(L-R): Leonidas Rosa Bautista, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Honduras to the OAS and Alfonso Quiñónez, OAS Secretary for External Relations. Photo: Maria Patricia Leiva/OAS
WASHINGTON, USA -- The Organization of American States (OAS) and Honduras on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding designating San Pedro Sula as host of the 21st Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High Authorities of Tourism, to be held on September 5 and 6.
The secretary for External Relations of the OAS, Alfonso Quiñonez, who signed on behalf of the secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, thanked Honduras, in the person of Ambassador Leonidas Rosa Bautista, for its offer to host an event that, in his opinion, "is an important forum for dialogue to stimulate this important activity in the Americas, as well as promoting the exchange of experiences and best practices to foster greater hemispheric cooperation."
Quiñonez congratulated the Honduran diplomat on the initiative of his country to host, prior to the Congress, the 11th Central American Forum for Small Hotels and Vendors Fair.
Tourism is an important activity for all OAS member states, said the secretary of external relations, adding that "the economic benefit from this activity expands to other related sectors, with a significant impact on the host communities."
Quiñonez highlighted the theme of the event chosen by the host country, "Geotourism for Community Benefit," which he explained, "is intended to highlight the relationship between tourists and their environment, making each destination distinct and unique."
Representing Honduras, Rosa Bautista said that "tourism has become not only an important source of resources and an area with which many of our partner countries associate the issue of development but it has also become a mission of cultural transformation and cultural communication."
Rosa Bautista stressed that the industry today "is closely associated with regional identity, the democratic spirit, equality, mutual respect, respect for human rights, harmony with natural resources and the environment and personal development."