Responsible growth and accessibility to be at the heart of tourism development says President of Uruguay accepting the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism

PR No.: PR13009

The President of Uruguay, José Mujica, underscored the need to place responsibility and accessibility at the center of any tourism development. President Mujica stressed the importance of responsible tourism when presented the UNWTO / World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism. By accepting the Open Letter, President Mujica adds his voice to those world leaders which rally support for tourism as a key for growth and fairer development (Montevideo, Uruguay, 6 February 2013).

“Our country needs and promotes responsible and accessible tourism for all”, said President Mujica meeting UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

“Uruguay is a role model in many areas but particularly in its defence and promotion of responsible tourism”, said Mr. Rifai. “The country has become a leader in the region, translating the power of the tourism sector to improve people’s lives into concrete policies and actions”, he added.

The President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council highlighted that “President Mujica understands the value of our industry to Uruguay and his commitment in receiving the Open Letter is an important step in gaining support at the very highest level to deliver policies which could result in more jobs and greater economic prosperity.”

Uruguay has been identified by UNWTO as a case study in two important areas – in terms of maximizing the return of international tourism as a country increasing its international tourism receipts in an adverse economic environment and in the development of a strong accessible tourism policy.

Also attending the meeting were the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Uruguay, Liliam Kechichián and UNWTO Regional Director for the Americas, Carlos Vogeler.

In 2012, 2.8 million international tourists visited Uruguay, a country with a population of 3.3 millon, generating more than US$ 2.2 billion in exports. Tourism is one of the leading economic activities of Uruguay, accounting for 19% of all exports and 70% of service exports.


Note to Editors:

UNWTO and WTTC are jointly presenting heads of state and government around the world an Open Letter which calls on them to acknowledge tourism’s key role in delivering more sustained and balanced growth and to prioritize the sector higher in national policies in order to maximize its potential. The Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy.

To date, over 46 heads of state and government have received the Open Letter from UNWTO and WTTC.


Useful links:

Open Letter to Heads of State and Government




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