The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference 2017 in Aysén, Chile (GSTC2017Aysen), brought together 250 delegates from 29 countries, as well as thousands of viewers joining the live broadcast of the conference.

The Conference focused on “Sustainable Destinations”, and the application of the GSTC Destination Criteria, with a focused panel of representatives from destinations that apply the GSTC Destination Criteria.

Sernatur Aysen

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Chile

Partners

  • Sernatur Chile

Sustainability themes

Sector of activity
Tourism

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising

Type of lead actor
Scientific and Technical

Objectives

GSTC2017 – Towards More Sustainable Destinations: Management, Marketing, and Awareness

Destinations bring tourists to visit a different location from where they live. It is an imperative that these destinations are managed for long-term viability. Following the GSTC Criteria, management, marketing and awareness of sustainable destinations will be key theme for this year’s GSTC Global Sustainable Tourism Conference, GSTC2017.

Destinations are comprised by many different enterprises, organizations and individuals. GSTC2017 will include international and domestic tourism stakeholders involved in the development and promotion of sustainable tourism; including public sector, hotels, tour operators, academia, development agencies, NGOs, consultants, and more.

Activities

The Conference focused on “Sustainable Destinations”, and the application of the GSTC Destination Criteria, with a focused panel of representatives from destinations that apply the GSTC Destination Criteria: Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism – Cayman Islands; Beatriz Barreal, Founder & General Manager – Sustainable Riviera Maya (Mexico); Dawson Ramsden, Ecotourism Marketing Executive – Botswana Tourism Organisation; Eduardo Gomez, Director Regional – Sernatur Los Lagos (Chile); and Tamara Ullrich, Board Member – ZOIT Cchellenko (Chile).

Other topics included tourism and climate change (adaptation and mitigation strategies); marketing sustainable tourism; sustainable visitor management; indigenous tourism; sustainable food in the tourism industry; and more. Simultaneous translation was provided in English and Spanish.

Speakers came from near and far – from different parts of Chile (including Mapuche and Yagan), Latin America, and from further continents such as Africa, Australia, and Europe.

As with previous GSTC Conferences, the carbon footprint of the event is being offset to become a ‘carbon neutral event’ by the scheme CO2 NEUTRAL SEAL through sponsorship of Green Evolution SA. Other sustainable-events practices were carried out, such as reducing paper and plastic usage to a minimum: badges were made of recycled paper, brochures were not printed at all but were being provided through pdf files, no plastic bottles were used during the conference. Vegetarian meal was the default option, and no lamb was served.

Impact and Results

The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference 2017 in Aysén, Chile (GSTC2017Aysen), brought together 250 delegates from 29 countries, as well as thousands of viewers joining the the live broadcast of the conference.

“A great meeting in Patagonia, thanks to the organization and to all people who made this conference possible,” Says Felipe Muñoz Narbona, Director of Ecomapu Valparaíso, a sustainable tour operator certified by Chile’s Sello S (a GSTC-Recognized Standard).

“The conference gave us the opportunity to connect with people who understand and work the sustainable tourism, not as an alternative way to make the things, rather as an opportunity and need for the future of the the world tourism,” Felipe explained.

“Thank you very much for transmitting, it’s a great contribution,” said Paola Molina O’Ryan, a Chilean Architect who watched the entire conference through the live broadcasting.

Participants included international and domestic tourism stakeholders involved in the development and promotion of sustainable tourism; including public sector, hotels, tour operators, academia, development agencies, NGOs, consultants, and more. Along with Chilean participants, international participants come from: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, UK, USA, and more.

The Conference also brought direct and indirect benefits to local businesses, as the 250 participants stayed in different types of accommodations in Coyhaique, with lunches and dinners distributed to a number of restaurants that serve local food. Stands of local craftsmen and local goods were present at the venue.