– Sustainable eco-tourism in Argentina –
A hope for environmental conservation and economic development
Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America and the largest where people speak Spanish. With a surface of more than 2.7 MM km2 has an unique climate diversity and landscapes, ranging from majestic waterfalls and towering glaciers, to several mountains, valleys and a wide oceanic shore that along with a rich wildlife conform an attractive and impressive destination for eco-tourism.
Before going into detail about some of the favorite destinations for locals and tourists, it is important to briefly define the concept of sustainable ecotourism.
What is sustainable eco-tourism?
The definition of ecological tourism or eco-tourism should be much more than visiting natural landscapes outside of cities and towns, which tend to have a negative impact on the environment due to destruction of the ecosystems caused by the invasion and the pollution that these visitors bring.
In recent decades, has been added to eco-tourism the concept of sustainability as a new alternative based on environmental protection, rescue and care of the endangered species of flora and fauna, the valuation of cultural identity and customs of the local inhabitants as well as the education about this practices.
It is then, the environment treated as the main source of economic development, capable to finance local development and improve the quality of life of each tourist area and in some cases of the nation.
Although there are various interpretations of the sustainable eco-tourism concept, all establish the following common guidelines:
- Actively contributes to the biodiversity preservation.
- Predominates the well-being and development of the local populations. As much as possible, are used natural resources and workforce from the same area.
- Companies and civil associations that operate on these tourist sites are oriented to work harmoniously with the environment and are subjected to law regulations on this topic.
- Avoids the environmental contamination by investing in ecological waste management.
- Encourages the learning of conservation practices, for a responsible behavior of tourists and locals.
- The exploitation of nonrenewable resources is reduced.
Argentinian geographic regions and its eco-tourism opportunities:
Due to its large size, the Argentinian Republic has a part of its territory (the largest) in the American continent and other part in the Antarctic, whose sovereignty is under dispute. Although there are different classifications, it is possible to geographically identify seven regions and describe some of the most important eco-tourism opportunities: