Madrid, Nov 4 (EFE).- The service sector, especially the tourism industry, is the main strength of Santo Domingo and the main talking point that the mayor of the Dominican capital, Carolina Mejía, presented Thursday in the Spanish capital during the XIX Assembly of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI).
“We have a very service-oriented economy. Receiving visitors is something natural for us warm-hearted Dominicans. Our experience can serve other cities with less tourism,” Mejía said in an interview with Spain’s Agencia EFE.
The UCCI gathering is “a perfect learning space” to share with Ibero-American counterparts in regards to what they can do to promote the well-being of citizens, she said.
The Assembly, held at the Casa de la Villa in Madrid where the international organization was established in 1982, was attended by some 30 thirty mayors from Latin America.
In a formal ceremony during the event, Mejía was named regional vice president for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The mayor, who took office in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, stressed the importance of the in-person gathering because “just by meeting friends at the cafe” you can share ideas that later evolve into real projects in their cities and have “a positive impact.”
Thursday’s session, inaugurated by the mayor of Madrid and co-president of the UCCI, José Luis Martínez Almeida, addressed issues such as recovery from the impact on cities of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, for which they agreed on the need to maintain regional unity.
Santo Domingo is “a safe place,” giving priority to vaccination, especially for first-line health workers and workers in the tourism sector, and preparing an adequate mitigation plan, Mejía said.
“It is a city with a very high vaccination rate, with the first dose at 100%, the second at around 80% and, in addition, a third that we offer voluntarily. Santo Domingo is a safe place”, she said.
One of the initiatives that aroused the greatest interest dealt with the sidewalks in the capitals of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean as a way to bring the city closer to the people, improve their quality of life with open spaces and promote urban development. EFE