Cultural Tourism must create wealth for all, says development official

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – The Carnival in Rio is one of the most famous events on the planet drawing people from all over the world to Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s most desirable visitor destinations.

The attraction is the fabulous display of music and cultural heritage of Brazil, but the head of a development agency said the world’s most famous carnival is not spreading the wealth to those in dire need of wealth creation.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the 2nd summit of the World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development (www.worldtourismforum.org), Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International, said the forum will look at ways of highlighting the cultural richness of Brazil and other developing nations in a way that creates wealth for poverty stricken people.

“Brazil is an exquisite kaleidoscope of cultural richness – a heritage which should be expanded beyond one or two carnivals so the benefits of tourism can be grown sustainably and spread deep into this beautiful country,” asserted LeLaulu who is one of the forum’s seven directors, along with the head of the World Tourism Organization, the former head of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, the head of the French Accor Group for Latin America and Sergio Foguel formerly Senior VP of Odebrecht, and now the lead organizer of the forum.

“The strong cultural focus of the Tourism Forum signals the intention of the thousands of participants arriving in Rio to enhance the use of cultural tourism as an instrument of community development,” added LeLaulu of Counterpart International which works worldwide on humanitarian and development projects.

“Thanks to the organizers, the Tourism for Peace and Sustainable Development Foundation, we have a strong corporate buy-in to the proceedings which adds weight to the wealth of academic research being presented here over the week,” said LeLaulu, “because without the solid participation of industry, our work is so much more difficult.”

Several government ministries, UNDP, UNESCO, and the UN’s WTO have joined some of Brazil’s biggest companies and international non-governmental organizations in sponsoring the Rio meeting which is known locally as “DestiNations”.

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