Edito by Verónica Gómez, ISTO Americas Director
20 Dec 2021

Edito by Verónica Gómez, ISTO Americas Director.

This year 2021 has once again been a great year for our international organisation, something that has only been possible thanks to the support and contribution of all our members from all continents, but also thanks to the work of a very committed team, led by our President Isabel Novoa and coordinated by our Secretary General, Yves Godin.

Under their watchful eye and permanent collaboration, our team has implemented a variety of actions aimed at making our members' initiatives more visible. Thus, this year we have implemented In the Spotlight, a series of video interviews, available here in the original language with subtitles in English, French and Spanish, which present the work of our partners and their articulation with our international organisation. We have also invited ISTO members and partners and the tourism sector in general to monthly webinars, our international and regional CafecISTOs, where we have addressed various topical issues and generated a space for bimonthly meetings between members of the different regional sections, Africa, Americas and Europe, which has fostered greater integration between them. We would also like to remind you of this excellent means of communication with all of you, our newsletter at the end of each month, in which we disseminate, in English, French and Spanish, information from ISTO, our partners and the rest of the sector. This information is also available on our website, which has been updated with the pages of its regional sections and its Training and Research Alliance.

Our different working groups, on accessible tourism, solidarity and responsible tourism, gender equality and diversity and the trade union task force, have met regularly, generating actions and documents that we have been sharing this year and will continue to share with all of you. We have also created the Conseil de sages, a group of experts who advise us on our actions.

A new edition of the International Week of Fair and Sustainable Tourism for All has also been possible, albeit virtually, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru, as well as the realisation of the European Forum of Social Tourism, in Lyon, France, supported and co-organised with Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Tourisme.

In addition to this, ISTO and its regional sections have been present at several international representations, as well as working on various European and American projects.

We would like to highlight that in 2021, we have welcomed 13 new partners from 9 countries: Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Macedonia, Mexico, Panama, and South Africa.

This is how we come to the end of 2021, a year that continues to be marked by the pandemic impacting both ISTO and its partners around the world. Our work has been to accompany and support them in their different projects and actions, collaborating in their needs and demands both locally and globally. In this sense, our regional section chairs, Joel Capo-Chichi for ISTO Africa, Sergio Rodriguez for ISTO Americas and Muriel Antoniotti for ISTO Europe, have been great architects of this. We have learned and grown as an organisation, we can therefore feel satisfied and say that our balance is highly positive, based on a collective, supportive and collaborative work, where each one of us - Executive Committee, Board of Directors, permanent team and interns - and each one of our members have contributed, in their own way, to build a better future, through a new tourism, one that reaffirms its commitment to Human Rights through tourism initiatives for all, which are fair, responsible and sustainable.

For 2022, we renew this commitment, and we invite all our members and partners to do the same with us, and we promise to continue to support them in the transformation of tourism that is at the service of people, communities and territories.

Happy holidays and a great start to the new year to all of you!