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fev 21, 2017

Brazil launches an interactive, online map of sustainable tourism

The United Nations declared 2017 the “Year of Sustainable Tourism” to promote sustainable economic development. And Brazil has launched an online map to highlight the richness of its sustainable tourism sites in all corners of the country.

Brazil’s sustainable tourism map can be accessed on the government’s official Ministry of Tourism website, available in Portuguese, English, and Spanish (http://mapa.turismo.gov.br/mapa/init.html#/home) . The map details all of the initiatives across the country which received the Braztoa Sustainability Award, which carries the UN World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) seal. Completing 28 years of existence this year, Braztoa is one of Brazil’s most important tourism associations. Braztoa includes 96 partners, 85 tourism operators, and 10 collaborators. About 90 percent of commercialized leisure travel in Brazil passes through some entity of Braztoa.

In 2011, the Braztoa Sustainability Program was created. Its objective is to demonstrate the benefits of sustainable tourism to companies in the sector. Braztoa highlights not only the economic aspect but also the cultural, environmental, and social benefits. Through activities, projects, workshops, and research publications, Braztoa’s Sustainability Program has developed a network of relationships with international tourism entities, such as Travelife, the European training, management, and certification initiative.

Each year since 2012, Braztoa has selected different partners, hotels, trade and institutional partners for its Sustainability Price. In 2013, the hotel association “Roteiros de Charme” won the top sustainability prize. Based in Rio de Janeiro, Roteiros de Charme, or “Charming Trips”, unites 69 hotels, lodges, and ecological refuges in 16 states and 60 tourist destinations across Brazil.

The map shows a diverse range of sustainability initiatives, such as travel agencies, environmental advocates, lodging facilities, trade partners, institutional partners, sociocultural organizations, and more. 

In addition to developing the economy, including job creation and reducing poverty, sustainable tourism also supports environmental protection and the defense of cultural patrimony. According to the U.N., one in every 11 jobs in the world is created by the tourism sector. Furthermore, the tourism sector accounts for 7 percent of the world’s exports and 10 percent of the global GDP. 

The UNWTO will promote public policies in the sector to promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Among the SDGs listed, there is the eradication of poverty and hunger, affordable and clean energy, peace, justice, and strong institutions, decent work and economic growth. However, the 2030 Agenda is not legally binding, so governments and industries in the private sector must take up responsibility for their efforts to achieve the SDGs.