In the 26th annual 'World Travel Awards Latin America 2019' contest - held last July 13, in La Paz - Bolivia won four awards, including the Best Green Destination nomination of the continent as a recognition for the Rurrenabaque Tourist Destination: Madidi-Pampas. This award is the result of the effort of an entire region that is committed to sustainable and responsible tourism that preserves the natural and cultural heritage, towards achieving a high standard tourism services and the promotion of conservation-oriented development. This process is conducted by the Sustainable Destination Tourism Board with the technical support of WCS.
The Rurrenabaque Tourist Destination "Madidi-Pampas" spans several natural and cultural attractions in five municipalities (Ixiamas, San Buenaventura, Santa Rosa de Yacuma, Santos Reyes and Rurrenabaque), two national protected areas (Madidi and Pilón Lajas), three municipal protected areas (Ixiamas, Pampas del Yacuma and Rhukanrhuka) and three indigenous territories (Tacana I, San José de Uchupiamonas and Pilón Lajas). The initiative involves several community-run and private tourism ventures and has the support of the Beni Governance, the National Service of Protected Areas and the Vice Ministry of Tourism.
The decision to work as a regional tourist destination was the starting point of a proposal that would allow integrating the different tourist attractions and interconnect the different actors linked to this activity. Based on a common vision, and a development strategy and policies that support the tourist destination, the Rurrenabaque Destination Tourism Strategy Plan was developed: Madidi-Pampas (PET-DR 2018-2027), and the Good Practices Guide for Sustainable Tourism. The plan is a management tool that proposes an innovative concept of sustainable tourism, which makes it possible for conservation and development objectives to be linked to the tourist experience of the visitor.
On the other hand, the conformation of the Council of Sustainable Tourism of the Destination guaranteed the participation of all actors involved, as well as facilitate the coordination of activities required to fulfill the proposed objectives and to achieve the certification of the destiny. Certification process is currently in full process, through Eco Dreams (subsidiary of Biosphere Responsible Tourism in Bolivia). Its purpose is to achieve high standards of tourist satisfaction, achieve a positive attitude of the local people towards visitors, preserve the natural and cultural heritage and protect the rights of indigenous peoples, communities and individuals. As part of work, and based on a diagnosis of the destination, an action plan in being developed that defines monitoring goals and indicators to fulfill responsible and sustainable tourism standards. An audit is planned to take place at the end of the year to be able to access certification. WCS will continue to provide its technical support throughout this process.