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Costa Rica, the sustainable destination of the “Pura Vida”

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Costa Rica, “the happiest country in the world,” “the little Swiss in Latin America,” the Mecca of ecotourism, “the nation without an army,” collects nicknames without turning red. And rightly so, one of the most stable democracies in Latin America, a country in which education, the preservation of the environment and public health are valued more than the army or the development of GDP: with the aim of becoming the The world’s first carbon neutral country by 2021, 25% of its territory classified in protected natural areas, 5% of the planet’s biodiversity, a position of world leader in sustainable tourism, a popular expression that sums up its philosophy: Pura vida! Costa Rica is an example of a sustainable tourist destination to follow. Nature, peace, happiness: in three words, everything is said.

Visiting this green paradise to attend the academic tour of the Master in Sustainable Tourism Management of the UCI – the oldest in Latin America – I am consumed with impatience to learn about the program carried out for the students.

We started the tour with a visit to the University of International Cooperation (UCI), a pioneering educational institution for 20 years in the field of teaching sustainable development, based in San José. Its mission: Co-create educational and cooperative solutions that contribute to the construction of an intelligent society with universal ethics, through participatory, responsible and supportive alliances. An avant-garde model based on competency education, ICTs, dynamic learning spaces, with a recognized teaching staff and with innovative virtual or face-to-face teaching formats … the education of the future, without a doubt. More than 3,000 graduates from 54 countries give the international dimension of this cosmopolitan study center. A university that wants to be “intelligent, virtual, competent, strategic, connected, diverse, flexible, positive and global”.

Our group reflects this perfectly: 12 students, 8 countries: Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Bolivia, New-Zealand, Argentina, France. A Chilean woman lives in New Zealand, a Bolivian woman in the United States, a Frenchman in Mexico… At the ICU, everything is thinking in favor of the environment: waste sorting cans, visual signage to save energy, compost bin, dry urinals, walls Greens, gardens and ponds form a harmonious “sustainable development” atmosphere.

The Director of the Master Fabián Román, also co-founder of ITSALyC (Institute of Sustainable Tourism for Latin America and the Caribbean), gives us a warm welcome. The Rector of the UCI, Edward Müller, continues, who gives us a thematic talk on tourism and climate change, highlighting that an additional half planet would be needed to maintain our current standard of living due to the worrying low biocapacity (Capacity of a country to conserve their ecosystems) of our countries. For him, the loss of biodiversity is the greatest challenge humanity faces. Hence, the importance of conserving landscapes, ecosystems and species of animals and plants. He ends his talk on the trends of tourism: search for authentic experiences, living culture, observation of biodiversity and solitude. Man in front of himself and nature.

In San José, we visited Cooprena, a cooperative conglomerate specialized in the development of rural community tourism that works with 26 social organizations throughout the country, providing technical assistance, financing, marketing and marketing services, through its agency Simbiosis Tours. His publication “Authentic Costa Rica, the guide to rural community tourism” makes me dream. I am thinking of all those countries that lack this type of promotional tool to value this very important segment of sustainable tourism. 1,300 tourists, mostly European “baby boomers”, visit the tourist structures affiliated to this dynamic organization every month. A considerable impact for rural communities in Costa Rica.

On the way to the Poás Volcano, which is home to the most visited national park in Costa Rica, with more than 300,000 annual visitors and receiving up to 3,500 people on weekends. Named a Biosphere Reserve in 1988, it is part of the 166 wild natural areas of the country. It organizes ecotourism, research and environmental education activities. Very well equipped trails take us very quickly along the banks of the crater – the second largest in the world for its diameter (1,320 m) – at a height of 2708 m. Ronald Jímenez, the volunteer manager, does not give a lecture on the characteristics of the volcano in the great amphitheater of the park’s Interpretation Center. The trafficking of wild species, the prohibited accesses, the difficult insertion of the local communities, the lack of personnel represent the main challenges of this national park.

The next visit was to the Finca Rosa Blanca, the first ecolodge built in Costa Rica some twenty years ago by the family of Glenn Jampol, one of the country’s ecotourism pioneers, on an old motocross terrain. The constant and hard work of its owners managed to transform it into a magnificent tropical garden and an architectural realization worthy of a work by Gaudi. Pioneer in luxury eco-hotels, Finca Rosa Blanca also has an organic coffee plantation that can be visited on foot. A barista conducts instructive coffee tasting sessions at the customers’ request. Very advanced on the issue of sustainable tourism, the Finca Rosa Blanca has been recognized with the highest sustainable tourism certification from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Danina, the person in charge of the subject, gives us a pedagogical tour during which we observe these specific actions: solar panels, ionization pool cleaning system, organic garden, waste classification, interior and exterior decoration by local painters, support to a neighboring public school, a fan of ecotourism activities, the commitments speak for themselves …

The next day, we returned to the UCI classrooms where each of the students presented her country from the perspective of sustainable tourism. Very instructive exhibitions … completed by a tango demonstration by the director of the Master, Fabián Román. The consultant Alejandra Cuña, professor of the course “Product Design in Sustainable Tourism” presents the famous model of sustainable tourism certification of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute: the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST).

Officially launched in 1997 by biologists, the CST marked a true innovation in its time as an instrument for measuring and certifying the tourism sector in terms of tourism sustainability. Today, this unique system in the world allows to evaluate and certify hotels, tour operators, restaurants, car rental agencies and theme parks. Certified companies are listed on the CST website, facilitating their identification by tourists. Advantage for candidates: The audit is free and assured by ICT staff. Reflection of a strong political will in favor of a tangible advance in sustainable tourism. Means, concrete acts, results, recognition. How many countries are still in the state of pompous speeches, without concrete results?

For the next stage, heading to the Arenal volcano to discover an original case of sustainable tourism entrepreneurship. At the edge of a dirt road, a wooden sign indicates “Rancho Margot, self-sufficient organic ranch.” The tone is set. Arrived in the middle of nowhere, we have the impression of being in a Lord of the Rings movie. Nature is abundant and exuberant, surrounded by the volcano and a magnificent primary forest from which sources of natural water emerge. All the roofs of the buildings are covered with vegetation. Rancho Margot is located in the middle of a magnificent wooded terrain of 400 hectares in the Reserve of the Water and Peace Biosphere of UNESCO.

Leandro, a young “Tico” guide awaits us to give us a tour of the property. He begins by telling us the origins of this amazing place. A few years ago, Juan Sostheim, a Chilean with a successful track record as an entrepreneur in the chemical, cleaning products and agriculture sectors suffered a heart attack. He questions himself and decides to turn his life around 180 degrees. In search of another lifestyle, he travels to Costa Rica with his family to change his ideas. During a visit to the Monteverde biological reserve, he is fascinated by the conservation efforts of this cloud forest, which is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. He quickly falls in love with a large piece of land near the Arenal volcano that he buys to realize… an old dream of youth.

The concept: an integrated farm with a project in constant movement towards sustainability. The vision: To create a group of small businesses to make a self-sufficient town. The result: an ecological farm, an eco-hostel, and a living university. The circle is incredibly virtuous. 90% of what the farm produces is consumed by staff and guests. Furniture and cabins were built with reclaimed local wood. Electricity is generated by hydroelectric turbines fed by the energy of the rivers that cross the property, the methane gas used for cooking comes from a biodigester that works anaerobically with gray water from the pigpen. The oil from the kitchen serves as the raw material to make the guest soap, which is recycled into laundry detergent. The water that feeds the lodge and the pool is naturally heated by huge hoses lined with tons of compost. The dairy products come from the farm’s cows, the meat of the pigs raised in the pens, the vegetables and fruits of the organic gardens. Rancho Margot practices chemical-free agriculture. The cattle are fed exclusively on the basis of natural products. The “Just in Time” control allows you to prepare up to 15,000 meals per month with just one refrigerator and one freezer. The socio-economic impact is appreciated with more than 50 local jobs created, 12,000 guests and 2,500 visitors served, and 60,000 meals served per year. Rancho Margot has a library, hires teachers to improve the education of its employees, and builds a school.

From a tourist point of view, Rancho Margot proposes guided tours of its facilities to show live the sustainability of its actions, horseback riding and kayaking on Lake Arenal, as well as numerous walks in the surroundings. Its preserved environment also offers various wellness activities such as yoga, massages, meditation and natural medicine. On a cultural level, some “ticos” musicians are regularly invited to liven up the nights, an artisan teaches the elaboration of traditional ceramics of the region.

Rancho Margot’s efforts allowed it to obtain the highest degree Certificate of Tourism Sustainability from ICT, such as the “Certificate of Excellence” from Trip Advisor and the “Best Place to stay” recognition from the famous Lonely Planet travel guide. Above all, Rancho Margot has been the first company in Costa Rica to be evaluated as “carbon negative”, absorbing more C02 than generating it from its activities. Clean energy, biomass water heating system, generalized composting, gas production by biodigesters, minimum transport of inputs, production on the farm of most of the food, hiring and training of local personnel are some of the good sustainable practices that contributed to these outstanding achievements.

“Yes”, as Juan Sostheim confided to me one night, while tasting his delicious wood-fired pizzas, “Rancho Margot’s message is that we can do things differently and that they work!”

For our last visit, we go through magnificent green landscapes before arriving at the mythical Monteverde Biological Reserve located in the north of Costa Rica. Created in the 1950s by a group of American quakers who deserted the US Army, the Monteverde reserve has become a world example of the preservation of a humid tropical forest and an ecotourism cluster. Over an area of ​​10,500 hectares coexist more than 3021 species of plants, 755 types of trees, 400 species of birds, 120 species of reptiles and thousands of insects. A true green paradise that represents 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. Ecotourism destination par excellence, Monteverde receives 75,000 annual visitors, most of them foreigners. We stayed at the Tropical Scientific Center lodge, created in 1962 to facilitate scientific studies of the reserve. It obviously has the ICT Certificate of Tourism Sustainability. Solar water heaters, waste classification, treatment of gray water by microorganisms, energy-saving light bulbs, water regulators in showers and sinks, soap dispensers and use of biodegradable products, solid and liquid waste management plan are some of the good practices implemented.

Equipped with headlamps, we made a night visit of the reserve to discover the animal life that lives in the dark. Advancing discreetly, we managed to distinguish bats, tiny frogs, gigantic tarantulas and nocturnal butterflies, perceiving the incessant sound of crickets deep in the jungle.

The next day, we attended a presentation of the “tropical scientific center” to learn about its origins and how it works. Only 2% of the reserve’s territory is open to the general public. The maximum loading capacity is 200 visitors per day. When this limit is reached, the reserve closes access. 10 kms of well-marked trails allow you to appreciate the endemic flora and fauna of the protected area. Our partner and Tico guide Luis Alexander interprets local biodiversity in a didactic way. From an impressive suspension bridge, only Andrés the Colombian managed to see the mysterious Quetzal, this bird with colorful plumage so sought after by bird watchers. Leaving the reserve, a strange quadruped inspects the quality of the waste sorting. In Costa Rica, the “Pizotes” are the best watchdogs of sustainable tourism.

Manuel Miroglio

“Sustainability is a matter of attitude … and coherence”

Secadora de manos

Recently staying at a large international chain hotel as part of a professional event, I was struck by the message that appeared on the hand dryer located in one of its bathrooms: “Sustainability is a matter of attitude, use a sheet of time”. I was glad to see this type of awareness message in a renowned hotel establishment, inviting its clients to remember that sustainability effectively begins with a change in our habits: Taking shorter showers, using one sheet of paper at a time to dry hands, accept that towels and sheets are not washed daily, turn off all the lights when you leave your room, etc … ”However, I must mention that I had struggled for a long time in the morning to know how to activate the shower function. Turning the faucet all the way wasted a tremendous amount of water in the tub without you being able to operate the shower. Angry, I ended up calling the front desk to have someone sent to maintenance. Ten minutes later the maintenance manager arrived, finally explaining to me that the water pressure in the tub tap had to be turned on to the maximum in order to then be able to activate the shower function by pulling a lever. And of course, once activated, the flow of water in the shower was still at its maximum pressure… “Too bad they didn’t tell me at the reception or they won’t explain it explicitly in a written notice, we would have saved liters of water and a good anger ”I said to the maintenance manager. Neither did the bathrooms in the room have a double flush function. A few days later I received a satisfaction survey email from the hotel. I mentioned in my answer the lack of coherence of its sustainability policy: It is good that it is recommended to use one sheet of paper at a time in the hand dryer, but not indicating how to operate the shower correctly ends up generating a negative experience of the guest about their stay at the hotel and a bad impression of its sustainability policy that does not turn out to be fully thought out, implemented, or skillfully communicated. At the end of the account, it discredits the corporate group’s sustainability policy, which states: “We are committed to reducing the water in our environmental footprint and we support the initiatives of our properties that may one day influence our procedures on a global scale … we have developed multiple agreements to provide training and equipment that allow us to better manage and reduce the use of water in our hotels. 90% of our properties report having efficient, water-saving showers. Efficient showers can generate 30% water savings without impacting the guest’s quality of stay. ” Apparently, I was not lucky, I got 10% of their establishments that still do not have efficient showers… ”. The positive thing was that the “Front Office Manager” answered me immediately that the hotel was going to take action on the matter to improve the experience of their guests’ stay. I conclude that communicating about the sustainability of a tourist establishment is not an easy exercise. It must be handled carefully and consistently because if some actions do not coincide with what an establishment claims in its sustainability policy, the result can be counterproductive in terms of tourism experience, credibility of the commitment and image of the company. There is no doubt that sustainability is a matter of attitude, but it must be systematically accompanied by coherent and verifiable actions by the client so that it is credible and that it can constitute a differentiating advantage for the tourist establishment.

“Responsible tourism in Mexico, a responsibility of all”

In 1950 there were barely 25 million tourists touring our planet … On December 13, 2012, for the first time a new record of travelers was registered, with the tourist one billion, according to the estimates of the World Tourism Organization. Tourism has today become one of the most important economic sectors in the world. In Mexico, the twelfth international tourist destination, this sector ranks third in generating income and provides 2 million direct jobs and more than 5 million indirect jobs. However, several studies have shown that this “industry without a chimney” has economic, social and environmental impacts on the territories and populations where it is developed: concentration of capital among large companies, precarious employment, exploitation of labor, tourism sexuality, folklorization of indigenous peoples, conflicts over access to water or the best lands, destruction of natural areas, contribution to global warming due to its CO2 emissions in the atmosphere … From there arises the notion of responsible tourism where all actors must recognize and assume their share of responsibility in the tourism chain, including tourists and their ways of traveling. For this reason, in 2002, in the city of Cap Town in South Africa, a total of 280 delegates from more than 20 countries, representatives of various companies, institutions and NGOs met at the international conference on responsible tourism in destinations. , in parallel to the World Earth Summit, to discuss this issue. This is how they defined responsible tourism as a tourism capable of:

Minimize social, economic and environmental effects;

Generate greater economic benefits for the local population and improve the well-being of the host communities,

Improve working conditions and access to the labor market,

Involve local people in decisions that affect their lives and opportunities,

Bring positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage,

Offer the most interesting experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local residents, based on a greater understanding of cultural, social and environmental diversity,

Provide access to people with disabilities,

Be culturally sensitive, by fostering respect between tourists and hosts, strengthening local trust and pride.

In Mexico, rural tourism, community ecotourism, adventure tourism – what we commonly call alternative tourism – belong to the great family of responsible tourism that could be understood as tourism that maximizes the benefits for local communities, minimizes the impacts negative socio-environmental conditions and helps people to preserve their local cultures and traditions.

Mexico is one of the five megabiodiversity and multicultural countries in the world with its 68 indigenous groups. It has a great geographic diversity: Jungles and deserts, plains and mountains, lagoons and beaches along its 2 million km2. 164 protected natural areas were decreed to protect its extraordinary fauna, flora and geological variety. A true natural reserve in Latin America with its 30,000 species of plants, 1,000 species of birds, 950 species of cacti, the first country in the world for its number of reptiles and second for its mammals, Mexico should favor responsible tourism for the good of all, both for its inhabitants and for its visitors. For this reason, preserving the natural and cultural attractions of Mexico, through responsible tourism, is everyone’s responsibility.

Places of interest to practice responsible tourism in Mexico:

http://www.rita.com.mx

http://www.cdi.gob.mx/turismo

http://www.amtave.org

“Teaching on community ecotourism experiences”

Just arrived in Mexico, I have had the opportunity to work on some community ecotourism projects in rural areas in the south of the state of Guanajuato. The Secretary of Tourism of the State of Gto hired a group of consultants of which he was part, within the framework of a program of accompaniment of rural tourist companies. The aim was to accompany three peasant communities for six months in the consolidation of their tourist projects, most of them based on a basic infrastructure built around dams located in rural areas.

There were five phases of the accompaniment:

1 / The diagnosis with the analysis of its tourist inventory and its potentialities;

2 / Strategic planning where its mission, vision and values ​​were defined, a strategic action plan was elaborated and the tourist activities of each community were decided;

3 / Training: a training needs diagnosis was made to develop certain skills of the community members;

4 / Implementation: the strategic plan was launched and an evaluation of tourist activities was carried out during Easter;

5 / Evaluation: compliance with the objectives was evaluated and a critical route to be followed was defined.

Learned lessons

That the implementation of such projects requires more time and resources to really have an impact on the communities;

That the interests of all the parties involved must be analyzed in depth at the beginning;

That it is better to know alternative and complementary sources of financing;

That each community has its own particular context in terms of its history, its social structure, its decision-making process, its motivations, its knowledge, its socio-economic level, its organizational capacity;

That one of the essential first steps is to consolidate the community organization and strengthen its entrepreneurial vision;

That the level of involvement of the communities is higher and their participation more effective if they are considered from the beginning of the project in the planning phase;

That the communities need to be accompanied in all phases: feasibility study, planning, execution and monitoring of the project;

That there be constant backing and support from the Tourism Secretariats and municipalities in the execution and follow-up of these types of community projects;

That the tourist infrastructure is adequate to the natural environment and complemented in order to start this type of project more quickly;

That there is clear, fluid and effective communication between the consultants, the municipalities and the communities involved.

Success factors

Most of the successful community ecotourism projects in Mexico owe their good performance to various factors and attitudes: a common long-term vision from the beginning, a great collective will to overcome difficulties and carry out their project, a real involvement of all community members, a strong community organization, a common awareness of the richness of its cultural and natural heritage, an ability to seek the funds and support necessary to accompany the development of the project, a constant training of all members of the community, a desire to share the knowledge acquired among all, having certifications to improve their business (Moderniza Program) and environmental performance (NMX 133 ecotourism Standard), an observation of the best practices of the competition, the reinvestment of their profits in the project and not so much between the partners, the preservation of their natural environment and their traditions, Consideration of ecotourism as a complementary source of resources but not the only one, the diversification of its clients and its marketing channels and, above all, having faith and perseverance in its project.

Much remains to be done throughout Mexico to strengthen community ecotourism projects, but fortunately there are inspiring examples, such as the Pueblos Mancomunados in the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, the ecotourism center of Patzingo in Michoacan, the ecotourism network of Los Tuxtlas. in Veracruz… so go green!

“Community first: a bottom up approach to sustainability” (Originally published in SOST magazine)

“Communities First: A Bottom-Up Sustainability Philosophy.”

It is known as Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) in Anglo-Saxon countries and as community ecotourism in Latin countries. This concept defines a type of tourism that seeks the empowerment of local communities to generate and directly control their own tourism activities, allowing them to promote their development and well-being in respect of the environment. Most of the profits must remain in the community.

According to WWF, it is “an activity whose economic and social planning and management is carried out by the community, engaging in the conservation of its natural resources and cultural integrity, promoting respect for natural and cultural heritage among residents and visitors. , increasing economic, environmental and political awareness of the benefits of conservation and sustainability of tourism resources. ”

Community ecotourism – the Mexican experience

In Mexico, several experiences of community ecotourism have shown that a grassroots approach with communities is the best way to ensure its sustainability in the future.

Long-term vision, appreciation of its cultural and natural heritage, strong will and dedication to common effort are generally the factors that produce significant results for the communities.

  • The Joint Peoples

Among them is the community ecotourism project of the Pueblos Mancomunados, which consists of eight Zapotec villages located in the state of Oaxaca, in the millenary pine forest of the Sierra Norte, classified by the WWF as one of the oldest ecosystems in the world. planet.

For centuries, the Commonwealth Peoples had to live off their exceptional natural heritage, such as the exploitation of the forest and other related activities. In 1988, eight villages decided to join forces to create a unique ecotourism destination based on the design of 120 km of trails on a 2,900 hectare territory.

They built comfortable cabins, camping areas, suspension bridges, zip lines, community dining rooms, trout and white-tailed deer farms and traditional temacal. A wide range of activities such as walking, horseback riding, mountain biking, observation of fauna and flora were developed to take advantage of natural resources: magnificent landscapes, canyons, caves, ravines, waterfalls and viewpoints. Also, traditional festivals such as the mushroom festival in Guajimoloyas are a good reason to get to know these picturesque towns.

The communities are organized by town to watch out for fires, illegal carving and poachers and anything else that could endanger nature. The Pueblos Mancomunados also comply with the ecotourism certification and recycling programs are common in the towns. Today 15,000 ecotourists (50% foreigners, 50% nationals) visit this destination every year. The economic and social impact can be appreciated through the creation of 45 full-time positions that benefit 80 families.

In 2002, the Pueblos Mancomunados received the award for the best ecotourism destination of its kind by the American magazine Conde Nast Traveler and were chosen as the best ecotourism destination at the Mexico Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Fair.

How was tourism sustainability applied in the case of the Commonwealth Villages?

From a social point of view, the peoples have worked together since the beginning of the process, involving men and women at the same time. They recognized the value of their natural and cultural heritage, built a solid community organization, relying on tequiu (voluntary community work) and preserved their traditional way of life and dedicated years of efforts to achieve common interests.

From an environmental point of view, they identified the exceptional natural resources of its ancient forests as its best attraction and decided to preserve it, establishing strict rules for the protection of fauna and flora, low-impact nature tourism activities, implementing recycling and eco-technologies, complying with the Mexican ecotourism standard and seeking green financing in embassies and NGOs.

From an economic point of view, they established a long-term strategy based on the idea of ​​passing it on to the next generations. They saw ecotourism as a complementary activity, designing world class eco-tourism products, they created their own tour operator Expediciones Sierra Norte in Oaxaca, constantly training with professional programs in the tourism sector. They sought funds regionally, nationally, and internationally and reinvested their profits in health, education, and transportation.

Pantzingo. San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro

Another outstanding project is that of the community of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro in the state of Michoacan. After the destruction of their original village by the Paricutin eruption in 1943, they displaced their farmland and rebuilt their nearby village. Until the 70’s, its forests had been managed by private companies, affecting the vegetation, not to mention the consequences of illegal carving of trees, pests and forest fires.

In 1981, the community decided to regain control of its forests with the help of academics and NGOs. They designed a new forest management plan under a sustainability approach.

30 years later, it has become one of the best organized and managed communities in Latin America. A conglomerate of 20 different companies has been created to exploit 12,000 hectares of forests, employing 950 people from the Purépecha community in sawmills, water bottlers, community supermarket, community ecotourism project. They fulfilled the international FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification for the sustainable management of their forests.

The Pantzingo ecotourism project began in 2002 with academic support from UNAM and financial assistance from CDI (National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples). They built comfortable cabins, implemented eco-techniques, designed nature tourism activities such as trekking expeditions to the Paricutín volcano and the San Juan ruins, skill games, zip lines and a white-tailed deer reserve. 12 jobs were created to manage the Pantzingo center. Today they receive 400 visitors a month and 60 communities a year come from all over Mexico to learn about their experience.

How was tourism sustainability applied in the case of Pantzingo?

The starting point of this community was to recognize its forests as its most important resource. Later, the idea of ​​regaining control of its territorial planning was decisive to implement a sustainable forest management plan, following the FSC certification. The spirit of entrepreneurship played a key role in the creation of 20 companies.

From a social perspective, a strong community organization and collaboration with universities and NGOs helped them to better implement their project.

From an environmental point of view, the adoption of eco-technologies, compliance with the FSC certification and the Mexican ecotourism standard NMX 133 allowed them to preserve their environment.

Finally, from an economic point of view, access to national and international financing, the benchmarking of similar ecotourism projects, the diversification of its clients and the reinvestment of its profits in the tourism infrastructure ensured the competitiveness of its eco-tourism destination.

As these examples show, applying tourism sustainability in a comprehensive way is the best way to ensure that community ecotourism projects last in the long term, generating the expected social, environmental and economic benefits, which not only affect their lives but also that of their lives. of future generations. In other words, community ecotourism clearly follows the principles of responsible tourism as outlined in the Cap Town Declaration of 2002. It should be supported by both the public and private sectors.

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