Social and ethical tourism for the development of rural populations

Social and ethical tourism for the development of rural populations

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By Vanessa Verástegui Ollé

Sustainable Tourism implies respect for cultures, the inclusion of local people in the economic processes of tourist activity and the conservation of the environment. Social responsibility projects in tourism service companies is one of the new models that the tourism industry must incorporate as an essential philosophy of its work.

With the motto “Let's be responsible travelers. TURISMO SOMOS TODOS ”the 1st International Forum was held between April 25, 26 and 27 at the PUCP Law Auditorium, organized by the Center for Research in Applied Geography CIGA of said house of studies.

The main objective of the event was to promote tourism awareness and dialogue between different actors from civil society and the State for the development of fairer tourism and in the fight against poverty and inclusion of local populations. Thus, the communities were one of the exhibiting actors in the forum to give an account of their participation in the tourism activity, such as the leader of Puno XXX who offers experiential tourism since the 90's as a source of income complementary to the productivity of agricultural land. He pointed out the need to be taken care of in local governments to facilitate and contribute to tourism such as roads, internet access, the latter being a primary tool in this area to promote their rural houses to visitors.

Therefore, social responsibility and good business practices were the approaches that stood out as part of the activities carried out by the companies CONDOR TRAVEL, INKATERRA and the Rainforest Alliance.

As for CONDOR TRAVEL, it has been developing for two years the modality of rural experiential tourism in the community of Misminay (Cusco) with the support of SNV - Dutch Service for Development Cooperation, being among the main beneficiaries rural women weavers who, for the first time, they earn their money, according to the director of this travel agency, Carolina Morillas. In addition to being rural families trained as hosts to attend and accommodate foreign tourists in their houses equipped for this purpose. As a result of this project is also the solidarity tourism of foreign tourists who return to rural families to cooperate with them in their development.

For its part, SNV advises CONDOR TRAVEL to promote economic inclusion with a social focus, for which it is essential to generate trust between the company and the local population through the development of capacities for the latter in order to identify with the potential tourist of your region; since a constant problem is that the common population does not feel part of the tourist activity due to the fact that it is the companies that take all the profits, profiting from their cultural and natural heritage. Therefore, the sensitivity in entrepreneurship for the development of inclusive businesses, sustainable business development, social enterprise and tourism with inclusion were the new paradigms proposed by the financial SNV through its work with CONDOR TRAVEL. A tool for fairer tourism management, the SNV also propose the formation of public-private partnerships with local communities.

Another of the experiences was that of INKATERRA, an operator with more than thirty years in the market and with experience in social responsibility projects within the framework of health campaigns, environmental education in schools, training for tour operators, scientific research on biodiversity , etc.

Likewise, RAINFOREST ALLIANCE (Alliance for Forests), spoke about its work to promote sustainable tourism in Peru and in other countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Spain, Bolivia, among others. All this in favor of the development of a tourist industry that preserves the environment and cultural heritage.

On behalf of the State, PROMPERU, MINCETUR and the Regional Tourism Directorates of various departments of Peru spoke about their work to include local populations such as Rural Community Tourism - TRC.

On the part of the academic community, the need to train more qualified professionals in tourism management with the mission of coordinating between private and public companies and local populations in favor of the region was highlighted. The director of the Diploma of Innovation and Management in Tourism at the Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University pointed out that the fear of dialogue between the company and the university must be lost. Likewise, he referred to the importance of interdisciplinary work between administrators, anthropologists, historians, etc. as long as they have a specialization or training in tourism in order to provide more efficient and sustainable tourism services for the future.

For its part, the Universidad Pontificia Universidad Católica, indicated that the initiative to organize this forum was the increase in the number of theses in the interested students on the topic of tourism in this university. For this reason, the forum became an academic pretext for the meeting between interested students and rural communities -which are currently developing experiential tourism- within the framework of an information fair that was open to attendees during the three days of the event. This fair allowed us to learn about experiences of community companies that have been formed for local development such as Munay Taquile, in Puno, with the support of the Danish Cooperation AXIS since 2003. The Municipal Tourism Company Munay Taquile is made up of several families whose Management is based on the ancestral Taquilean rotation system so that they can participate in the tourism process as service providers such as accommodation in rural houses, food in family restaurants; transportation, sale of handicrafts and guidance. In addition to offering visitors experiential tourism programs around the daily activities of local people and cultural practices of dances, offerings and ceremonies.

Another of the Rural Tourism cases exhibited at the forum fair was the project with women in Ayacucho with the support of the Parwa Andean Research and Development Institute and the local JRP-José Arafat Roel Pineda Tourism Institute. Also the Association of Experiential Tourism UROS Q'HANTATI (of Mrs. Cristina Suaña Coila) that offers rural accommodation with floating beds on the Island of Los Uros (Lake Titicaca Puno). This particular lodging has 10 rooms built with reed material and with solar lights and showers. The Uros Qhantati experiential tourism program also includes fishing trips, reed cutting, handicraft work, island work with reeds, typical clothing of the Uros, dances and songs and mythical tourism, etc.

A notable work on Rural Tourism was announced by the NGO Swisscontac that, through the program of "Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in the Peruvian South", has been promoting tourist circuits in the southern areas of the country such as Puno, Moquegua, Tacna . Arequipa. Since 2007 it has been executing the GESTUR PUNO project where it has inserted five new tourist destinations, thereby generating jobs and economic opportunities for local populations. These tourist circuits range from lodging houses, agrotourism routes, nature tourism, museums to workshops of artisans and potters; as well as shops and restaurants.

With regard to the workshops, the project has conditioned six houses of relatives who sell and teach visitors their products where the techniques of ancestral art inherited for centuries are reflected. These workshops are “Turumanta de ka” by the Frisancho Huaraccallo family, “Rupaj” by Lizardo Aguilar Lope, “Arthy's” by Hugo Yucra; "Jallpa Pukara" by Bertha Leonidas and "Maki Pucara" by the Los Macedo family.

Like the SNV, the NGO Swisscontac also proposed the model of the organizational structure of the DMO - Destiny Management organization for concerted work between the public and private sectors to improve the living conditions of low-income populations; in order to position a tourist destination in the market. Therefore, the strategies used by Swiscontac are institutional strengthening through DMOs, tourist awareness to all public and private actors, promotion and marketing of the tourism offer, training of human resources and the development and improvement of tourism products for accommodation. , gastronomy, transport and guides. It has also been executing the GESTUR ANCASH project, for the areas of Conchucos, districts of Chavín de Huantar, San Marcos, and in the province of Huari, whose activities have enabled the residents of these areas to be trained in business development, customer service , preparation of typical dishes, kayak navigation services and guided tour of its tourist attractions. To achieve the expected results in the project, alliances have been created with tourism operators, PNH municipalities, INC, DIRCETUR, Ancash Association, Antamina with business development service providers. This is an example that the public and private sectors should not be alien to society to generate sustainable jobs in communities.

Sustainable Tourism implies respect for cultures, the inclusion of local people in the economic processes of tourist activity and the conservation of the environment; Therefore, during the three days of the forum, the attendees were guided to the Ecological House of Experimentation of the PUCP GROUP- Rural Sector Support Group of the Engineering Department to publicize their research based on renewable energies and alternative technologies such as solar panels, hot springs, solar cookers, wind pumps, thermal cookers, among others. Currently, the PUCP Group has been working with MINCETUR since 2008 to prepare a "Clean Technology Guidelines for the Establishment of Lodgings" in order to promote responsible tourism without deteriorating and polluting the environment.

The experiences and examples of social responsibility projects in tourism service companies is one of the new models that the tourism industry must incorporate as an essential philosophy of its work; that is, the accumulation of capital for individual benefits should not be the supreme end but also serve society.

By Vanessa Verástegui Ollé - Student of the Master of Anthropology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú - Postgraduate Diploma in Anthropology, Graduate School- PUCP - http://turismovació

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