Tourism is a ‘cornerstone’ for poverty eradication and sustainable development in Central America, both socially and economically and environmentally. This idea is reflected in the UN resolution on 'sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America' agreed unanimously by the 193 members attending the 68th General Assembly last October.
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) it is "an important step towards the integration of sustainable tourism in the international development agenda beyond 2015" once the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs ) is reached, including the eradication of poverty.
With this provision, the UN recognizes tourism as an "ally" of regional integration and an engine for social and economic development of this region.
Therefore, the UN General Assembly urges the U.S. and other stakeholders, including the WTO, to continue to support the activities of the Central American countries to promote responsible and sustainable tourism that brings benefits throughout society and in particular to the most vulnerable and marginalized population groups.
In 2012, Central America received almost 9 million international tourists, which generated approximately USD 8,000 million, more than double the revenues in 2000. Nowadays, international tourism accounts for up to 17% of all American exports.
The UN resolution was sponsored by 51 Member States such as Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, among others.