This year the World Tourism Organization celebrates September 27 with the theme "Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future", placing tourism at the forefront of actions to safeguard this valuable resource. Unsustainable water consumption is a challenge facing the entire planet.
The WTO notes that millions of tourists travel to destinations where water is one of the most important attractions. Panama, bordered by two oceans and with countless appealing islands dotting both coasts, is a case in point. Numerous rivers run between protected areas that hold marvelous biodiversity. Water is the greatest resource of our main attraction: the Panama Canal. We must take care of our resources.
The President of the Republic, His Excellency Ricardo Martinelli, has recommended to the United Nations for their Millennium Development Goals that by 2015 the nations of the world should commit to take actions to not merely reduce poverty, but altogether eliminate it. The tourism industry shares the responsibility in achieving that goal, and can do so when business is operated sustainably and profits are equitably distributed, creating a social and economic equilibrium in the destination country.
I would like to take this occasion to send a message of appreciation to everybody who is involved in tourism activities: public officials, business owners, employees, transportation providers, and particularly to the noble Panamanians, who know best how to cordially welcome the visitor and demonstrate their pride for this beautiful country of Panama.
Congratulations to everyone, because we all are involved in tourism.
General Manager of the Panama Tourism Authority