The International Tourism Fair held in Madrid has been, for one more year, a great success. Hundreds of exhibitors from different corners of the world have come to unveil each of their countries´ wonders to tourism professionals as well the large public.
In all this whirl of the tourism industry there is clearly a booming sector –sustainable tourism. This has been the main point at FITURGREEN 2015, the VI Forum on Sustainability and Tourism which has been held inside FITUR 2015. At the forum a number of successful experiences have been shown on sustainable tourism, ways of restructuring the hotel trade, guides for sustainable consumption and production, and examples of local economic revitalisation by sustainable action.
Sustainable tourism is based on a respectful attitude towards the environment and the local population; knowing about their culture, their people, consuming in a way that has a positive effect on the local business, staying in environmentally-friendly places integrated into nature, and so on.
What countries are the ideal ones for sustainable tourism? We´ll give you 3 ideas which FITUR has shown us for your next holidays:
1. CONGO: Species protection
This African country offers various activities both environmentally-friendly and respectful with the local people. Great travellers know this is a wonderful destination with amazing conservation projects.
Virunga National Park, created in 1925, is the oldest park in the whole of Africa. You won´t expect European amenities here, but you will be able to live in the middle of nature and closely experience the way mountain gorillas live.
These endangered animals require conservation programmes, and the money earned from sustainable tourism has a positive effect on their wellbeing and safety.
Trekking along Nyiragongo volcano, along forests where chimpanzee families live, accommodation completely integrated into nature, such as the fields with camping tents or cabins made of natural materials…A type of tourism certainly sustainable and necessary for keeping these large forests and animal species in good condition.
In Congo, specifically in Kinshasa, an international tourism fair –MALEBO 2015 –will take place from 24th to 26th July, where the country will show their natural wonders and sustainable tourism.
Would you like to have a walk around the gorilla world?
2. COSTA RICA: Forest promotion
The motto of this green country par excellence, which is a world leader in sustainable tourism, is “pura vida” (“pure life”). It is a different country with peculiarities like having no army, having more teachers than police officers, and having national parks and reserves spread throughout 26% of its territory protected by SINAC, a national system of conservation areas.
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (Costa Rica Tourism Institute) certifies companies which are sustainability models for the way they manage natural, cultural and social resources of their country. That´s why it is recommendable to always seek or demand a certification for sustainable tourism (CST).
Costa Rica prefers a type of tourism integrated with the local people and eco-lodges to big-impact accommodation like the famous “all-inclusives.” A CST can encourage sustainable tourism; these hotels now have a job rate of 8% more than non-certified hotels.
Trekking along numerous volcanoes, adventure activities on its rivers, visiting its national parks and reserves…here the notion of sustainable tourism is virtually the only choice.
852 bird species are coming with us on this amazing trip. Will you come and see them?
3. THE ARCTIC, GREENLAND: Cultural conservation
In south-west Greenland, near the North Pole, live the bearers of the ancestral Thule culture, the Inuit.
SOS THULE is a pioneering project for preserving the ancestral Inuit culture and its surroundings, an area much threatened now.
This agency was founded 10 years ago by polar explorer Ramón Larramendi. It arranges adventure trips to the polar regions, showing clearly his commitment to the Inuit community and culture.
This commitment to preserving and researching these threatened areas has also led him to projects like Trineo de Viento (“Wind Sledge”).
In this case, the aim is to take part in the research on the Arctic and Antarctic regions while driving a non-polluting vehicle, thus helping increase their knowledge and protection.
Tierras Polares (“Polar Regions”) organises En busca del narval (“In search of the narwhal”), a dog-sledge and kayak spring expedition with the latest Inuit explorers of south-west Greenland.
It is a memorable adventure to learn about an endangered lifestyle. These trips and activities help revitalise populations and promote tourism in Greenland, hence the Government´s interest in the initiative.
Do you dare explore the Arctic?