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Sustainable Destinations

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.

 

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

By | Capacity Building, Internationalization, Sustainability, Talent | No Comments

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. ”

Congratulations!!