The tourism industry, the biggest employer of young people in Mexico, is committed to promoting responsible and ethical tourism, Mexican Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu said Monday.
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President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration is working to fight crime and people trafficking in Mexico, Ruiz Massieu said during a breakfast organized by the Nueva Economia Forum in Madrid.
The government has “crafted a code of ethics adopted by an increasing number of tourism service providers” with the goal of “preventing sexual exploitation, but also labor (exploitation),” the tourism secretary said in response to a question from reporters.
“We are committed to a responsible and ethical tourism industry,” Ruiz Massieu said.
The government has made an effort to clarify news about crime, while “making it known what Mexico is about” from an economic, political, social and cultural standpoint, Ruiz Massieu, who has served as tourism secretary since December 2012, said.
Mexico is developing cultural tourism because “our cultural heritage is one of the elements that differentiates us, so we position ourselves as a destination,” Ruiz Massieu said.
Sustainable tourism is another area under development, with the protection of heritage sites being entrusted to “the communities themselves” so residents will view them “as an asset to protect,” the tourism secretary said.
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The tourism industry accounts for about 9 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP), Ruiz Massieu said.
“Mexico is a country undergoing a transformation,” a nation “open to the world and to free trade,” Ruiz Massieu said, adding that Spain was “a strategic partner with a privileged relationship.”