TIES’ Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Project in El Salvador Strengthens National and International Collaboration

TIES’ Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Project in El Salvador Strengthens National and International Collaboration

Sustainable Tourism Project in El Salvador Aims to Establish a National Strategy


TIES Press ReleaseWashington, DC, February, 22, 2008 - A collaborative project by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and FUNDEMAS (the Business Foundation for Social Action) in El Salvador, which aims to establish a national strategy for the sustainable development of tourism through effective partnerships among various stakeholder groups and decision makers, will hold a national workshop this month in San Salvador.


Roberto H. Murray, President of FUNDEMAS, states, “It is imperative for the tourism industry in El Salvador to promote sustainable tourism and ecotourism.” Through this project, Mr. Murray adds, “we seek to develop a national strategy that links different stakeholders, including the private sector and community leaders, with the aim of implementing sustainable business practices that respect the local culture, traditions and heritage sites, contribute to the conservation of natural resources, and promote a quality experience for both visitors and residents of our country.”


One of the first concrete outcomes of this collaborative project is the Ecotourism and Sustainable Development in El Salvador Workshop 2008, organized by TIES and FUNDEMAS. The workshop will be held from February 25-27, 2008 and will feature national and international experts. These speakers represent key stakeholders such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)/United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the George Washington University, and the private sector groups.


The workshop will include an opening plenary session featuring a presentation by the Minster of Tourism, Mr. Ruben Rochi Parker, stakeholder discussion groups, site visits, and presentations on key policies, development strategies and business issues. The workshop participants will engage in a site visit in the Western region of El Salvador, highlighting the areas where the Improved Management and Conservation of Critical Watersheds Project by USAID is taking place.


The project is dedicated to promoting the conservation of biodiversity through the generation of improved livelihoods in Western El Salvador. TIES and FUNDEMAS have invited the USAID Project team to collaborate on the workshop in order to provide a dynamic field visit to Western El Salvador. The international experts participating in the TIES/FUNDEMAS workshop will meet with local municipal leaders, farmers and local tourism developers to discuss the development of new ecotourism projects, including a coffee farm tour.


"The Ecotourism and Sustainable Development in El Salvador Workshop 2008 is the first national gathering to educate local leaders on how tourism can be managed as an on-going source of sustainable 2 revenues that support the conservation of biodiversity," comments the senior technical advisor to the USAID project in sustainable tourism, Megan Epler Wood. "El Salvador is largely attracting business and family tourism at present, but it has great potential to bring more business to its coffee farms, parks, and beautiful rural landscapes," she adds.


With over 1 million arrivals and a growth rate of over 9%, tourism is becoming one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in El Salvador. Sandra de Barraza, Commissioner Coordinator of the CND (National Commission for Development), says, "From the perspective of local and regional development, the CND is convinced of the potential of the country to develop local ecotourism initiatives linked to coffee plantations, Indigenous traditions, parks and nature reserve, and the scenic beauty of lakes and mountains."


For this reason, she adds, "the CND, in keeping with its vision of development, is committed to this initiative and supports TIES and FUNDEMAS in implementing this workshop." The development of El Salvador’s national strategy for ecotourism and sustainable development recognizes the importance of promoting economic growth that supports the conservation of the environment and natural resources, while stimulating local economies and improving the quality of life in rural areas through alternative and innovative means of production. TIES is proud to partner with FUNDEMAS and to collaborate with USAID and national and local stakeholders in order to promote the sustainable development of tourism in El Salvador.


These initiatives will facilitate the formation of multi-stakeholder networks, new partnerships and an industry-based association, fostering sustainable business implementation in El Salvador. The Ecotourism and Sustainable Development in El Salvador Workshop 2008, and the overall TIES/FUNDEMAS partnership is an example of TIES’ organizational focus to build awareness of ecotourism and sustainable tourism, create international industry networks, and implement sustainable practices.


About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




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The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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