Paracas: an unforgettable experience
Throughout the last 50 years, tourism has evolved quite fast both in concept and in practice. Before, tourism conventionally aimed towards learning about cultural, archaeological or historical aspects. However, this has now derived into new options of approaching different destinations. Among these it is possible to find what it is now known as nature tourism, a generic term for trips determined by a basic interest to enjoy experiences in natural settings.
With the coming of environmental conscience that characterized the last decades, the prefix “eco” is now associated with a number of activities that included tourism practices. This is how ecotourism emerged, which from the point of view of those who practice it, covers those programs that seek to enjoy nature while limiting environment impact to the minimum.
On the other hand, in Peru at present there is an ongoing development of what is called cultural tourism, a style of traveling in which travelers have the change to stay with rural people in their own traditional homes. This first hand experience, allows tourists to learn about different ways of living and to participate in the daily chores of the communities they visit.
The importance of sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism is that practices that satisfies the needs of tourists and of the regions that receive them, but in an environmentally friendly way. The 1980 Manila declaration on world tourism recognizes that tourism is an essential activity in the lives of nations, due to its social, cultural, educational and economic consequences. Indeed, tourism represents a real alternative and it has the potential of having a positive impact on a country’s development as it benefits the economy (it generates a positive flow of economic income for the regions visited), the environment (it contributes to the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources when it gives value to tourist attractions), and at a social level (it promotes participation, environmental conscience and it improves the quality of life of the local population).
Paracas and its islands: the Mecca of ecotourism
As Antonio Brack Egg well said: “If all nature lovers in the world could chose a unique place, where they could watch marine landscapes and arid deserts, a spectacular and diverse fauna, tens of islands inhabited by enormous flocks of marine birds that produce one of the most powerful natural fertilizers in the planet, legions of migrant species, testimonials of pre-Hispanic cultures, unbeatable sunsets and a full moon in all its splendor, in addition to traditional and modern fishing activities, Paracas, in the coast of Peru, will be it”.
Taking into consideration that nature tourism in Peru adds up to more than 50% of all receptive tourism, and that Paracas and its islands have potential in terms of the development of these sorts of activities, it is of vital importance that the authorities organize, promote and develop new spaces that are clearly identified tourist sites. This will grant them value in accordance with the consequent usufruct, in favor of the tourism sector in general, and of the inhabitants of the area.