An event was held to launch the III International Congress of Language Tourism in Bariloche. This congress seeks to consolidate the growth of this tourist product aimed at the study and knowledge of the language.
The Third International Congress of Language Travel Tourism which will be held between the 2nd and 5th October in Bariloche, Río Negro, was presented in the auditorium of the National Ministry of Tourism.
The launch event was headed by the national Under-Secretary for Tourist Development, Valeria Pellizza; the Under-Secretary fo the ‘Casa de Bariloche’ in Buenos Aires, Carla Goye; and the President of the ‘Asociación de Centros de Idiomas (SEA) – the Association of Language Centers, Marcelo García. Pellizza highlighted that “…in Latin America our country is the one most chosen for the study of Spanish as a foreign language. Argentina has a broad offer of educational tourism that allows a balanced and sustainable development for the product and the localities”. The minister emphasized that “the Congress was planned with the idea of creating a space for participative academic reflection between various actors: universities, schools, tourism operators, government and non-governmet bodies”. The Congress was organized by the “Asociación de Centros de Idiomas” (SEA) – Language Center Association – and the “Ente Mixto de Promoción Turística de Bariloche” (EMPROTUR) – Mixed Body for the Promotion of Tourism in Bariloche – jointly with the National Ministry of Tourism (MinTur), the “Instituto Nacional de Promoción Turística (INPROTUR)” – the National Institute for Promotion of Tourism – and the “Agencia Córdoba Turismo” – the Córdoba Tourism Agency – among others. The program included analysis of language tourism as a stimulator of tourism products and destinations; teaching of Spanish in the process of regional integration, and the importance of language and tourism as factors for the redistribution of wealth.
Also, these discussions touched on public-private strategies for the development and promotion of the product, and the participation of tourism operators as strategic partners in the value chain.
On another theme, there was analysis of the tendencies and perspectives for international demand, client markets, the quality and competitiveness of the teaching and the challenges before us. The Congress was aimed at operators, travel agencies, hotels, tourism students and professionals, teachers related to teaching of the language, officials and chambers of commerce and bodies related to the development of the product.
Marcelo Garcia emphasized “This congress has as its slogan ‘Challenges for a destination for the development of language tourism’ because the organizers want to continue working for the sustainability of the product with a federal perspective, making possible the development of the offer in more and more regions of the country. It is a challenge we can rise to, because there are many cities with the necessary conditions, attractions and human resources to do it, and we are convinced that Bariloche will be an incubator for those new projects”. García also highlighted that there are many opportunities for the growth of this sector of tourism, in a century where we will see “….the United States of America will become the largest Spanish-speaking country, and Brazil, the sixth largest economy in the world, will continue its inevitable integration with its neighbors, navigating between the Atlantic Ocean and Spanish”. It is worth pointing out that among the organizing bodies were also the “Ente Turismo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires” – the Tourism Body of the City of Buenos Aires – the Municipality of Valparaíso, the “Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Español como Lengua Extranjera (FLAELE)” – Latin American Federation of Associations of Spanish as a Foreign Language – and the “Cámara Argentina de Turismo Educativo e Idiomático (CATEI) – Argentinian Chamber of Educational and Language Tourism.