The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism held the first national social tourism meeting with leaders from 23 departments
This is the first meeting on this topic since 1996.
The social tourism strategy is characterized by its inclusive and barrier-free approach.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism presented its Social Tourism Strategy to tourism service providers, national and community economy actors, indigenous and rural tourism executives, businessmen, consultants, tourist guides, tourism clusters, offices, government bodies, trade unions, etc. educational institutions.
The great commitment of this first national meeting on social tourism, launched on a fruitful day at the University Externado de Colombia, was to redefine the concept of social tourism with a new governmental approach: tourism as a right and not just a business . .
This day also had an academic agenda and a space for exchanges between different actors of the tourism value chain from 23 different departments of the country.
The Vice Minister of Tourism, Arturo Bravo, stated that in the government of President Gustavo Petro “we intend to move from a model based on competitiveness to a model based on the development of human capabilities, with the involvement of people , local knowledge and the historically excluded.” Regions. and universal accessibility. This creates opportunities for new forms of production.”
The meeting was particularly attended by productive initiatives led by women, young people, older people, people with disabilities and peacebuilders from emerging regions and tourist destinations. They had the opportunity to attend a business conference and interact with more than 30 buyers who are building production chains in more consolidated markets.
The Colombian state has not implemented any concrete measures on social tourism since 2009, the year in which the public policy on social tourism was developed.
In 2023, the Government of Change decided to invest 70% of the resources allocated to this meeting to ensure the active participation of vulnerable populations as participants and suppliers.
“With this meeting, together with tourism service providers from across the country, we began building an initiative to consolidate tourism as a public service, promoted by the state and implemented by the private sector. We want vulnerable populations to also be able to travel and discover the Land of Beauty and enjoy the experiences of the host territories and communities to ensure they become stronger,” said Vice Minister Bravo.
Likewise, the senior official shared with the participants some of the programs that the ministry will implement regarding travel as a tool for social change.
This includes a national economic recovery plan to strengthen the human and business capacities of community-based organizations and the national economy in tourism. “We will have demands for community tourism, productivity factories and agglomerations (clusters),” the deputy minister explained.
For his part, the manager of Fontur, Álvaro Balcázar, emphasized that from his company “we support the development of 23 institutional meetings with an investment of more than 6.6 billion US dollars, more than achieved through their participation under the leadership of the MinCIT Reaching 3,000 people.” strengthening the experiences and visions that drive tourism growth, focusing on national and community economies and areas that are building peace today, and creating economic opportunities that benefit our areas nationally come.”
One of the main results of this meeting is the consolidation of a portfolio of social tourism services and a directory of popular economic sectors, which will soon be published on the website of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism.
This is also promoted in the production chain options of the company’s different scenarios, confirming one of the main concerns of the Government of Change to promote social tourism that impacts and offers opportunities to a greater number of Colombians.