The beginning of the Encuentro de las Américas de Turismo Social - Colombia 2022 was marked by the General Assembly, a meeting in which ISTO Americas members had the opportunity to participate on Monday 25 April. Held face-to-face in the city of Bogota and with remote access for all members of ISTO Americas, the assembly was attended by 40 representatives of the 11 partner countries of the International Social Tourism Organisation.
The opening of the assembly was given by Isabel Novoa, President of ISTO, and Sergio Rodríguez Abitia, President of ISTO Americas, followed by the welcome given by the co-organisers of this meeting: Karol Fajardo on behalf of the Instituto Distrital de Turismo de Bogotá, Pablo Vélez, of the Alcaldía de Medellín and Jorge Alejandro Gómez Bedoya, Director of Comfenalco Antioquia.
The assembly was the occasion to officially welcome 9 new members coming mainly from Canada, Chile and Mexico. Verónica Gómez, Director of ISTO Americas, also presented the report on the activities carried out between June 2021 and April 2022, where, among other important actions, the Diploma in Social and Sustainable Tourism for the Arrecife Mesoamericano region, the different collaborations carried out within the framework of international cooperation with SITCA, and the multiple activities, both face-to-face and virtual, to support members throughout the American continent, stood out.
Upcoming activities were also presented, including the 3rd edition of the International Week of Fair and Sustainable Tourism for All, from 20 to 26 June, the 6th edition of the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit, presented by its President, Fernando Mandri, among others, which will be held in the municipality of León, Guanajuato, from 31 August to 2 September, and the next ISTO World Congress, in October 2022.
The important support and follow-up of the programmes, actions and activities of ISTO's members in the Americas during this period still marked by Covid-19 was highlighted in this Assembly, while showing great resilience on the part of the members of the Americas, which marks with this important meeting, the official return to face-to-face meetings, strong moments of exchange, solidarity and common reflection among them.