After signing the National Tourism Accord, President Felipe Calderón urged all Mexicans to unite to strengthen the tourist sector, which is a national and public policy priority for this government.
“We now require the coordinated work of all the actors participating in this activity (tourism). This is the only way to destroy the historical inertia that has inhibited the development of tourism and enable the sector to develop its full potential,” he said.
In the Central Courtyard of the National Palace, accompanied by governors, legislators, secretaries of state, businessmen, academics and representatives of civil society, the President described the Tourism agreement as an unprecedented effort to reinforce this trigger of national development, since the aim, he said, is to turn Mexico into one of the world’s five leading tourist destinations.
“It is our duty nowadays to promote tourism, by combining the efforts of all those that participate in the sector in one way or another. This agreement is a step in the right direction,” Calderón said.
“It is also an expression of the unity that exists to support tourism and recognition of the fact that together we will be able to implement actions that will consolidate Mexico as a world-class tourist destination.
“Nowadays, tourism unites us beyond our differences,” he said.
The President declared that the goal is for Mexico to be one of the world’s five main tourist destinations by 2018. This will enable it to create over 4 million direct and 12 million indirect jobs, and increase income from foreign currency to US$400 billion.
He also instructed Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara Manzo to ensure the proper implementation of the actions contained in the Tourism Accord. For its part, during the course of this year, the federal government will provide monthly reports on specific programs to promote the sector, with the participation of each of the state secretariats that signed the agreement.
President Calderón explained that the ten strategic axes comprising state policy will be used to support the tourist sector.
1. Increase connectivity and facilitate tourism.
2. Construct, maintain and improve tourist infrastructure and promote urban organization.
3. Boost tourist promotion in Mexico and abroad.
4. Encourage public and private investment and encourage financing for the tourist sector.
5. Boost the competitiveness of destinations and tourist businesses.
6. Diversify and enhance the supply of tourist services with better quality destinations, products and services.
7. Encourage the integration of national production chains.
8. Offer the best service and promote a culture of tourism.
9. Promote regulatory changes to benefit the sector.
10. Promote the sustainable development of the sector.
“We do not simply aim to gradually increase tourism in Mexico. We aim to acknowledge facts and then act accordingly, on the understanding that tourism is the main engine of a prosperous Mexico that creates the jobs we want.
“Tourism could be the key to distinguishing Mexico with the strength and pride that we hope will distinguish Mexicans,” he added.
During the event, President Calderón was awarded the Charter for Solidarity with Tourism by Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization and David Scowsill, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council, as a result of which Mexico will be included in the first Golden Book of Commitment to Tourism in 18 months’ time.
“We will respond to this distinguished honor with deeds. And, as we propose today, we will make Mexico a privileged place in the world for international tourism,” he concluded.