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Empowering Tour Guides: El Salvador’s New Approach to Sustainable Tourism

Last week, more than 300 tour guides from across the country gathered at the inaugural National Tour Guides Forum organized by government-affiliated entities as part of an outreach and support strategy for the sector.

This historic event took place on the occasion of International Tourism Day, which this year focused on a call to action for the international community, governments, multilateral financial institutions, development partners, and private sector investors to unite around green investments.

During the forum, experts addressed topics related to Surf City, the government’s flagship tourist destination, natural heritage and tourism, as well as the heritage of the Historic Center of San Salvador.

Minister of Tourism, Morena Valdez, emphasized that the current government prioritizes working with all sectors to achieve its goals in tourism and the economy. She stated, “This marks a turning point in our collaboration with tour guides. They are an integral part of El Salvador’s booming tourism development. Surf City has helped us stand out, but we have an abundance of destinations. We have already achieved the level of security that many countries lack; now, the most important aspect is training.”

Héctor Cardoza, President of the Association of Tour Guides of El Salvador, underscored the historical significance of the event and the government’s collaboration with tour guides, highlighting that previous administrations did not provide such support. He stated, “These are very significant efforts from government institutions to work on sustainability, resilience, and the protection of natural resources. El Salvador boasts a diversity of resources, and to showcase them, we must prepare. That is the role of a tour guide.”

According to estimates from the International Labor Organization (ILO), more than 230 million workers, or approximately 7.2% of the global workforce, are employed in tourism-related industries worldwide. Additionally, millions of jobs are indirectly generated by the sector, thanks to the ripple effects of related activities.

Considering both direct and indirect employment, it is calculated that approximately 1 in 10 jobs worldwide, and 1 in 4 newly created jobs in 2019, were linked to the tourism sector, according to ILO data.

The government’s commitment to investing in the training and development of tour guides demonstrates its dedication to bolstering the tourism industry, promoting sustainable practices, and showcasing the rich cultural and natural heritage of El Salvador to the world. This historic forum marks a significant step forward in the collaborative efforts between the government and the tourism sector, ensuring that El Salvador remains a top-notch destination for travelers.

Source : News In America