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Three Latin American Countries Sign Letter of Intent on Smart Tourism

Lucy Jay-Kennedy, Senior Media Manager, Tel.: +51 9954 84389; E-mail: Lucy.JayKennedy@weforum.org

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  • Ministers of tourism and government representatives from the tourism sector of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have agreed to collaborate on a smart visa system in the region
  • The Letter of Intent on Smart Tourism recognizes the importance of tourism for integration and development
  • The Letter of Intent was announced at the Travel & Tourism Summit convened during the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Lima, Peru
  • Learn more about the meeting: http://wef.ch/la13

Lima, Peru, 23 April 2013 – Gathered today in Lima at the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Summit, ministers of tourism and government representatives from the tourism sector of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have agreed to collaborate on the implementation of a joint smart visa system. The system will allow visitors to the region to benefit from a facilitated and more secure entry.

The Letter of Intent on Smart Tourism, signed today, recognizes the importance of tourism to integrate and develop the region. The ministers and government representatives expressed their willingness to give the tourism sector a new boost by promoting tourism activities and maximizing the use of technology to improve efficiency in the existing visa processes. Adopting an electronic visa system will contribute to the growth of the tourism sector and, by extension, to the economic development and exchanges among these nations.

As a first step in establishing the electronic visa system, the tourism ministers and government representatives will commence collaboration among the relevant government entities in their countries. The objective is to remove barriers and obstacles to the mobility of international tourists and to improve social and economic development in the region.

“States should consider gradually eliminating traditional visa procedures and replacing them with a smart visa electronic system that creates a common visa and increases the facilitation of tourist travel and the security of states,” said José Luis Silva Martinot, Minister of Trade and Tourism of Peru. “Easy and hassle-free availability of visas is one of the basic ingredients for attracting foreign tourists. Increasing international demand for tourism represents a clear opportunity for governments to encourage visitors to spend, thereby stimulating job creation.”

"Moving to a smart visa policy is a wise decision for these Latin American countries, which will see tremendous benefits for their economies,” said Marriott International President and Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson, Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum on Latin America. “The new jobs and exports generated by travel and tourism will fuel Latin America’s growth, as companies like Marriott continue to invest in the region.”

“The World Economic Forum is pleased that the Letter of Intent on Smart Tourism was signed at the Travel & Tourism Summit,” said Thea Chiesa, Director, Head of the Aviation and Travel Industry. “Facilitating travel to stimulate economic growth and job creation is one of the pillars of the Summit, and is a core activity of the Forum’s Industry Partners and Members of the Global Agenda Council on New Models for Travel & Tourism.”

Notes to Editors

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