Times of change and innovation in actions for the benefit of world tourism affected by the pandemic is what led world tourism leaders to rethink at the 110th Session of the Tourism Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This meeting was held the previous week of October in Paris, France, with the participation of tourism ministers and representatives from more than 20 countries around the world. Alberto López, general manager of the ICT, representing the Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez, participated on this occasion for Costa Rica.
Costa Rica actively participated in said session with 3 proposals on two specific topics of interest
The first proposal consisted of assessing the use of the term “climate emergency” whenever reference is made to climate change. “It seems to us that elevating the situation that is happening in the world and really putting it in an emergency context, not only in our country, but in other countries of the world, could give rise to decisions, strategies and actions that are implemented to try to make the effects of this climatic emergency less devastating than what it is doing, it could have impacts in the short term”, explained Alberto López, General Manager of the ICT.
The second of the topics consisted of showing that sustainability is mainly inclined towards the environmental axis, leaving aside both the social and economic axes and, therefore, it was proposed in the first instance to promote an approach to the subject. The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) offered to mediate between the OECD Tourism Committee and the International Social Tourism Organization (ISTO) to advance this issue and include socioeconomic environments.
An example for other countries
According to López, “we have offered to give a talk in which we can explain to the OECD participants what the Tourism Social Progress Index that Costa Rica has implemented consists of, with the intention of assessing that other countries can also use it”. Currently 38 countries around the world from North and South America to Europe and Asia-Pacific are members of the OECD, they are our country.
Approach with the new tourism trends
In this session, the invited countries participated in topics such as: OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2022, main recent events in terms of tourism policies in each country, experiences of the development of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy 2022.
In addition, conceptual and practical exchanges were held on the latest developments and political priorities to navigate the recovery from COVID-19 within a changed economic and geopolitical context, how to improve and support more sustainable tourism, share views on trends and measures to support a green recovery and accelerate the transition to greener business models, value chains and tourism destinations.
Likewise, work was done on a draft of the 2023-24 work program to strengthen the tourism information and data system, improve the evidence base for the formulation of tourism policies and the development of sustainable tourism.