Costa Rica hosted the first meeting of the network of Latin American small and medium tourism businesses last week, according to a statement released June 2 by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
Ministers and tourism officials gathered to “define policies to promote the development, training and commercialization” of small and medium tourism businesses and develop strategic alliances between Latin American countries to help these businesses, the statement said.
Representatives from Costa Rica, Paraguay, Argentina, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras attended the conference, hosted by ICT and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Conference participants decided to improve and update resources available for these businesses, such as a report on the state of small and medium businesses in Latin America, a database and an online network of programs to support these tourism businesses, the statement said.
“There is a clear interest in continuing the work of the network for the development of small and medium tourism businesses in Latin America,” said ICT general manager Guillermo Alvarado, adding that conference participants decided to form an executive committee of six countries to carry out projects defined by the network.
Additionally, Tourism Minister Carlos Benavides announced a new program to be launched in Costa Rica by ICT to “increase the competitiveness of … small and medium tourism businesses through the development of programs to strengthen their human resources and quality, train municipalities and diversify services offered,’’ the statement said.
The network of Latin American small and medium tourism businesses was formed in 2005 during a Latin American summit in Antigua, Guatemala.