Sustainable tourism standards (Brazil)

Here's an email I've just received; maybe of interest. I've had v quick look at website, found the attached with ecotourism standards for tourism accommodation in Brazil. These look v good (tho for people w small businesses, summary document useful I'd reckon).

Hi, I´m from the Brazil Sustainable Tourism Program, coordinated by the Instituto de Hospitalidade and we will be at the ITE Hong Kong with a small stand promoting Brazil and sustainable tourism. We also are interested to learn about what is happening in Hong Kong. If you have time come and visit us. www.pcts.org.br will tell you a bit about our program sustainabletourismbrazil will show you Brazil in sustainabletourism context EcoBrasil is the Brazilian Ecotourism Society 

I"ve replied: I've had only v quick look at the website, dowloading the standards for accommodation document; quick look through this, and looks excellent. Far more advanced than Hong Kong - where main tourism focus shopping and dining. I'm in group doing a little towards sustainable tourism; one person is drawing up some guidelines, so may be interested in your standards (or may have seen already; he's an academic focusing on tourism). Tourism industry not too interested, though; their profits barely influenced by whether sustainable or not, so far anyway. I helped organise a rural tourism forum yesterday, to involve people working in villages etc: they've been largely ignored [by tourism industry in HK], as city tourism is so massive here.

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a reply just in:

We are also still a drop in the ocean.
Brazil is still mostly beaches and parties and sustainable tourism is still in its infancy here, but we do have government support and our standards are going to be official Brazilian standards.

My view is that sustainability makes good economic sense (the tsunami made that point for instance ..). The problem is that it is "slow" money, the returns take longer to come.

I don´t know Hong Kong, but here in Rio, alternative programs like jeep tours, forest hikes, visits to shanty towns, cultural tours are quite succesful now. Rural tourism is also growing. The thing is to start.

- to which I've sent:

Hi Ariane:

Oh, of course sust tourism makes sense - long term; it's just not the way for quick money (reading Collapse by Jared Diamond at the moment, re society choices, environmental impacts and results: if more read this, maybe would be easier arguing for sust tourism and development in general).

Here, too, some more nature oriented tours; grown fast for local people, but less so for overseas visitors - few of whom even known HK has a wild side.
Took a US guy birding yesterday; he was very impressed by bird diversity, scenery.

With shopping and dining not drawing quite the crowds they did, promoting ecotourism is timely.
But you'll see that govt has odd ideas: "ecotourism" to a wetland park with few artificial ponds and an enormous building, and by cable car to a place with temple and fake Chinese "village" thing.

Best regards,
Martin

Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/05/29 03:23