OAXACA, Mexico — The Organization of American States (OAS) concluded on Friday a specialized training course in Oaxaca with the aim of contributing to Mexico’s efforts to further strengthen the region’s tourism security.
The “Specialized Tourism Security Course for the Public and Private Sectors," organized by the OAS Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, which took place from September 30 to October 4, was attended by representatives from both the public and private sectors, including emergency response professionals, security forces, tourism officials, prosecutors, immigration, culture and archaeological sites’ departments. For the private sector, security managers of airports, hotels, restaurants, and other tourism businesses also participated in the course.
The inaugural session was chaired by the under-secretary of tourism and economic development of the state of Oaxaca, Javier Portillo Vergara; municipal tourism director, Juan Antonio Gómez Cárdenas, as well as representatives from the ministry of tourism of Mexico and the OAS.
During the ceremony, the importance of the tourism industry in Mexico and Oaxaca for the creation of jobs and the promotion of economic development was emphasized. The officials present highlighted that Mexico ranks first in Latin America as a tourism destination at the international level, and second in the Americas, and that the tourism sector contributes 8.9% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and generates over 2.5 million jobs.
At the same time, they emphasized the need to take into account the security factor, as well as the quality of services in order to maintain the competitiveness and growth of tourism.
The OAS training course sought to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors in the area of security in order to improve tourist safety. The workshop addressed a wide range of topics, including techniques and methodologies for assessing threat, vulnerabilities and risks; recommendations and international tourism security standards; protection measures for tourist facilities; security plans and public- private collaborative networks in tourism destinations; as well as communications and crisis management.