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 September 13, 2004
Peru, WTO Sign Tourism Satellite Account Agreement

 Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Alfredo Ferrero and World Tourism Organization (WTO) Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli have signed a technical cooperation agreement for the development of the Tourism Satellite Account.

Mr Ferrero explained that the Tourism Satellite Account constituted a very important instrument for determining the real contribution of tourism to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Balance of Payments and job creation. He added that, thanks to the agreement, Peru would receive technical assistance from the WTO for the development of this instrument, which will provide valuable statistics for the industry. He said that the initial results of Peru's Tourism Satellite Account are expected to be known by next year.

WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli said that WTO's support for Peru forms part of the organization's overall programme of activities in the Americas, aimed at helping governments obtain the information they need in order to effectively promote their respective countries.

At the 3rd Summit of Iberoamerican and Caribbean Tourism and Environment Ministers and Authorities held on 4 September in Iquitos, in the Peruvian Amazon region, thirty ministers, vice-ministers and other high-ranking government officials signed the Amazon River Declaration, a document that signifies the commitment of the region's governments to safeguard the environment in the course of the economic development of their tourism resources.

The document calls for the inclusion of poverty-reduction measures in national sustainable tourism development strategies, in order to contribute to rural development. It also urges the countries of the Amazon River Basin to highlight the basin's crucial role in the water cycle and in the conservation of biodiversity at the regional and global levels.

The WTO Secretary-General expressed his support for the document saying: "It is time to act. It is time to re-examine the numerous international declarations and agreements and to carefully observe the recommendations they contain. It is time to seek new mechanisms for assessing and rectifying tourism's possible negative impacts on the natural environment, using the tourism sustainability indicators developed by the WTO. It is time to forge agreements and establish commitments between the public and private sectors in order to ensure that both sectors work jointly to develop new tourism destinations with sustainability as the basic premise".

Mr Frangialli was declared an "Illustrious Guest" of Iquitos, and was given the keys to the city. The same honour was bestowed on Mr. Eugenio Yunis, Head of the WTO's Sustainable Development of Tourism Department, Mr. Carlos Gutiérrez, WTO Regional Representative for the Americas, and other international officials.