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With the aim of opportunely knowing tourism projects of the states, give them proper follow-up and supervise  protection, conservation and promotion of cultural, historical and archaeological  heritage, Tourism Ministry (SECTUR) and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) signed a collaboration agreement.

Rodolfo Elizondo Torres, ministry of Tourism, and Alfonso de Maria y Campos, INAH general director, subscribed the agreement valid until 2012, where both institutions commit to collaborate in projects that promote cultural tourism.

The ceremony took place at Tampico Convention Center, in Tamaulipas, during the 26th National State Tourism Officers Meeting, attended by representatives of 28 entities of Mexico.

Elizondo Torres and De Maria y Campos remarked Mexico comparative advantages need to be used to improve tourism activity; this will reflect on the increase of international visitors and foreign income.

“Culture is what really makes us different from other countries. Mexico is the sixth place in the world regarding cultural heritage, a real world power; no other activity bring us closer to countries such as China, Great Britain or France, and if we not take care of this value, it will fall into oblivion”, remarked the INAH director.

De Maria y Campos added that there should be more contact points between tourism and culture, all with the same objective; he mentioned he hopes this is the beginning of a series of many agreements, always circumscribed within cultural heritage respect.

SECTUR ministry remarked that collaboration with INAH has contributed to promote archaeological zones, monuments and other cultural attractions that make Mexico a unique place.

De Maria y Campos expressed that INAH understands regional and national tourism development as an important source of employment and income for states, but it is necessary to construct balanced politics between economic interests and conservation of our historical memory.

He proposed the federal entities representatives to focus on 3 fundamental challenges:

1. Protecting and conserving heritage with a social approach where promotion is the link to society’s recognition and valuation.

2. Industry and public institutions must offer unique products and itineraries, facing the increasing world competition regarding tourism.

3. Looking for fundraising mechanisms that cover cultural heritage conservation needs.

Representatives from Chiapas, Guerrero and Yucatan thanked the Institute for the effort made to conserve archaeological zones in their entities, which develops tourism growth and employment.

De Maria y Campos pointed out that Temporary Employment Program promoted by federal government is a useful tool to develop minor maintenance work at archaeological zones and historical monuments.

This kind of agreements with municipal and state governments as well as civil society, help us to “considerate and intensify heritage care and respect campaigns that allow inhabitants understanding cultural richness preservation, and the benefits entailed”, concluded the INAH director.