Nicolás Barbieri: “El gran reto de la gestión cultural es conseguir que la ciudadanía valore la cultura como un sector que aporta valor y mejora la calidad de vida”
IGCAT and its flagship Regions of Gastronomy Platform and Award was applauded at the 2nd UNESCO/UNWTO World Conference on Culture and Tourism, as a leading initiative fostering sustainable cultural tourism development. The World Conference, held in Muscat, Oman 11-12 December 2017, brought together world leaders including Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, H.E. Ahmed Bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman, Ms Eliza Jean Reid, First Lady of Iceland and good will ambassadors such as H.R.H. Princess Dana Firas.
Key topics from the conference covered tourism for peace, preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage, the role of urban and rural environments and protection of biodiversity as a core value to build sustainable tourism.
Many questions from the floor indicated a need for models that can help empower local communities and provide good governance models. Conserving intangible cultural as a means to protect the planet was the subject of the panel that IGCAT’s President, Dr. Diane Dodd took part in. She made the point that “supporting entrepreneurship, SME’s and the protection of traditional knowledge are all compatible with serving sustainable tourism.” The panel highlighted the need to bring different stakeholders into participatory processes; to empower local communities and build pride in local food and culture. Diane Dodd also reminded the audience that it is often lesser visible and/or economically developed regions that provide the most exciting and unspoilt treasure troves and this have the biggest potential to grow sustainable tourism initiatives.
The conference concluded with the draft Muscat Declaration being read to the participants. Enormous thanks and respect were extended to the Sultanate of Oman for their generous hospitality and wonderful introduction to Omani culture.