Last Friday concluded the International Conference "Sustainability as a key factor of competitiveness for the development of the tourism industry", which under the patronage of the United Nations, both through UNESCO and UNWTO, gathered for two days in Jameos del Agua the World's leading experts in sustainable tourism from America and Europe. The Conference ended Friday with the reading of the Memorandum of Lanzarote, whose guidelines will serve as a basis for establishing and precisely defining sustainability criteria for the global sustainable tourism industry.
The International Summit of Lanzarote, which was attended by more than 500 registered attendees, was closed by the President of the Canary Islands Government, Fernando Clavijo, and the president of the Cabildo de Lanzarote, Pedro San Ginés, in a ceremony that also included the interventions of the Executive Director of Affiliate Members of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Yolanda Perdomo; the representative of Biosphere USA & Canada, Erika Harms, and the president of the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), Tomás Azcárate.
Clavijo pointed out that "it is no coincidence that Lanzarote was the chosen place for the celebration of this Conference", because "it is the paradigm of territory that has been able to combine its efforts of progress and development with actions that are at the forefront in the conservation of environment".
"Lanzarote," added Clavijo, "is a world reference, the Island of César Manrique, which began a path in its development whose trail the whole Canary Islands have followed; and the mirror in which to look when it comes to matching economic and social development with exquisite respect towards the environment."
Clavijo said that "in Lanzarote, the tourism industry has not only been able to coexist with the environment, but both have supported each other to generate employment, progress and wealth."
For his part, San Ginés, who thanked the great participation in the event, "highlighted the high quality of the speakers" stressing that this international conference "is another milestone that returns to lead Lanzarote, and which adds to the acknowledged trajectory of the island in terms of sustainability".
The president of the island corporation expressed his confidence "that the memorandum and the conclusions drawn from this summit will contribute to promoting sustainable tourism globally, where Lanzarote has once again been projected as a flagship destination, a symbol of sustainable tourism".
San Ginés insisted on a message: "I do not see a sustainable tourism industry, if it does not contribute to increase the experience of well-being and enjoyment of people: not only the travelers who visit us, but all the people of Lanzarote as a community of I sincerely hope that this summit will contribute, in one way or another, to making us all happier, without exception".
Memorandum of Lanzarote
On the other hand, the president of the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), Tomás Azcárate, explained that the principles emanated from this Conference "will be integrated into global standards of tourism sustainability in order that, adapted to the 17 Sustainable Development Objectives (ODS) and the guidelines of the World Charter on Sustainable Tourism, can be used as a real and tangible tool for measuring the environmental, cultural and socio-economic responsibility of the tourism industry, as well as of the various actors involved in the sector".
"A criteria," he added, "that must meet the tourism industry as a whole must meet to guarantee tourists that they consume products whose competitiveness is based on their sustainability."
The so-called "Memorandum of Lanzarote", which will also include the conclusions derived from the different working tables of this summit, includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDG) adapted to the tourism industry.
In this sense, the guidelines, meters and indicators should be addressed "in a comprehensive and very participatory way", so that a period of approximately two months has been opened to incorporate new contributions. Two documents were also presented during the Conference: the "Responsible Traveler Manifesto" and the "Responsible Tourism Industry Manifesto".
Memorandum of Lanzarote