September 15, 2014

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2014

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2014, celebrated under the theme Tourism and Community Development.
The official WTD 2014 celebrations will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 27 September.
For more information:

May 5, 2014

Development of the Public Use Plan and implementation of Limits Acceptable Change methodology in Rapa Nui National Park.

Everything ready for the start of the planning process
On Friday May 02 has formally begun the preliminary stage of the development of Public Use Plan and the implementation of the methodology Limits o Acceptable Change in Rapa Nui National Park. These activities are part of the substantial support that the Provincial Chief CONAF Easter Island committed to the project known as "Bien P├║blico Rapa Nui" As stated the project website, this "aims to develop a Strategic Plan for Ethnic - Cultural destinations, bearing eastern island as a pilot territory" This is an external CONAF proyect, where the role of the institution is to support and promote a sustainable approach to tourism in this initiative, which especially considers the special characteristics of the Rapa Nui National Park in terms of the vulnerability of natural and cultural heritage.
Going further:

February 26, 2014

IUCN World Parks Congress

The IUCN World Parks Congress will be held in Sydney, Australia from 12-19 November 2014.
Going further:

July 9, 2013

X Congress in Private Nature Reserves in Latin America

X Congress in Private Nature Reserves in Latin America, which will be held in Valdivia, southern Chile.
For more information: (in spanish)

July 4, 2013

Sustainable Tourism as a Tool against Unsustainable Development

In current days, It is very well known that in this global world most of time the development is executed without taking into account land ordering, environmental variables, community thinking and goals, among others. One example of this problematic it has been happening for a few years in the Pehuenche Community called Camilo Conoequir Lloftunekul, located in Chile, Araucania Region, specifically in Curarrehue Village in Trancura Valley.
This location has lots of tourism attractions, been some of them, the beautiful landscape with volcanoes, Rivers, Forest, proximity to Argentina border (5km), cultural heritage led by Mapuche - Pehueche ethnicity, among others.
Since 2010, an hydroelectric company has been trying to install a plant for electricity production in a river named Anehuerraqui, which is an affluent of the great Trancura River, which is known around the world because of its excellent conditions to do adventure tourism activities as rafting and kayaking. Furthermore, the water that brings Anehuerraqui River is used by the community to irrigate plantations of different products, and also some families do subsistence farming.
As we can see, there is a confrontation of two kinds of developments or uses that are difficult to fusion. For one side, the hydroelectric plant is going to produce a big quantity of impacts which are going to affect directly tourism activities and daily life of families. On the other side, nowadays there is a pushful experiential tourism driven by the Pehuenche Community Camilo Conoequir Lloftunekul that is improving quality of life.
According to this scenario, there is a question that arises. Is it possible to fight against this crazy development using sustainable tourism as a tool? To answer this question (according to this case) it is necessary to understand what the community has been doing related to tourism development. A couple of years ago this community started establishing experiential tourism without knowing, and today they have an offer extremely interesting, including accommodations, restoration, kayaking, apiculture, guiding, among others.
Diagram 1: Tourism development in Trancura Valley – Community camilo Conoequir Lloftunekul.
Actually, some residents are kayaking and hiking guides, some families have opened their houses to receive tourists, offering them not only accommodations, but also native food. This offer is a truly experiential tourism, where clients can know Pehuenche culture from inside of a family.
In my point of view (and also tested by hundreds of studies), Tourism can help to affront unsustainable developments, creating new commercial activities that help to improve local economy. Furthermore, Sustainable Tourism can be used as a tool, because through this economical activity is possible to show that there is an economical growth, recovering of cultural heritage, and conservation and improvement of natural areas by community residents.
What to do in these kind of cases?. Well, it is a key that big companies take into account all the economical activities that are part of a territory, village, or community. Moreover, in the project development process communities should be ask since the beginning of the planning, in order to work together. This is the company, the community, and others actors (affected by projects), with the aim of improve quality of life. Truly sustainable development is not just giving some money to each resident or building a new school and some outdoors games and think the task is done, it is necessary to go further having as a goal the three sustainable pillars.