Dominican Republic to convene maiden Bi-regional Africa-America UN Tourism Meeting


Picture: H.E Carlos Peguero, Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic, within the framework of the presidency of the Commission for the Americas of UN Tourism that it holds and as a country initiative, will host the first joint meeting of tourism leaders from Africa and America, a meeting that marks a milestone for UN Tourism for being the first time that two regions of the world meet to talk about the future of tourism in their respective regions and how to contribute efforts to the development of the nations that comprise them.

Carlos Peguero, Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, revealed the proposed meeting in an exclusive interview with VoyagesAfriq’s Kojo Bentum-Williams on the sidelines of the 121st Meeting of the UN Tourism Executive Council held in Barcelona, Spain.

When explaining the details of the first meeting between both regions, Carlos Peguero highlighted that the event, called ‘1st Bi-regional Meeting of UN Tourism in Africa-America’, will take place from October 3 to 4, 2024, in Punta Cana, Republic Dominican. In a context marked by global interconnection and cultural diversity, South-South cooperation between Africa and Latin America emerges as a key factor to promote sustainable development and achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.

The bi-regional meeting aims to enhance cooperation between Africa and the Americas, recognizing and taking advantage of their cultural diversity and shared tourism products and, ultimately, promoting the promotion and development of tourism in both regions.

H.E. Carlos Peguero, Dominican Republic Vice Minister of Tourism with, H.E. Anabel Bueno Santana Dolenc, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to UN Tourism during the 121 EC in Barcelona

According to Vice Minister Peguero, Both regions have a wide variety of impressive natural attractions, a rich cultural legacy and a wide range of experiences yet to be discovered, where the tourism sector offers a viable path for economic diversification, job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship, the preservation and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage and sustainable development.

These characteristics represent a turning point in the promotion of a strategic transformative partnership.

As he describes it “Our main objective is to strengthen South-South relations and cooperation. In addition to that, we hope to see cultural diversity in terms of tourism products, what we can generate from each side, and see how we can help each other to continue promoting tourism development,” said Peguero.

The event will also recognize the important historical and cultural impact of Africa on the Americas, as a large portion of the population is of African descent.

According to Peguero, “There is a very important element, the recognition of the legacy of Africa to America because although the Spanish colonized America, in one way or another, there was also colonization from Africa to America. Maybe not voluntarily, but they were taken there and are part of all of America. “Africa is part of the historical, cultural and gastronomic legacy of everything that is America.”

The meeting also aims to promote the creation of the recently inaugurated UN Tourism office in America, which began with conversations between Carlos Peguero and the Minister of Tourism of Brazil. Therefore, the bi-regional meeting also aims to provide a platform for continued meetings and strengthen cooperation between Africa and the Americas.

For her part, Anabel Bueno Santana Dolenc, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to UN Tourism, emphasized that the meeting will allow, among other desired results, to increase cooperation and technical assistance between the regions, as well as share best practices among all countries involved.

“This event will allow us to discover what new opportunities we can explore together. Since investment is one of the main topics, we aim to continue the discussions also beyond this event and in cooperation with the UN tourism office in Brazil which is focused on investment. All conclusions and recommendations arising from this event, will be reflected in a roadmap that will help us define the next steps and follow-up,” said Ambassador Anabel Bueno Santana Dolenc.

Efforts are already being made by the Secretary General of UN Tourism to achieve Africa’s participation in the event. “The support of the UN Tourism Directors for Africa and Latin America is extremely important as they are the link between our regions. Meanwhile, to prepare for the event, we will keep a continuous and open dialogue with the ministers of tourism in both regions, as well as ambassadors and other official delegates to the UN Tourism based in Madrid, Spain.

“From now on our objective is to integrate African countries, gather their valuable contributions and engage with them in the process of organizing this unique event,” concluded the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UN Tourism.




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