Ecotourism is an attraction for visitors and a way out of the crisis

One of the sectors most affected by the disruption of the new coronavirus pandemic is tourism. The sector, which accounted for 7.7% of the Brazilian economy before the pandemic, with 551.5 billion reais (about $ 110 billion) in direct and indirect revenues in 2019, has lost $ 94.1 billion in the last two years and over 340,000 jobs. One bet for recovery is Ecotourism. Attractions in the middle of nature with the sum of other conditions, indicate a way of reinvention to get out of the crisis.

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Brazil is the third country in the world to be considered the most important sustainable travel, after Kenya and Vietnam and on a par with Colombia. Brazilians are more concerned about the lasting impacts that a trip can have.

According to the Sustainable Travel 2022 report, a study commissioned by Booking, 90% of Brazilian respondents say they intend to travel more sustainably in the next 12 months. The data shows a 12 percentage point increase over the company’s 2021 figures.

Saving up

Not today the city of Goiás saw ecotourism as a great attraction for visitors. Goiás Municipal Tourism Secretary Rodrigo Borges, who has been working with ecotourism for more than 30 years, explains that the city’s tourism model is not only focused on the economic aspect.

“The city of Goiás is working on a sustainable and responsible tourism project. The tourism model we implement here is not focused, exclusively and exclusively, on economic issues. This project goes further and covers the social issue and the appreciation of the culture of the region “, explained Rodrigo.

According to President Goiás Turismo, Brazil is considered the main natural destination in the world and the ninth in terms of culture. Goiás, in turn, has a good national position.

“Goiás is certainly one of the five natural destinations in Brazil. It means that Goiás is global in nature and that means we have to work on it. It is necessary to have logistics and work on qualification continuously. Nature tourism in Goiás is very significant “, he explained.

And speaking of cultural tourism, most of the tourism entrepreneurs in the city of Goiás are local residents, which, according to the secretary, helps to preserve the cultural roots of the municipality.

“The city of Goiás has a rich cultural production, which is our difference. We have a very strong calendar of cultural events. In order to keep this calendar alive, it is extremely important to cherish and preserve the local culture “, explained Rodrigo.

The awareness movement of sustainable tourism companies has also increased in recent years. “Serious entrepreneurs are the biggest supporters of nature conservation. We cannot confuse the exploitation of nature in a predatory way with tourism “.

Photo: Elisa Barreto. The government of Goiás.

The President outlined the main actions to encourage ecotourism in Goiás. “Today we have specialized credit lines in the environmental area, specialized channels, influencers who work only with environmental sustainability issues. Currently, if the company does not have pillars focused on sustainability, tourists will not return “, he pointed out.

The city of Goiás invests in sustainable tourism activities and in appropriate training, which promotes environmental awareness, preserves and protects the environment, so that tourism becomes the main source of wealth for the municipality.

“Tourism and ecotourism are activities that distribute wealth. The role of tourism is to make the resources of this activity reach various sectors of the economy “.

In Pirenópolis, tourism already accounts for about 70% of the city’s economy. But, according to Vanessa, much progress is still needed on ecotourism.

“Unfortunately, there is still a flow of people who travel and are not worried about the consequences, with what they leave in that space. It is a work of awareness of tourists about the use of natural spaces “, he explained.

At the same time, the movement of ecotourists has increased, which is an incentive for the sector. “We also have a lot of ecotourists and that makes us very proud. Ecotourists are very careful and if they happen to find something along the way, they make a point of tightening and one encourages the other to continue good practices, as a chain of good “, he concluded.

Other data

In 2019, Goiás received about 8 million people, more than the state’s population. The main municipality, which is considered the driving force behind tourism in Goiás, is Caldas Novas, a city that received almost half of the tourists who came to the state a year before the pandemic.

Other cities that attract a large number of visitors are Pirenópolis, which attracts attention for its stunning scenery, adventure tourism and ecotourism, and the city of Goiás, which has a high demand for cultural tourism. Other popular destinations include Chapada dos Veadeiros and Araguaia.

Pirenópolis receives about one million visitors a year and, although the sector is still recovering, tourism remains the main source of income for the municipality.

“Today I can say that tourism is the main economy of Pirenópolis. The pandemic has brought this confirmation with all the closures and reflections on the economy. The city is not able to consume all the shops and services we have here “, said the Secretary of Tourism of Pirenópolis, Vanessa Leal.

Tourism is an important arm of the economy, despite the difficulty of having accurate data, due to the transfer of this data by municipalities, in 2019, this sector accounts for 9.2% of Goiás GDP.

“Goiás is a very rich place, mainly with agribusiness, but if I measured the wealth generated by state and municipal taxes, this value would certainly reach 15%,” said Goiás Turismo President Fabrício Amaral.

Another important factor that differentiates tourism is the relevance of this sector to generate jobs.

According to Fabrício Amaral, tourism in job creation is almost unbeatable. “We have over 14,000 registered bars and restaurants, with an average of three to five employees. We are talking about 60,000 employees in this branch alone, in addition to hotels, farm hotels and guides. The figures are very expressive, it is a sector that needs care and investment in order to continue to bear fruit “, he said.

Think

This report is part of the Repens Consumo series developed by The Sagres system with the support of the Pro Cerrado Foundation. Over the course of 12 episodes, we will delve into topics related to sustainability, production and consumption, which are linked to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal – SDG 12, which is “Ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns ”.

In this report we present how to properly dispose of e-waste. However, another area of ​​concern for environmental experts is hospital waste. You will see this topic next week, in Sinval Lopes’ report.

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