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President of Uruguay highlights tourism’s role in economic growth and development in a meeting with UNWTO Secretary-General

President of Uruguay highlights tourism’s role in economic growth and development in a meeting with UNWTO Secretary-General ( The President of Uruguay, HE José Mujica, has highlighted the enormous potential of the tourism sector to stimulate growth and development. Meeting during an official visit to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai stressed that Uruguay is a leading example in the sector.

Major outcomes of the first official visit of the UNWTO Secretary-General to Uruguay include the development of a report on the exemplary case of tourism in Uruguay and strengthening cooperation on key issues such as the use of alternative energies in the hotel sector and on accessible tourism.

“The tourism sector in the country is a success story. Results are particularly impressive given the growth registered during theses challenging times,” said Mr. Rifai.

“Tourism generated US$1.4 billion in export earnings in Uruguay last year,” highlighted the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Uruguay, Héctor Lescano. “Tourism is a major generator of jobs and development for local communities,” he added.

The meeting with President Mujica was another key opportunity to continue positioning tourism higher in the global agenda, a strategic objective for UNWTO in its aim to mainstream tourism. The visit to Uruguay follows meetings held by the Secretary-General with the presidents of the Dominican Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, and Tajikistan. Mr. Rifai presented President Mujica the UNWTO Roadmap for Recovery, a strategic document aimed at raising awareness among decision makers of the contribution of tourism to job creation, economic growth, and development.

Mr. Rifai’s visit came a day before the annual meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Americas and the UNWTO executive council (June 6-8, Puerto Iguazú, Argentina).


UNWTO Roadmap for Recovery:

UNWTO News Issue 2/2010:

Watch new UNWTO video – Mainstreaming Tourism in the Global Agenda:

PHOTO: President of Uruguay, HE José Mujica / Image via

Media Officer: Marcelo Risi T: +34 91-567-8160, +34 91-567-8100 F: +34 91-567-8218 E: W:

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