World Tourism Organization and IICA to strengthen rural tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

San Jose, 1 de noviembre 2019 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) signed an agreement with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to bolster assistance in the areas of agrotourism and rural tourism in the Americas.

The institutions signed the agreement during the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas in San Jose, Costa Rica, which will end on 31 October.

The UNWTO and IICA will implement projects to promote capacity development in areas such as positioning and destination branding in rural tourism, development and diversification of products and digital skills, with financial assistance from international agencies.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the UNWTO remarked that, “We recognize the historic value of the agriculture and tourism synergy and the partnership with IICA will be critical to enhancing the opportunities offered by this relationship in the coming years”.

As a first joint initiative, the organizations intend to advocate for the declaration of 2020 as the International Year of Agrotourism and Rural Tourism.

Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, insisted that, “We must find synergies between other key actors to bolster our efforts to tackle the trade, climate and social challenges facing agriculture in our 34 Member Countries”.

“We are very pleased with the launch of this partnership, which will allow us to strengthen the relationship between agricultural producers and the tourism sector that utilizes their products”, said Michael Pintard, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources of The Bahamas, who participated in the San Jose conference.

The imbalance between the volume of food that is produced versus what is imported is a situation that is affecting Caribbean countries, where tourism is one of the major sectors of the economy.

About IICA

IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.

More information:

Institutional Communication Division, IICA

comunicacion.institucional@iica.int

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