Tourism is one of the main sources of income for a considerable number countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)and an indispensable job creator in remote areas of the region. In many cases the industry is the main driving force behind natural and cultural heritage protection campaigns.
In the past few years, several key players from the tourism industry in the region have expressed the importance of the creation of the Latin American and Caribbean Tourism Organization as a regional priority.
The creation of OLACT was officially announced on September 24, 2010 in the context of the Americas International Tourism Fair (FITA) in Mexico City, Mexico.
With headquarters in Mexico City OLACT aims to work in the whole LAC region. The members that joined until now and that will join before February will be considered as founded members.
The OLACT aims to encourage the development of regional cooperation within the Latin American and Caribbean tourism industry, to promote measures to protect the natural, cultural and social environment from the potential negative effects of the industry’s activities, and to improve the quality, supply and promotion of tourism related services. To achieve this goal the OLACT will provide practical and tangible technical assistance to the public, private and community sectors at regional, national and local levels.
The vision of the OLACT is the creation of an integrated regional tourism market, whereby the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean can position themselves as part of one of the most welcoming, diverse and accessible touristic regions in the world.
Sustainable development guidelines
OLACT is a non-profit and member based organization, incorporated to encourage the development and cooperation of sustainable tourism within the Latin American and Caribbean countries; And, to promote measures that protect the natural, cultural and social environment in the region, while fostering the supply and promotion of tourism related services.
OLACT embraces the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) that came to life by a coalition of 32 organizations working together to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles. The Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) initiated the partnership. These criteria outline the minimum standard that any tourism business should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources. www.SustainableTourismCriteria.org.
Headquarters in Mexico City, Altavista 78, Col. San Ángel, Del. Álvaro Obregón.