abdo Benitez to discuss the biggest challenges and opportunities for tourism in Paraguay, as well as identify ways of working together to grow the sector in both size and relevance.
Paraguay currently serves as Chair of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas and is a member of its Executive Council. This active role underscores the government’s commitment to establishing the country as one of the region’s top tourist destinations and the sector as a driver of sustainable development.
In his remark, Pololikashvili noted that Paraguay is already on the world map as a destination and working with UNWTO will make the beautiful country better known.
“This would also make tourism a priority for creating jobs and opportunities for economic growth.”
Reflecting on one of UNWTO’s core priorities, as illustrated by the recent inaugural Global Youth Tourism Summit, the Secretary-General also met with young tourism leaders and advocates from every part of Paraguay to hear their thoughts on the future of the sector and to ensure that they are part of the decision-making process.
The UNWTO delegation also visited the historic community of San Cosmey San Damián, a district in the Itapua Department of Paraguay, named one of UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages in 2021, in recognition of its significance in preserving the country’s unique cultural heritage and as a provider of rural development.
Opening a special session on Renewable Energy and Sustainable Tourism, held against the backdrop of the UNWTO visit, President Benítez, said: “The task of the National Government is to promote Paraguay as a destination as part of our strategy to generate income, strengthen our culture and give the opportunity to a large number of young people who, as the UNWTO Secretary-General said, have the potential to be tourism’s greatest strength.”
Alongside meeting with the President, the UNWTO delegation also met with the Minister of Tourism for Paraguay Sofía Montiel de Afara, the National Tourism Advisory Council of Paraguay, as well as with representatives from the World Bank and from across the private sector. The presence of high-level representatives from the Ministries of the Interior, Industry and Commerce and of Education and Sciences, underlined the crosscutting importance of tourism for Paraguay and for the wider region.
The Minister of Tourism also revealed plans to build on her Ministry’s existing work with UNWTO and develop a new series of capacity-building initiatives to guide the tourism sector out of the pandemic and towards a more resilient future.
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