Cooperation for Development with Colombia: Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism

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Within the framework of the ERICA International Development Cooperation Program (Spain and its Regions Exchange Knowledge with Antioquia), in2destination transfers knowledge within the Pilot Transfer Project on Sustainable Tourism Destinations in Jericó, Antioquia. It is a project that began at the beginning of the summer of 2018 and included in its milestones is a Mission to Spain that took place from November 5 to the 10th of the same month.

The Mission to Spain consisted of the transfer of knowledge regarding the management of sustainable tourism destinations, generation of experiences and sustainable tourism products and measurement in tourism to the team formed by representatives of the University of Antioquia, the University of EAFIT and two tourism sustainable tourism companies: La Nohelia Ecotourism Center and Tourism and Events Jericó winners of the Sustainable Tourism Plans Contest. The team received training from in2destination on Monday and Tuesday and then the rest of the week it was dedicated to technical visits at Alluitz Natura, School Farm Ultzama, Rural Suites, Valle Salado de Añana, Ostatu Winery and Villa-Lucía Wine Museum.

The visits made were very well received by the Colombian team given that they involved first-hand learning about private leadership, conviction in gender values, sustainability, recovery of the rural world, inclusion and sometimes raising the value of a destination, joining forces to succeed as a destination, not just as the company itself.

The technical visits began with Alluitz Natura Shepherd Experience for a day, in Abadiño. From these tireless entrepreneurs the team learned the importance of putting focus on networking and selling, as it is very common for entrepreneurs to work in depth the offer and neglect the sale, reach customers, investigate satisfaction to detect improvements to be developed and re-sell each time through channels and with more efficient and successful messages. It was a good opportunity to highlight the importance of betting on revitalizing the rural world and bringing the urban society closer to day-to-day rural life through fun and respect.

One of the experiences that the team most valued was Ultzama Farm School, above all for the values that this entrepreneur defends and exercises: hiring local women under 30 and over 50 given the high unemployment that exists in these age & gender ranges, rescue and care of animals, transfer of knowledge to the visitor of the importance of the rural environment, animal care, the garden and its recovery, and disseminate the Slow Food movement, of which they are part, of good, clean and fair consumption.

In addition, thanks to the attractiveness that this activity generates in the territory and the good synergies that the Farm establishes with other companies in the territory, they are contributing to bringing tourism flows to the valley, thus contributing to the economic sustainability of the rural environment.

A round experience was the four-star Hotel Rural Suite as its entrepreneur leads a sustainable accommodation that is not only accessible to all publics, but it is also adapted and inclusive, he hires people settled in the territory, has an ecological orchard, organic oil production and he offers experiences as sustainable as possible in the territory of La Ribera adapted to all audiences. They are very knowledgeable about all the tourist resources of their territory and know how to value them in a way that also generates flows into the territory, contributing to the tourism destination development.

In Álava, the team learned about three initiatives: Salinas de Añana, Bodegas Ostatu and Villa Lucía Wine Museum. Salinas de Añana showed the commitment to recover a resource that was once the backbone of the territory in which it is located and as today it is again, from the production of salt betting on quality and not volume and combining it with tourist visits that contribute to buy salt and become prescribers and loyal customers. Sustainable management is one of the cornerstones of the people who promote the project and this is evident in the hiring of people, use of energy, use of materials, among other elements.

The Bodegas Ostatu were chosen for their commitment to being an environmentally sustainable winery and Villa Lucía for the 4D experience that both can be transferable to the careful coffee and “carriel” production in Jericó. It also served to learn from the beginning of the Ruta del Vino initiative as a tourism cooperation entity to which some leaders gave life and have been joined by many more to strengthen the Rioja Alavesa destination.


NECSTouR Thematic Conference: “Local-Led Initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe” + Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”

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NECSTouR, in the framework of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, with the support of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3., led a pan-European dialogue on tourism and cultural heritage during the conference entitled LOCAL-LED INITIATIVES ON TOURISM AND CULTURAL HERITAGE: A LEGACY FOR EUROPE in Brussels on October 11th.

The goal of this thematic conference, which is an official side event of the European Week of Regions and cities 2018, was to leverage the positive effects of tourism and cultural heritage on the social cohesion of Europe by revaluing Europe’s cultural heritage and bringing it to life, reinforcing the sense of place and greater understanding, and fostering economic growth and jobs creation.

The session consisted on two roundtables addressing the following topics: “Residents and Visitors: their role in seeking a better balance” and “Heritage and Identity: fostering tourism value creation”. Dr. Nagore Espinosa,  CEO of in2destination, participated as speaker in the first roundtable reflecting into elements that are critical to deepen into residents perception of tourism. One of the main elements highlighted is trust, for which transparency, fluent and honest dialogue with stakeholders, participatory processes and continuous monitoring are needed.

Undoubtedly, both Nagore Espinosa and the other participants in the session, such as Ana Moniche from Andalusian Region, Roberto Bande Ramudo, University of Santiago de Compostela and Caroline Couret, Director of Creative Tourism Network successfully showcased that reinforcing existing good practices and fostering debate on how cultural heritage and tourism initiatives can be beneficial for residents and citizens. In this way, the event also provided lessons learnt to EU regions and cities in order to strengthen the value tourism and cultural heritage that can jointly endeavor in our territories.

Furthermore, during the conference the final version of the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” was presented.

There are innumerable benefits and opportunities to be gained through better cooperation between tourism and cultural heritage. The reinforcement of a common vision and goals by establishing a joint governance model to overcome these shared challenges can not only improve the current situation and reduce the detrimental impacts of tourism, but also generate great opportunities related to innovation, digitalisation, creativity, skills, talent development, and entrepreneurship, among others.

Because of this reason, the Declaration calls for the implementation of five key principles which should be jointly applied in order to make the “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” come true:


Dr. Nagore Espinosa and in2destination have already joined the group of entities that support this declaration and its main objectives. Would you like to join us in supporting this cause?

Working Group of Experts on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism – UNWTO

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Within the framework of the initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) launched by UNWTO in 2017 and with the support of United Nations Statistics Division, the second meeting of the working group of experts on measuring the sustainability of tourism took place at UNWTO Headquarters (Madrid) on 24 and 25 October 2018.

Dr. Nagore Espinosa, in her double role as CEO of in2destination and INRouTe network expert and coordinator, is part of this group of experts whose aim is to develop an international statistical framework for measuring tourism’s role in sustainable development, including economic, environmental and social dimensions. In fact, measuring sustainable tourism naturally cuts across a range of disciplines and agencies. In advancing the MST statistical framework, an open Working Group of experts was established in order to lead the technical development and support engagement among these key stakeholders.

In this second meeting, numerous issues were addressed, such as employment, including the concept of Green Jobs and the implementation of its measurement, the linking of ecosystem accounting and the economic-environmental accounting system to measure the sustainability of tourism, measurement of social sustainability from the perspective of the residents, and of course the challenge of the different scales when measuring the sustainability of tourism: national, regional, local. The topics were treated based on experiences of regions or countries that are implementing it and share their knowledge as the Philippines, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Argentina, among others.

After this meeting in which many topics were touched, now it’s time to review the advanced documentation again and make contributions from our respective areas of knowledge. From in2destination, it is particularly important to advance at the spatial scales, as well as in the social, territorial and governance measurement of sustainability. In our experience, if the governance dimension is weakened, the rest of the sustainability dimensions are affected. Achieving a common measurement framework for the sustainability of tourism is critical for tourism destinations and businesses in all parts of the world, to measure constantly and have early warning indicators of issues that are brewing and take preventive measures or redirect issues before they worsen.

There is still room for progress, but we are happy to be part of this group of experts, to continue to investigate and contribute.

Here you can expand information on the documentation that was used in the meeting.

Let’s keep measuring and making decisions based on data!!!

Rewarding sustainable tourism commitment

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The Nohelia Ecotourism Center and Jericó Tourism and Events are two companies committed to tourism sustainability in their municipality, Jericó, Antioquia, Colombia. Thus, they are the winners of the Sustainable Tourism Plans Competition.

This contest has been organized within the pilot transfer project on sustainable tourism destinations framed within the international development cooperation program ERICA (Spain and its Regions Exchange Knowledge with Antioquia) of which the University of Antioquia, the University of EAFIT, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, the Government of Antioquia, the University of Antioquia Foundation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) are part.

The objectives of the contest are:

  • Promoting leadership among providers of tourism services in sustainable tourism development.
  • Providing feedback on sustainable tourism development action plans within tourism service providers.
  • Transferring knowledge of good international practices on the development of sustainable tourism products and services.

These two companies in order to win have presented two action plans to improve sustainable tourism development in Jericó with solid and complementary proposals, supported by companies and territorial authorities. Wining the contest means the following to them:

  • receiving comments from an international jury about their action plans,
  • In November it will allow them to come to Spain together with the rest of the team involved in the project, to learn about sustainable destination management and the development of sustainable products and services
  • Visibility: it is a recognition of their work, spreading their commitment in Colombia and internationally

La Nohelia

La Nohelia Ecotourism Center located in Jericó surrounded by coffee crops promotes the Coffee Culture and Experiences in contact with Nature. La Nohelia offers accommodation, catering services, bicycle rental, scenic tours and bird watching. In his own words: “Privileged by our geographical location in the Western Cordillera of the Andes and the Piedras River basin, which allows us to observe between the mountains the different colors of sunrise and sunset, surrounded by coffee farms and peasant houses where coffee aroma is breathed and the sweet melody of the turpial birds is heard “.

Tourism and Events Jericó

“We are a company that sells tourism products and services at the regional, national and international levels, we implement the Sustainable Management System recognizing environmental, sociocultural and economic aspects, establishing actions to mitigate the impacts we generate in the development of our work.”

“One of the services we offer is Experience in the Clouds: This Jericoan paradise located at 2,400 meters above sea level allows you to have direct contact with nature, in its journey you can appreciate a variety of native flora, this being the perfect habitat for wild animals unique in the territory, which, together with the breeze and the sounds of the wind, make you live a pleasant moment that you will hardly forget. ”


World Tourism Day 2018 – Tourism and digital transformation

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The tourism sector has experienced and continues to experience continuous growth until it becomes one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world, and, at present, it is finally recognized as a key engine of socioeconomic progress that benefits communities across the globe.

In fact, the World Tourism Organization confirms that, today, tourism represents 10% of world GDP, 7% of global trade and provides one in every 11 jobs worldwide. Likewise, the fact that more than 1.3 million people travel to other countries in just one year means that tourism has become a force for intercultural dialogue, social inclusion, peace and reconciliation and sustainable development (UNWTO, 2017).

As any other strong economic sector, tourism must be managed with an orderly, sustainable and innovative planning. And in order for this message to spread throughout society, managers of destinations and companies at a global-local level, the celebration of World Tourism Day is essential.

In fact, this was the case, at the request of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Tourism Day was established in 1979, specifically on September 27. The date was chosen to promote awareness among the international community regarding the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value due to, on the one hand, coinciding with the anniversary of the approval of the UNWTO Statutes in the year 1970 and on the other, for being the time of the year in which tourism occupies a leading place in the activities of millions of people, given that the date coincides with the end of the peak travel season for the northern hemisphere and the beginning of it for the southern hemisphere.

The event has tried to contribute over the years to address the global challenges identified in the United Nations Development Goals for the Millennium (MDG) in 2000 and the current 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and to influence the contribution that the tourism sector can make to achieve all the aforementioned objectives.

The World Tourism Day in 2018 will be celebrated by the international community in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, and the thematic focus of this year will be innovation and digital transformation. Therefore, this September 27, will try to help to highlight the opportunities for sustainable tourism development provided by technological advances.

Like every year, in2destination will join the celebration of World Tourism Day, but this time, it will do so with more enthusiasm than ever, if possible, given that the slogan ”Tourism and Digital Transformation” is closely linked to the company’s activity.

In2destination team is committed to digitalization and the incorporation of technological advances since we believe that it allows companies and destinations to make data-driven decisions for a more sustainable, inclusive and smarter tourism management.

At in2destination, we believe it is important to point out that innovation is not only technological, we also have to innovate to improve the inclusion of the growing senior population, of the diverse abilities collective, and of the LGBT + collective, among others, and non-technological innovations are required as well.

In this line, the in2destination team is committed to raising awareness of the importance of measuring to make an efficient use of resources, to be aware of the impacts that are generated and to take measures to move steadily and firmly towards sustainability and inclusion.

Happy World Tourism Day for all of us who belong to this exciting sector!

Let’s keep it up! 🙂

Patricia Astrain and her company recircular, one of the women leaders in the 1st Summit of Technological Innovation and Circular Economy.

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The 1st Summit of Technological Innovation and Circular Economy was held on July 6 in Madrid. The participants, who were chosen among 1,957 candidates throughout Spain by the Advanced Leadership Foundation (ALF), enjoyed the opportunity to improve their knowledge among Nobel prizes, world leaders in green economy and sustainable development, and representatives of governments leading current policy and national economies.

The Summit aimed to raise public awareness about how the circular economy and innovation are competitive advantages for companies, institutions, employers and the country as a whole, promoting a more rapid and efficient transition toward a sustainable economic model in Spain. The Summit of Circular Economy and Innovation had as main objective the identification, selection and training of 300 social leaders from each of the 50 provinces of Spain with the most relevant and innovative information in several issues. The leaders were formed by 28 speakers who attended the Summit, of which 20 were men and only 8 women. Undoubtedly, an aspect that should be improved in favor of achieving a balance of gender representation, there can be no doubt that there are women leaders dedicated to work in favor of sustainability from all areas.

Among these leaders were representatives of the Business and Economy, leaders of cultural and social groups committed to sustainable development, entrepreneurship and circular economy, international cooperation, innovation and environment, and new technologies.

The following are some key phrases that were said in the Summit:

Green investments can be more profitable than the traditional ones” says Juan Verde, president of ALF.

The most pressing social problems are human, not technological” says the former president of the United States Barack Obama.

“Beyond adopting commitments, it is time to move forward in the development of the circular economy. It is the responsibility of civil society, politicians, companies; strengthening the circular economy is a challenge for all” assured Josep Bagué, CEO of SUEZ Water Spain.

From the scope of tourism, Zurab Pololikashvili, General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization, highlighted the link between innovation and job creation: “We have to use innovation to create better jobs and enhance the competitiveness of the economy“.

One of the leaders selected to attend this Summit was a Basque woman committed to sustainability, entrepreneur, Patricia Astrain, founder of the company recircular. At in2destination we are committed to enhance the visibility of the inspiring work of women in favor of sustainability, so we have had the chance to interview Patricia to learn and share:

 in2destination: What encouraged you to create recircular? When did the idea come up?

Patricia Astrain: My career has been very industrial and my first jump to entrepreneurship was with a consulting firm in the optimization of production processes. This experience allowed me to witness the limitations of consultancy work and the need for sustainability and social innovation in industrial environments. I investigated and studied the circular economy and I saw that I intended the solutions I was looking for. I decided to start working on one of the areas of the circular economy, with the concept of waste-resource, as the more tangible and easy way for companies to understand its value and potential environmental and social impacts, but also economic. In recircular we want to bring the circular economy to companies creating opportunities through the recovery of waste.

 in2destination: What is recircular? What type of companies are your clients?

Patricia Astrain:  recircular is an active platform for connection of companies for the recovery of waste as raw materials. When a company introduces a waste in the system, recircular returns information about existing opportunities for recovery, calculates the optimal transaction on the basis of economic, social and environmental indicators and connects them automatically with their potential consumers. Currently we are conducting projects with medium and large companies especially, but we are developing the online platform to be able to perform all the process automatically and access any type of company, regardless of size. It is important for us to reach SMEs to demonstrate that it is possible to be sustainable, to be circular, and it makes sense even if you are a small business, a workshop or a large multinational.

 in2destination: Which were the main barriers you have face to develop the project?

Patricia Astrain: There are some barriers to implement an initiative such as this, in addition to the obvious ones related to any innovation in conventional sectors. On the one hand, we found the legal barriers on waste, end of consideration of waste, sub-products.. At the European level, the circular economy is promoted a lot and we are in the process of implementing the initiatives involving companies in them, but the legal considerations may pose a problem in some cases. On the other hand, there are logistical barriers, related to the transport costs, above all, we deal with them by working in the most possible local way, reducing distances and incorporating innovative logistics partners to our system. We are also confronted with barriers of trust between companies and in relation to the quality of the resources we want to enhance, for which we work directly with companies and we use the concept ‘Design for Trust’ used in other systems like Airbnb. We work with all necessary actors to reduce barriers that we found.

 in2destination: What actions do you develop as intermediaries between companies?

Patricia Astrain: First we analyze the waste, sub-products or any other trace production that is presented to us, what we call resources, to know its characteristics and understand their situation. Then, we investigate on the possibilities of reusing them focusing on reuse as direct as possible (since that is what consumes fewer resources), as well as on technology and intermediate processes necessary for the adequacy of resources. In this process we try to be creative in order to identify more opportunities and more innovative as well. Then we look for sectors and firms that may need such materials or those characteristics of the resources and we will get in touch with them to promote that transactions are carried out. We take into account the economic impact and environmental and social improvement that may lead to the transaction, as we seek to focus on the triple balance, both for us and for the companies we work with. The tool that we are developing performs this process automatically and calculates the optimal transaction on the basis of indicators that consider these three aspects.

 in2destination:What future perspective do you have regarding circular economy?

Patricia Astrain: I believe that the circular economy is the way to follow to ensure sustainability as a society, as well as that of our business sector. It is the only way that ensures that we can live with the resources we have available without that future generations will have to renounce them. In addition, when we think in terms of circular economy a world of possibilities is opened with new business opportunities, innovation,… is fascinating! I also believe that it is important to mention that I always refer to the circular economy well understood as a holistic concept that goes from the ecodesign, passing by the servitization of products (in replacement of the sale) and ends in a cycle of reuse of products and materials that prevents from reaching its end of life and throw, as is done now.It is important to understand this because currently is disclosing the circular economy in the wrong way in many media, in which they only speak in terms of recycling or plastics. The circular economy goes far beyond that.

 in2destination: In which aspects do you think recircular can be beneficial for the tourism sector?

Patricia Astrain: With recircular what we get is to have local and regional companies stronger, less dependent on imported resources, more innovative and more able to face the challenges that can reach. At the same time we can create more job opportunities, creating sustainable jobs, in many cases for vulnerable groups. When we educate citizens and businesses of the value of resources and opportunities that they offer, we aspire to eliminate the need for landfill sites. In addition, many cities and regions are already working to become circular environments. I believe that all this will have an impact in a more sustainable and valuable tourism, both for the visited regions and for tourists.

 in2destination: With respect to the Summit of Technological Innovation and Circular Economy that was held the 6 of July, what aspects of those which were discussed there have had an impact on you? Did it provide you with new ideas?

Patricia Astrain: It was a pleasure to be selected as one of the 300 leaders in circular economy that was invited to attend the summit. It was an event with a high level of speakers! Barack Obama, 4 Nobel Prize winners, former presidents and presidents of countries, representatives of the World Bank or the American Sustainable Business Council… well, an incredible level. It was a very complete event in which they spoke about education, the impact of automation in the work, politics, sustainability… It wasn’t so focused on circular economy, but it was very inspiring. There was a comment from Barack Obama on the importance of going improving slowly, although it is not the perfect solution, “better is already good.” All of this is very important to recircular, because we are not the solution to all problems, we did not implement the circular economy completely, but we offer real solutions and we are already having a real impact. It is better to go forward and contributing, even if it is little by little, than stand waiting for the perfect solution.

 in2destination:What measures do you think should be taken to promote the circular economy and its development?

Patricia Astrain: Many measures are being adopted, many of them promoted from Europe, but it is true that we need greater support to ensure that the circular economy becomes a reality. On the one hand, we need access to financing with good conditions. Implement changes that the circular economy proposes can be costly initially for businesses and entrepreneurs, but in the medium term is more profitable. On the other hand, it is clear that we need less legal barriers, less bureaucracy and that they should allow us to work to give a second life to waste. I also believe it is important to support the circular economy on a practical level, talks less and do more. That is what we are doing in recircular!

Thank you Patricia for your time, congratulations for having been one of the leaders selected to participate in this summit, we have learned a lot with you, and we wish you lots of success!

Finally mention that in connection with one of the main topics addressed in this Summit, technological innovation, we want to make reference to this year’s theme of the World Day of Tourism that will help to highlight the opportunities for sustainable development they represent for the tourism technological advances, such as the data intelligence, artificial intelligence and digital platforms. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) believes that digital developments and innovation are part of the answer to the challenge of reconciling the continued growth with greater sustainability and responsibility in the tourism sector.

Contributing to the development of sustainable tourist destinations in Colombia by pivoting in measurement.

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Within the framework of the Cooperation for International Development ERICA programme (Spain and its regions exchange knowledge with Antioquia) transfer pilot project on sustainable tourist destinations is being executed in Jericó (Antioquia, Colombia) and in2destination has been the chosen Spanish counterpart as tourism experts. Between July 9 and 13th our CEO Nagore Espinosa has had a mission to Colombia, in particular to Medellín and to Jericó, this latter municipality has been the object of the pilot project.

In this mission the team formed by professionals from the University of Antioquia, EAFIT University and in2destination have deepened in the international standards in measurement of tourism to approach the strengthening of Jericó, so that both the public administration and the private sector of Jericó will continue to work toward sustainability. Currently, the municipality and numerous service providers are certified as sustainable under the rules of the Ministry of Tourism of Colombia and this project strengthens this commitment and opens the way to deepen in the measurement of sustainable tourism development at the local level and the creation of sustainable tourism products.

It is an enriching project for all parties involved, as we all contribute and learn, because of the multidisciplinary of the team: tourism, biology, anthropology, economists, and because the people involved from the territory show a great initiative, commitment, they are eager to learn, to contribute and more importantly to implement the lessons learnt.

Part of the project implies measuring, a task that could seem of low interest. However, from the beginning it has been understood as a critical action for the good of the destination, tourism businesses and the host community. Thus, for in2destination team it is a cooperation for development work in which we are very much invested and we feel fortunate to have been chosen.

in2destination within the Debate Forum “Sustainable Tourism in Mallorca”

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On May 31 took place the Forum of Debate “Sustainable Tourism in Mallorca“, organized by the Fundación Alternativas with the support of Fundació Mallorca Turisme and the Consell de Mallorca through From here we want to thank them for the deference they had for inviting us to be part of it.

in2destination was an integral part of the first round table, in which we discussed the concept of “Socially Responsible Tourism“, together with Aurora Pedro, PhD in Economics from the University of Valencia and professor of “tourism policy” at the university and with Joaquín Nieto, director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations for Spain.

We had the opportunity to discuss the relevance or not of the definitions of sustainability and how these definitions should also be transferred to the field of measurement. In addition, we insist on highlighting the current challenges that exist regarding the measurement of tourism, especially from a sustainable and environmental approach. We also stressed that our vision is that Big Data is not the end, but the means to answer the questions that the sector poses as key issues, and not all are susceptible to be answered with Big Data, some need official statistics, records, interviews and other methodologies.

In the second round table, focused on the challenges and opportunities of tourism in Mallorca (and, by extension, in the rest of the islands), it was debated whether it is a destination that suffers intensity or saturation. The answers were in the way that this intensity is perceived and, therefore, it has to be managed, but that there was no deep saturation. Even so, it was clear that a debate is needed on how to face the growth of tourism in the destination, if it is appropriate to put a stop to it and if the Palma airport has reached its maximum capacity.

The conclusions reached by those present were in line with the importance of the role of governance in the decision-making process of consensus, the importance of measurement, the subsequent intelligent use of the data obtained and the need to respect the residents.

Fundación Alternativas highlighted the work they carried out for Gipuzkoa (work in which in2destination was also part of) with the objective of deepening the challenges in which to work. Thus, it was reported how the Government of Gipuzkoa has already begun to work with a greater development in depth of the Tourist Observatory of Gipuzkoa and with specific actions with subsidies and aid aimed at strengthening the sector.

The final message in2destination wants to underline is that real actions can be launched after an in-depth study of each case.

We are grateful, once again, for being able to participate in this enriching debate and we also thank the audience, as it was very participative with reflections and questions to which the panelists try to respond.

Interview to Ainara Merino, Sara Baceiredo and Adriana de la Cruz: Captura Camp

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in2destination, in its mission to give visibility to women’s work and to empower young women to have female role models, has interviewed Ainara Merino, Sara Baceiredo and Adriana de la Cruz. These three women, passionate about photography and in love with the landscapes of the Basque Country, have created Captura Camp, a project that combines tourism and photography with a clear perspective of sustainability.

 How does Captura Camp emerge?

Since we were little we always dreamed of going to some photography camps, meeting people with similar interests and having fun. Over the years, we are still attracted to photography but we combine it with our travels, in order to capture experiences, moments and situations, that is, we are passionate about photographic tourism. At the same time, we are aware that we do not have to go too far to find extravagant destinations because we have to appreciate what we have at home. Therefore, we want to make the Basque Country known, and we want to do it in a different way.


What is Captura Camp and who is it for?

 We decided to create Captura Campo taking into account 3 basic points: photography, tourism and the landscapes of our area. Captura Camp is a photographic tourism camp that will take place in the Basque Country. This camp is designed and addressed to young people between 15-18 years old from all over Spain and in it; we will use photography as a tool to work on creativity, teamwork and responsibility towards our environment.

Responsible Tourism

 Just as everything evolves, Captura Camp also wants to be part of evolution. That is why we have incorporated the concept of sustainable tourism with the help of Nagore Espinosa, claiming the importance of the local, of reducing waste during the trip and getting under the skin of the culture.

We believe in the development of creative minds in young people, in the exciting discovery of new destinations, in team spirit and in a new concept of tourism.

Which is our mission?

To create an enjoyable experience that captures everything and makes a positive impact on our environment.

At Captura Camp, they have proposed to measure for themselves the impact of their camps on the territory and from in2destination, of course, we applaud them for this. Measuring is key so that in each edition of the camp it is known which areas need to be improved in order to continue progressing towards sustainability. Our best wishes!


Interview to Josefina Klinger: transforming lives through tourism

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Nagore Espinosa, CEO of in2destination has interviewed Josefina Klinger, director of Mano Cambiada, a non-profit corporation that promotes the social and integral development of the inhabitants of the Colombian Pacific. A passionate and persistent woman who transforms lives and provides opportunities from her homeland, Chocó (Colombia). Just another example of an incomparable woman, an inspiration to be followed by every girl in the world. For all this and for her specific labour in tourism, we count on her for our blog.

 [Note: due to the length of this interview, we are publishing below the most relevant messages of our conversation with her. At the end of the article a *.PDF file with the entire interview is available, only in Spanish thus far, apologies. Please note that this is a literal transcription of our conversation with her.]


“We are a natural pantry and an environmental wealth, that is one of our main assets, but the other principal and most important asset, which complements this binomial of gold, as we say, is the people, our people, who we are, our essence, our worldview of life and death, our peaceful spirit and the cultural wealth we have.”

“We decided to do a marketing strategy to only generate positive news, we needed the brand but we needed to be generating positive information every day.”

“… of about 45 kilometres of beach, today the natives do not even own 1 because they sold everything and I had anguish or fear that the same would happen to us as other similar destinations: Cartagena, Capurganá, San Andrés itself, where we were not in the real dynamic, being protagonist and host in the tourist activity. So, it was at that moment when I began to understand that threat, but I also began to see the opportunity that the activity had.”

“I began to realize that the visitor no longer wanted those destinations where you just go for a walk, the visitor wants experiences, wants to live authentic and unique experiences, and with this territory and this cultural magic we have just the added differentiating value that can guarantee that experience in an authentic way. That was also what I was visualizing because I began to understand that for any process to develop, a territory to develop, you need to have a territory, incredible people and money. If we already had the territory and we had the incredible people, what we needed was to revitalize the economy.”

“For us as natives it is our commitment to life, it is a territory where our navel is buried, where we make our history and it is a territory that gains strength which goes much further than economics for us.”

How does Mano Cambiada emerge?

“…we intended to make tourism in a territory with all its basic needs unsatisfied, without potable water, without energy, without good quality schools, without business opportunities, etc., an oversight that I will always assume to be a shared responsibility.”

“I understood that this dynamic had to be developed by whoever was awake and aware of wanting to do it, and that is difficult because of different reasons. First of all, nobody cares about you, we do not all have the same vision, people believe that living in the day-to-day is enough, then they do not measure the impact that can happen in a few years and it was very complicated. So in order to have a valid face, that institutionally we could be there, as in the agenda and at the tables, there was the need to create the Mano Cambiada Corporation.”

 “… what was at stake was the autonomy in the territory, the empowerment and, above everything, the ability to define our future in a decisive way, in the whole dimension of what tourism actually means. In 2006 we created the Mano Cambiada Corporation, which was born to promote development, using ecotourism as a strategy.”

“Even today, after so many years, we still find reticence in our way of doing things, in our way of understanding tourism: people do not measure what we really want with tourism activity, tourism has to be seen in its entirety in an integral way“.

Mano Cambiada, defending sustainable tourism

“We reach souls, it makes the territory, and we complement it with logistical support and with great affection the hosts of this territory. There is a before and an after of knowing the Chocó and to whom we are part of it.”

“Of course we wanted to make a model not of going out to sell a particular hotel, but of selling an experience and the experience is not made by the hotel. It is made when you commit the one who sells the biche, the one who makes the cocadas, the one who makes the crafts, the one who provides the service…”.

“Mano Cambiada (Changed Hand) means profession barter, exchange of trade, exchange of labour.”

“In tourism, we apply this model. In order to be able to apply this model the first thing you have to renounce to a little is the desire to capitalize individually and quickly. You have to understand that tourism is a system, that the neighbor is not my competitor but my counterpart, that I can specialize in what comes from my soul and I know how best to do and that the other one specializes and get to have relationships of peers and trust to put the same objective in common.”

“… you cannot at every moment control the same quality, the standardization of the experience, but when you have the patience to choose your value chain, that generates a relationship so beautiful, that we are seeing it materialized today.”

“There have to be some criteria, it has to be environmentally friendly, it has to avoid involving children in the negative impacts of tourism activity. Someone who works with us in our value chain cannot allow bad practices in his or her environment cannot allow bad environmental practices.”

“In the operation to mitigate environmental impacts, we start by complying with our own house. We are in a protected area and more than because of that fact; it is because it is incorporated into our way of thinking and feeling the territory.

“Besides, what we are contributing to is that we are raising awareness among the children and young people so that they also understand that the environment must be better, as we would like it to be in the whole of our destiny”.

The feeling of belonging

 “… we needed to create a trademark that would identify us when we saw it (…) we could finally make this black woman with the jungle on her head, which is a territorial trademark that shows our beauty, our direct look and our open smile (…) we are now related to people, and for us it is that even though this still needs to be strengthened, with this information and with this image we are beginning to change the imaginary of our own people, who today identify with it, but, above all, of the visitor who comes and says: I want to be there and I want to go and meet people like this. In other words, with this we are transmitting and beginning to change the imaginary inside and outside the territory“.

“We have brought more than 1200 children to visit the Utría Park, so that they can begin to associate the jungle and water (…) as a synonym of happiness so that one day they can help to positively transform the reality of what is missing, because the main thing is already there. We organize a festival, which is the festival of peaceful migration in which we raise environmental awareness. We transmit how to honor three relevant species that visit us from June to October, but how to add to that this cultural value from music, from theatre, from dance, from ancestral practices such as sailing boats, cooking, how to enjoy music, how to make some troupe, how to judge and how to be happy. These all make us go to our ninth festival and the children who started with nine years old can now be young people of 17 and we have already seen how we have influenced them. It is the only way for young people that one day understand that staying in the territory does not make them less important, that it makes them very brave because there are many things they still have to challenge.

Current Challenges

What we are doing is a process of human transformation using ecotourism as a strategy. We want to generate a model of sustainable development and we want to become a world reference of how an empowered community can help transform its reality by looking for partners or allies who live in the same dimension, challenging their own fears.”

“…. to continue accompanying the children in their dreams in this territory so that they can sit back and rest peacefully from a tree and be able to see how this territory is managed with a lot of responsibility, a lot of sense of belonging, how tourists are received and how we contribute to the well-being, not only of ourselves but of humanity“.


Total interview to Josefina Klinger (ESP): in2destination_Josefina Klinger