The Colombian town of La Macarena, Meta and surrounding areas has been certified as a “sustainable tourism destination” by ACERT S.A. and recognized by Colombia’s deputy minister of tourism, Julián Guerrero Orozco.
The sustainability designation includes Colombia’s famous Caño Cristales river (above photo) and the Los Fundadores Park. The area meets a package of requirements that help promote best practices in environmental, sociocultural, and economic dimensions.
La Macarena joins 21 other municipalities with the designation, including the old walled city of Cartagena, La Candelaria (Bogotá’s historic center), Usiacurí, Mompox (Bolivar), and Villa de Leyva (Boyacá).
Guerrero invited regional entities such as municipalities to maintain their certifications, which can be revoked if the areas fail on any of several criteria. “Once they are certified, it becomes a challenge for all actors in the sector to maintain the criteria under which the category is granted with a validity of three years,” said Guerrero. In addition to the responsibility carried by the municipalities, the certifications also remind tourists of additional responsibilities of ethical behavior to minimize negative impact on the communities and environment.
According to Vice Minister Guerrero, the certification implies that all actors are committed to the improvement of services, products, and other activities focused on the development of tourism in these regions.
Caño Cristales river photo courtesy of MinCIT