Sustainable tourism is an ally of poverty eradication in Central America and the three dimensions of sustainable development - social, economic and environmental – according to the a UN resolution on sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America.
The 193-member UN General Assembly adopted the resolution unanimously during its 68th session.
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) stated that emphasizing sustainable tourism in Central America is a cross-cutting activity with close linkages to other sectors and thus generating trade opportunities. The UN General Assembly recognizes tourism as a fundamental pillar of regional integration and an engine of social and economic development, income, investment and hard currency in the region.
The resolution further “encourages giving appropriate consideration to the issue of sustainable tourism in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda", which will follow the deadline of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”
Thus, the UN General Assembly invites states and other stakeholders, as well as the UNWTO to continue to support the activities undertaken by the Central American countries for the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism and extend the benefits of tourism to all sectors of society, in particular the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of the population.
International tourism in Central America grew significantly in recent years. In 2012, Central America received almost 9 million international tourists who generated US$ 8 billion in revenues, up from, respectively, 4.3 million arrivals and US$ 3 billion in 2000. Today, international tourism accounts for as much as 17% of all Central American exports.