UNESCO announces partnership with Airbnb to promote cultural tourism, empower communities, and protect Mexico’s heritage
Mexico City:To contribute to the reactivation of tourism in a responsible and sustainable way in Mexico and to expand the benefits of cultural and creative tourism to more communities, Airbnb will promote destinations and experiences outside the traditional tourist circuit, with the backing of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The UNESCO Office in Mexico and Airbnb will develop projects to promote the empowerment of local tourist communities, integrate the creative and cultural sector into the local tourism value chain, and contribute to the development of responsible tourism. Both will develop such actions to protect the country’s cultural and natural assets by integrating experiences to contribute to the appreciation and knowledge of cultures.
According to an Airbnb report on Travel and Living, sustainable tourism and visits to destinations far from traditional turistic corridors have become crucial determinants in people’s travel decisions. In Mexico, the percentage of nights booked for Summer 2021 in small communities through Airbnb has almost tripled, compared to the same period in 2019, going from 10% to 25%.
Due to these opportunities to promote tourism in Mexico, Airbnb and UNESCO collaborated to produce complete projects that will include tourism innovation and community inclusion in order to incorporate micro, small, and medium creative, cultural, and tourism entrepreneurs into the tourism value chain.
“Airbnb recognizes that at this moment, tourism must be part of the economic recovery and community inclusion in Mexico. Consequently, this alliance seeks to set the foundations for co-responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to local economic development, community inclusion, and biodiversity protection in destinations so that in the future this initiative can be replicated across the country and Latin America,” said Jorge Balderrama, Public Policy Manager of Airbnb Mexico.
This initiative will implement two first pilot initiatives in Mexico City and the Yucatan Peninsula. In both destinations, the partnership will seek synergy with public, private, and social actors to boost the supply of creative, cultural, and nature tourism. Also, the partnership will promote the development of tourism entrepreneurs’ abilities and incorporate the collaborative economy technological tools for their empowerment.
This initiative is part of the Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, mainly focused on promoting sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products (targets 8.9 and 12.b).
The UNESCO Representative in Mexico, Frédéric Vacheron, said that this alliance signifies an essential step for Mexico’s Office to promote sustainable development from the logic of the collaborative economy, which encourages the use and optimization of human resources and existing materials, reducing the environmental impact of creating new ones, and allows the possibility of being an entrepreneur in times of crisis by offering innovative services through Internet collaboration platforms.
The partnership with UNESCO follows Airbnb’s “México por Tierra” initiative to promote sustainable tourism that supports responsible enjoyment and safeguarding of the country’s cultural and natural heritage, considering the Outstanding Universal Value of the attractions that count with the UNESCO World Heritage declaration.