Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)

Department of Economic Development 

Projects and Activities

The Americas present a wide diversity of natural attributes, economic, historical and cultural backgrounds with their concomitant range of cuisines, recreational activities, sporting interests and beliefs. The work of the Culture and Tourism Section supports initiatives which complement these intrinsic characteristics within the realm of sustainable culture and tourism development, to enhance culture as a tool for social inclusion and economic development, and the competitiveness of Latin America and Caribbean destinations in the international markets.

Through partnerships and cooperation activities with Regional and International Organizations and Donor Agencies, the Section has been effective in addressing self-defined needs of Member States through the following networks, projects and activities:

Culture and Development

The contribution of culture to the economy is not always well understood or appreciated. Yet the Americas' extraordinary cultural diversity provides ample sources to generate employment and wealth through cultural and creative industries, the making of art and crafts, cultural tourism, and through a marriage of artistic and cultural content and interactive and multimedia technologies. Read more here

Cultural Heritage

The project: "Expanding the Socio-Economic Potential of Cultural Heritage in the Caribbean" is designed to focus on the rich heritage resources of the Caribbean as a prototype of similar initiatives in other regions in order to extend the socio-economic benefits derived from the regional cultural heritage as a non-renewable, and valuable public resource through a new paradigm of public involvement. Read more here.  

Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas

In 2020, at the Indigenous Forum of the Americas, 230 Indigenous community leaders, tourism industry leaders and government representatives met to dicuss Indigenous Tourism. The forum, hosted by the Orgainization of American States (OAS), the George Washington University's International Institute of Tourism Studies and the United States Department of the Interior Office of Indian Affairs encouraged discussion on the support and promotion of Indigenous Tourism. The result of this year-long discussion was the formation of Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas, comprised of 100 Indigenous, tourism and governmant leaders to support and promote this effort. Watch the video here.  

Small Tourism Enterprises Network (STEN)

The Small Tourism Enterprises Network (STEN) was designed as a unified network that integrates public, private and community sector strategies to provide strategic support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism industry in the Americas. STEN seeks to contribute to enhanced marketability and viability of small tourism enterprises in the Americas and address the need for increased market access, more effective promotion/communication between the tourism MSMEs and the target market, and facilitate the packaging of ‘tourism experiences. Read more here.

Tourism Safety and Security

Through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security’s Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), and with the support of the Department of Economic and Social Development, the OAS provides training and technical assistance to member states in order to improve the institutional capacities of the personnel in charge of tourism security and to strengthen alliances, especially those in the public-private sector, in order to prevent risks and threats towards the safety of tourist and recreational facilities. Read more here.  

Increasing Tourism Competitiveness through Sustainable Destination Management and Capacity Building in the Caribbean and Central America

The OAS, Sustainable Travel International and the Caribbean Tourism Organization have joined forces to launch a large-scale initiative that aims to greatly enhance how tourism is managed at a destination level in the Caribbean and Central America and improve its future prospects and its ability to compete by embedding sustainability into destination strategies and day-to-day management and marketing. Read more here.