September 13, 2012 | 5:19 pm | Print
Above: Ecuador Tourism Minister Freddy Ehlers and Haiti Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin (Photo: MT Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti and Ecuador signed a tourism cooperation agreement Thursday at a ceremony in Quito.
Haiti Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin joined her Ecuadorian counterpart, Freddy Ehlers, for a signing ceremony at the Second International Congress on Ethics in Tourism.
The agreement includes cooperation on the management of natural and monumental heritage sites, “responsible” tourism, certification and training.
Ecuador’s Tourism Ministry said the agreement would “promote the image of [Ecuador and Haiti]” through seminars, conferences, symposia and conferences related to tourism.
It will also support the exchange of statistics, experiences and information of mutual interest, Ecuador’s Ministry said.
The agreement follows a similar deal signed with Mexico’s Tourism Ministry in July in Mexico City.
Under both agreements, Ecuador and Mexico will serve as “advisors” on issues of tourism development.
At the conference, Villedrouin said Haiti’s tourism focus was not just on sun, sand and sea, but also its culture and life.
The Minister said the government would be putting more emphasis on Haiti’s culture and the tourist experience.
Haiti has been investing in infrastructure in order to improve access to tourist destinations around the country like the Citadel and Cap-Haitien.
Villedrouin also said that Haiti would not “rush” its tourism industry, making sure that it preserved the sustainability of the country’s resources, along with emphasizing local labour.
It is the latest cooperation agreement between Haiti and Ecuador.
In July, the two countries signed cooperation agreements on areas including security and defence.
At the time, Ecuador announced the earmarking of $13.5 million for Haiti’s reconstruction.
Quito has been hosting several high-level tourism conferences this week, including the 54th Meeting of the UN World Tourism Organization Commission for the Americas and the Organization of American States’ 20th Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on Tourism.
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