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After two days of work in Mexico City and the State of Michoacán, the international meeting “Tourism and Culture, a strategic relationship”, organized by the Federal Government’s Tourism Ministry (SECTUR), where delegates of the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OCDE), as well as tourist and cultural sectors’ representatives of our country highlighted the importance of coupling tourism and culture as an alternative for social-economic development. From the Former Augustine Convent of Santa María Magdalena, located in the Cuitzeo municipality, it was emphasized that tourism and culture are fundamental tools to support the comparative and competitive advantages of the regions in global markets. The international delegates recognized Mexico’s potential to boost such segment, as well as the works that to date have been oriented, to the benefit of touristic destinations, as is the case of this Magical Town (Pueblo Mágico). Within the round-table headed by Sergio Arzeni, Director of the Center for Pymes (small and mid size industries) and Local Development of OCDE, in which delegates from Australia, Italia, France, the United States, Turkey, participated, and on the part of our country, the Director of the National Institute of Archaeology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, INAH), Alfonso de Maria y Campos; the Coordinator of Counselors to the Federal Tourism Ministry, Gabriel Székely and the Tourism Minister of the State of Michoacán, Genovevo Figueroa Zamudio. It was explained that Mexico is striving to place cultural tourism as a product successful as much as that of sun and beach that has identified our country during the last years, mainly in the international market. In this line of thought, it was underlined that to promote products, routes and projects oriented towards enhancing the value of the vast tangible and intangible heritage Mexico owns, 80 percent of the resources from the Agreements on Coordination and Reassignment of Resources were assigned to promote cultural tourism. On his part, Sergio Arzeni, pointed out that for the success of the tourism-culture combination, a public-private alliance is needed; on that behalf, he highlighted the work of the organization “Adopt an Artwork Morelia”, headed by Phillipe de Reiset, which has importantly participated rescuing sites such as the former convent that hosted the event. This convent, thanks to its beauty, has boosted the economic growth of a region like Cuitzeo, where before, the income of 80 percent of its citizens did not reach two times the minimum wage. As a result of this effort, the Italian Sociologist Domenico De Masi, Founder and Director of the Stadium 3 School of Specialization on Organizational Sciences, proposed a training exchange organizing cultural festivals in the State of Michoacán aiming at providing the youth of both countries with the best field work carrying out this type of events which, in the case of the Italians, has been very successful, such as the Festival de Ravello, Amalfi Coast. This proposal was enthusiastically greeted and the Federal Government’s Ministry of Tourism committed to act as a liaison for the success of the training Exchange. Likewise, the experience of other countries will be taken into consideration to the effect of establishing workshops that allow the betterment of some aspects related to the teamwork needed between private and public sectors for the success of cultural tourism. PVMirror.com

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