MADRID, Spain – UNWTO welcomes that several countries have recently placed tourism higher on their national political and economic agendas. Argentina is the most recent example with the establishment of the first Argentinean Ministry of Tourism. The move represents a further step towards mainstreaming tourism as an industry that delivers on economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development.
Argentinean President, HE Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced the move to separate the Ministry of Tourism from the existing Ministry of Industry and Tourism and named Carlos Enrique Meyer, previously Secretary of State for Tourism, as Minister of Tourism.
“Tourism is well-positioned to be a major generator of revenue and is fundamental for the generation of employment in the country,” said Ms. Kirchner. “This activity deserves its own portfolio, which will allow it to maintain and increase the growth we’ve seen since 2003,” she added.
Tourism is a primary vehicle for job creation and economic regeneration and can be a leader in the transformation to the green economy. Yet maximizing tourism’s full socio-economic and environmental potential requires political recognition and supportive public policies, especially given its transversal nature. The creation of a separate Ministry of Tourism comes with increasing international recognition of the importance of the tourism sector to equitable and sustainable economic growth. This follows decisions taken by other countries around the world like China, for example, which has recently identified tourism as a strategic pillar of its national economy.
Tourism is a key economic sector in Argentina, a UNWTO member since 1975. The country received 4.3 million international tourist arrivals and US$3.9 billion in tourism receipts in 2009 (export revenues).