The Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently signed a memorandum of understanding that seeks to support the development of nature tourism and the implementation of public policies that strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of the tourism sector.
Photo: As home to the most bird species on earth, birding is a key area of tourism that Colombia will be working to promote in the years to come. (Credit: ProColombia)
According to MinCIT, this agreement “formalizes and promotes a cooperation framework” between the two organizations and includes special emphasis on so-called “Development Programs with Territorial Focus” in municipalities focused on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration.
For its part, USAID is expected to “complement infrastructure or promotion projects executed by MinCIT through Fontur, in order to maximize the expected impact in terms of community development, demand generation, strengthening of destinations, and offering sustainable and meaningful travel experiences for travelers.”
“Nature tourism in Colombia has great potential, but it also presents challenges in terms of environmental conservation,” said Commerce Minister Germán Umaña Mendoza. “With this memorandum, we will address these challenges together, working on initiatives that promote the protection of biodiversity, respect for local communities, and the generation of sustainable economic opportunities through tourism.”
Specifically, the agreement, which will be in force for one year, “represents a new mechanism for the promotion and efficient monitoring of goals and budget agreements for the priority policies” within the nation’s Tourism Sector Plan 2022-2026.
“The main tourism activities that are being carried out in the country’s emerging destinations are associated with bird tourism, hiking, adventure sports, among other typologies associated with nature tourism,” said Deputy Minister of Tourism Arturo Bravo.