Sustainable Tourism


Latin American Geotourism Day: understanding the Earth

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Cajon del Maipo. Photo: Paulo UrrutiaCajon del Maipo. Photo: Paulo Urrutia


By Paulo Urrutia

Many probably think geology is completely foreign to their lives. But the truth is that virtually every element in our daily lives has something to do with this fascinating discipline. From the elements that make up the apparatus with which you read this very article, to the journey that makes the water before becoming your next beer, they depend on the geological conditions existing in the place from which they come. Fortunately, Earth's sciences are here to stay. To help celebate Latin American Geotourism Day, we want to tell you everything you need to know about a world seemingly straight out of the travel chronicles of the French writer Jules Verne.


Cochamo Valley threatened: The debate over ZOITs

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Cochamo Valley. Photo: Benjamín FuentesCochamo Valley. Photo: Benjamín Fuentes
By Evelyn Pfeiffer
Translation by Rebecca Neal
Chile’s Cochamo Valley is an area oft compared to Yosemite National Park of the United States because of its big granite walls and wild natural beauty attracting rock climbers and ecotourists in ever bigger numbers each year. But recently a controversy has stirred there as the mayor of the nearby town of Cochamo and a Chilean businessmen Roberto Hagemann – who has been pushing for building a large-scale hydroelectric development project in the area – moved to oppose renewing special tourism protections for the popular valley.
At issue in Cochamo Valley are ZOITs, an acronym in Spanish that stands for “Zonas de Interés Turístico,” which in English means “Areas of Special Tourist Interest.”

Photography and sustainable social development: Britt Basel at the first National Forum for Women in Tourism

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Working for National Geographic in Tokyo, Japan. Britt is purifying herself in a symbolic way, washing her hands before entering a temple. Photo: Jeff KennelWorking for National Geographic in Tokyo, Japan. Britt is purifying herself in a symbolic way, washing her hands before entering a temple. Photo: Jeff Kennel
By Javiera Ide
Translation by George Chambers
With a view to creating the first Red de Mujeres en Turismo (Women in Tourism Network)  – a collaborative alliance seeking to share experiences, build references and reclaim the role of women in the sector – the forum will take place as a way of raising awareness of the work of the many women involved in and supporting the development of tourism in Chile.

The Cochamo Valley Organization prepares measures to minimize the impact of tourism

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Viewpoint at Arcoiris trailViewpoint at Arcoiris trail
Press release, Nov. 22 - The Cochamó Valley Organization, which brings together tour operators, proprietors, muleteers, local NGOs and friends of the valley, are preparing for the third consecutive year measures to control access to the Cochamó Valley in Chile’s Lake Region in order to reduce environmental impacts and improve the visitor experience. The program, called “Reservas Valle de Cochamó,” establishes the maximum carrying capacity for campsites and the communication campaign “IF YOU WANT TO VISIT, YOU NEED RESERVATIONS” to raise awareness, which is the result of collaborative work between the community,  social organizations and public health services, tourism, the municipality and the local police.

This week: Valdivia to host national conference on birdwatching in southern Chile

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Photo: Jorge Cardenas/FlickrPhoto: Jorge Cardenas/Flickr
By Zoe Baillargeon
Chile’s diverse landscapes and extensive system of national parks and protected areas are increasingly making it a world-class haven for viewing a wide range of intriguing and beautiful bird species, especially migratory birds. The Atacama desert, the Los Lagos region, and the far south of Patagonia are often cited as top places for birdwatching, but tourism industry professionals and ornithologists are eager to promote the many untapped opportunities for birding tourism in the Los Rios region and elsewhere in southern Chile at this week’s 2nd National Bird Watching in Southern Chilean Ecosystems Conference.
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