Booming ecotourism in Latin America
After the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Latin American travelers have realized the importance of outdoor tourism and connecting with nature.
As a result, ecotourism has become a highly desirable option for travelers who are now actively seeking eco-friendly experiences when planning their trips.
This trend has led many travel agencies and tour operators in the region to increase their service offerings by focusing on plans that include trips to natural areas rich in flora and fauna diversity, in addition to promoting awareness among communities established in these areas with the idea of supporting conservation, low environmental impact as well as the economic benefit of the localities.
Although the indicators indicate that the growth of this travel segment is increasing in Latin America, it is still in a process of consolidation, as Francisco Madrid, who is director of the Center for Research and Competitiveness in Tourism (CICOTUR) from Anahuac University, Mexico, tells TravelPulse.com.
“We have learned from the results we are seeing in Mexico, that the tourism of the future is very much like the tourism of the past,” Madrid said. “Some segments, such as nature tourism, seem to be activating, but overall this is making a marginal contribution. The largest is in more robust segments such as conventional sun and beach tourism or tourism culture in Mexico. We know that there is a lot of interest, we know that there are a lot of travelers who want to find themselves in the space of nature, but overall, they are still quite a Small party.
Among the countries that stand out in the development of ecotourism in Latin America are Panama and Costa Rica, nations with great biodiversity and numerous ecotourism programs. It should be noted that others such as Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia, to name a few, have established protection zones of wild fauna and flora, as well as initiatives aimed at drastically reducing the carbon footprint in hotel operations with the respect of standards in favor of nature conservation, as well as respect for the tradition of the cultures of origin .
This trend has resulted in the multiplication of eco-responsible accommodations offering their guests gastronomy based on local organic products and furniture made with local textiles, for example.
In addition to the various regions of Panama and Costa Rica, leaders of the segment in Latin America, the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, are another excellent example of an ecotourism effort, as well as the Sacred Valley of Peru which invites visitors to use the services of city guides to know the ruins of the ancient Inca Empire.
Chile has also put in place important mechanisms to save the ecosystem of the important destination of Easter Island.
In Brazil, the Amazon and the Iguazu Falls offer more and more ecotourism options to their visitors, as well as Venezuela, which has the attraction of the highest waterfall in the world, the Angels Falls, in Canaima National Park.
Colombia, thanks to its diverse microclimates, is progressing in generating experiences in nature for its visitors and Mexico offers a wide mosaic of activities, not only in its sun and beach destinations, but also in the cities located in the highlands and in the so-called Magic Towns, villages where the offer focuses on supporting communities.
With revenge travel after the pandemic, no doubt the exuberance of Latin America’s privileged natural environment and its cultural richness is a great incentive to consolidate ecotourism in the region in the years to come.