Responsible Tourism: Traveling in a Different Way

Traveling in a different way, while having as low an impact on the environment as possible while helping local communities thrive.

When traveling, we always leave a trace. We often take for granted that our visits are profitable to host countries, but the reality is that regular tourism sometimes results in considerable damages in these countries.

A tourism that is devoid of respect can disrupt local economies, impacting negatively on the environment and undermining the country’s social and cultural fabric. 

 

In the 70s, a plane ticket to travel to any European city used to cost to equivalent of five monthly wages. In recent days, traveling has become increasingly cheaper and people are used to travel more than they ever did in history. In recent decades tourism has been growing exponentially worldwide, while its impact on local economies and the environment has also increased, although not always positively. That is why, over the years a number of people have come to realize that it had become necessary to work out new models to palliate the nuisances generated by uncontrolled tourism development.
Regular tourism activities have many “hidden costs” which may entail negative economic consequences for hosting communities. Rich countries are much more likely to benefit from tourism than poor countries. While developing countries have a more urgent need of the incomes, jobs and rising living standards generated by tourism, they also have fewer opportunities to take advantage of these assets. These inequalities derive from many reasons, including large-scale income transfers abroad and the exclusion of local resources and products.
Hotel Europeo

The relationships between tourism and the environment are complex, involving a wide range of activities which may result in adverse environmental effects such as the building of infrastructures. There is nevertheless significant potential to generate positive consequences by improving, and contributing to, environmental protection and conservation initiatives. In addition, this would allow for the development of awareness-raising efforts on environment issues which may eventually result in securing funds to finance the conservation of nature reserves and increase their economic importance.

 At Dianova International and Rutas Escondidas we stand in favor of a fair, responsible and sustainable tourism. In this regard, a cooperation agreement was signed between both parties to help raise awareness on this issue and develop responsible tourism alternatives in Nicaragua, directed to groups including private sector and nonprofit organizations alike.  The experience will be implemented starting from September 2014

Let’s take a real example to understand better what responsible tourism is:

Graduation ceremony at Las Marias schoolThe Dianova-run, Europeo Hotel is located in Managua (Nicaragua). The purpose of the hotel is to provide ongoing funding to the Esther del Rio-Las Marias School which enrolls every year 135 boarding and day students, most of whom stem from the country’s disadvantaged, rural areas. This educational alternative has enabled thousands of young men and women to complete secondary education. They may also choose to learn agricultural and forestry techniques so they can complete secondary education with abilities and skills that will help them find more decent jobs.

The hotel is attracting a large expatriate population now working in its surroundings and the hotel staff organizes excursions which are respectful of the natural environment. The staff offers a local cuisine which promotes the quality of local resources while helping local economies thrive.

Why Nicaragua?

Voyager, can you see? The country’s doors are open; the whole country is an immense home. Don’t worry, this is the right airport: Come in, just come in! Now you’re in Nicaragua(“Noticias para viajeros”, Julio Cortázar)

Nicaragua is a multicultural country. The relics of its colonial era, in the Northern, Central and Pacific regions, mingle with the present ethnic groups dwelling on the Atlantic Coast: Garifuna , Miskito , Creole , Rama , Sumu and Mestizos.

In “the land of lakes and volcanoes”, Mother Nature remains especially powerful, displaying vivid colors and contrasts:

  •  Green for its exuberant, enormous biodiversity – the country has the largest, best preseved areas of rainforest and lowland ecosystems in all Central America
  •  Blue for its crystal-clear lakes and beaches – the country has 305 km of coastline on the Pacific Ocean and 450 km on the Atlantic-Caribbean coast. Between both coasts, there is the beautiful Lake Managua (Xolotlán), and its 1053 sq. km and Lake Nicaragua (Cocibolca ), with 8138 square km.
  •  Red, for the fire of its 25 volcanoes, among which 6 are still active.

In addition, according to the Nicaraguan Council of Spanish Residents, “Nicaragua is considered one of the most secure countries to live in in all Central America”

Dianova International and Rutas Escondidas Escondidas invite you to discover Nicaragua in a sustainable and responsible fashion, while promoting local participation and sustainable, human development as a key element of a balanced tourism development.