Published on : Thursday, September 14, 2017
The Conference focused on “Sustainable Destinations”, and the application of the GSTC Destination Criteria, with a focused panel of representatives from destinations that apply the GSTC Destination Criteria: Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism – Cayman Islands; Beatriz Barreal, Founder & General Manager – Sustainable Riviera Maya (Mexico); Dawson Ramsden, Ecotourism Marketing Executive – Botswana Tourism Organisation; Eduardo Gomez, Director Regional – Sernatur Los Lagos (Chile); and Tamara Ullrich, Board Member – ZOIT Cchellenko (Chile).
Other topics included tourism and climate change (adaptation and mitigation strategies); marketing sustainable tourism; sustainable visitor management; indigenous tourism; sustainable food in the tourism industry; and more. Simultaneous translation was provided in English and Spanish.
Speakers came from near and far – from different parts of Chile (including Mapuche and Yagan), Latin America, and from further continents such as Africa, Australia, and Europe.
“A great meeting in Patagonia, thanks to the organization and to all people who made this conference possible,” Says Felipe Muñoz Narbona, Director of Ecomapu Valparaíso, a sustainable tour operator certified by Chile’s Sello S (a GSTC-Recognized Standard).
“The conference gave us the opportunity to connect with people who understand and work the sustainable tourism, not as an alternative way to make the things, rather as an opportunity and need for the future of the the world tourism,” Felipe explained.
“Thank you very much for transmitting, it’s a great contribution,” said Paola Molina O’Ryan, a Chilean Architect who watched the entire conference through the live broadcasting.
Participants included international and domestic tourism stakeholders involved in the development and promotion of sustainable tourism; including public sector, hotels, tour operators, academia, development agencies, NGOs, consultants, and more. Along with Chilean participants, international participants come from: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, UK, USA, and more.
As with previous GSTC Conferences, the carbon footprint of the event is being offset to become a ‘carbon neutral event’ by the scheme CO2 NEUTRAL SEAL through sponsorship of Green Evolution SA. Other sustainable-events practices were carried out, such as reducing paper and plastic usage to a minimum: badges were made of recycled paper, brochures were not printed at all but were being provided through pdf files, no plastic bottles were used during the conference. Vegetarian meal was the default option, and no lamb was served.