Mexico, WHA, Expedia to protect heritage sites

At Mexico’s largest international travel fair, the Secretary of Tourism for Mexico and the Mexican Tourism Board signed a letter of intent with the founding partners of the World Heritage Alliance, Expedia Inc. and the United Nations Foundation.The move is aimed at jointly promoting and preserving World Heritage sites throughout Mexico.

With this signing, the Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism becomes the first national tourism secretary in the world to sign a letter of intent with the World Heritage Alliance.

Together, the partners will educate travelers and the travel industry about the importance of responsible tourism and World Heritage conservation; encourage community-based sustainable tourism development in and around World Heritage sites; and promote the beauty and significance of Mexico’s cultural and natural World Heritage sites around the globe.

“With 25 sites, Mexico has more valuable historic, environmental and cultural treasures inscribed on the World Heritage list than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. The government of Mexico has invested resources to preserve these World Heritage sites, create tourism services and generate more jobs for local communities,” said Mr. Rodolfo Elizondo Torres, Secretary of Tourism for Mexico. “These World Heritage sites provide a wide variety of unparalleled travel experiences for people coming from around the globe, but it is only through a public-private partnership like this that can we ensure that tourism in Mexico contributes directly to the conservation of our most cherished national icons.”

“The Secretary of Tourism, the Mexico Tourism Board, and Expedia, Inc. are showing thoughtful leadership in their commitment to World Heritage and responsible travel to preserve Mexico’s cultural and natural treasures for years to come,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “This is a true partnership, which can serve as a model for how countries, companies, and the United Nations can work together in service of shared economic, cultural, and environmental goals.”

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“As a leading global travel company, Expedia, Inc. is thrilled to work together with the Secretary of Tourism for Mexico, the Mexico Tourism Board, and the UN Foundation to promote responsible tourism to Mexico’s irreplaceable World Heritage sites,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia, Inc. “We encourage our visiting travelers and travel industry partners in Mexico to join our efforts as we promote and protect Mexico’s most beloved places.”

Earlier this month at an event in Cancun, Mexico, Expedia and the UN Foundation introduced the World Heritage Alliance to industry, governmental, and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners from throughout the Yucatan region, presenting the vision for collaboration in the area and throughout Mexico. Since then, leading travel partners have been in discussions with the World Heritage Alliance about how they can promote and preserve World Heritage sites in the Mexican Caribbean through responsible tourism.
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