Central America aims to reactivate tourism sector and create jobs with IDB investment – English version

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Central American Federation of Chambers of Tourism (Fedecatur) have launched a plan, dubbed A Tool for the Reactivation of Tourism in Central America (Reactur), which aims to benefit 4,000 micro and small businesses in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica and stimulate job creation.

The plan will be funded by a non-repayable investment of $1.6 million.

The Reactur project will develop business innovation and technological and digital transformation programs, as well as the training, promotion, marketing and improvement of environmental management programs in the four countries.

The objective of the plan is to accelerate the reactivation process and create opportunities for income generation and employment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism sector, and hopes to reactivate 10,000 jobs, with particular emphasis on the inclusion of women and young people. , which have the highest unemployment and poverty rates regionally and nationally.

The funds will come from a $575,000 non-reimbursable technical cooperation grant from the IDB Lab and a $1 million matching contribution from Fedecatur. The plan will be implemented over a three-year period.

Competitiveness and resilience

Rolando Schweikert, president of the Chamber of Tourism of Guatemala (CAMTUR), and who holds the presidency pro tempore of Fedecatur, said: “with this project, the regional private tourism sector will benefit from the efforts to make tourism a competitive industry. and resilient. , according to the priorities and objectives of the regional tourism policy that will be launched in the coming months by the ministers of tourism of the eight countries of the region”.

In addition, he pointed out that this project “will forge alliances with several regional integration bodies, as well as with others at the national level specialized in the different areas that integrate the components of the Reactur project”.

The pillars of the Reactor plan

The project consists of several components that aim to strengthen the commercial fabric of the Central American region, by creating jobs, promoting talent and innovation, providing training in service and sales, of the technological and digital transformation of companies, strengthening environmental management and the consolidation of “smart” tourist destinations.

Estrella Peinado-Vara, IDB, said the IDB Group’s Innovation Lab seeks to support projects that enable micro and small businesses to offer more competitive tourism products.

“We support the use of new technologies and innovation so that the tourism sector continues to be a source of employment while promoting environmental conservation,” she said.

Multi-destination marketing

Carlos Umaña, President of the Salvadoran Chamber of Tourism, says the project aims to generate a technological toolbox as well as innovation to strengthen the human talent of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to improve the customer service experience. through customer service certification. program.

These two actions, together with the improvement of digital marketing management, will allow micro and small businesses in the four countries, which for years have been part of the tourism value chain, to become benchmarks and development destinations in offer to the world and thus to energize the economy.

Above all, in “the new normal, the current conditions are increasingly competitive and we find a more demanding tourist, which challenges us to seek excellence in the tourism sector”, he said.

For his part, the Vice President of the National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras, Andrés Ehrler, added that “all tourist destinations in Central America are more than ready to work together in multi-destination marketing strategies that generate a positive impact on tourists, as well as strengthening businesses with certifications that promote sustainability, innovation and good customer service”.

“Smart” destinations

And for his part, the president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Costa Rica, Rubén Acón, said that the project aims to bring together tourism companies, national chambers of tourism and authorities with the concept of “smart” tourist destinations, a model that seeks to consolidate innovative destinations that offer greater technological infrastructure that is sustainable and accessible to all, increasing the quality of the tourist experience and improving the quality of life of residents.

In addition, he said that climate change mitigation and adaptation measures should be considered, given that Central America is one of the regions most vulnerable to its effects. (https://www.bloomberglinea.com/english/central-america-aims-to-reactivate-tourism-sector-create-jobs-with-ibd-investment/)

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