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Sustainable tourism.

The beaches of Central America and the Caribbean not only provide vacationers an opportunity to bathe and bronze, but also generate a quick cash flow for the host country. In Costa Rica, for example, tourism is the second largest source of revenues. Yet, the tourism industry depends upon a complex network of support systems: hotels, restaurants, sanitation, etc. Within this matrix, the OAS is playing an ever more active role through its Committee on Tourism established in 1975. Their goal is to implement specific programs which develop tourism, while maintaining sustainable growth and protecting the environment. Over the last decade, the OAS has devoted more than US$17 million to tourism development, which includes marketing, training, analytic studies, the creation and restoration of tourist sites and environmental protection.

Last month, the OAS Tourism Committee passed a resolution that urged OAS member states not to import toxic wastes and other refuses into their countries. The motion is a move towards protecting the health and economy of Latin American and Caribbean countries and safeguarding the burgeoning tourist industry. Approved by the Permanent Executive Committee of the Inter-American Travel Congress in Washington, the proposal was accepted by virtually all of the member states.

At the Eleventh Meeting of the Caribbean Group for the Cooperation in Economic Development on June 2, the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Christopher Thomas, prescribed tourism as a cure to many of the Caribbean's socio-economic ills. "In the future the Caribbean countries will have to place greater emphasis on tourism and service tourism." Thomas detailed a regional project to analyze the needs of each country's tourist trade so that corrective programs, policies and training techniques can be formulated. Trade, employment, and development of natural resources were also elected priorities for a meeting of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council scheduled for February 1993.

Another project recently considered by the OAS was formulated by the Tourism Minister and Executive President of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism, Ing. Luis Manuel Chacon Jimenez. The project aims to unite all Central American countries through a series of conferences which would emphasize training courses in hotel and restaurant administration in particular. "All of this tourist boom should be accompanied by a National Program for the Training and Management of Human Resources," concluded Chacon Jimenez.
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Title Annotation:Latin American tourist industry
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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