Sustainable tourism in the extreme south of the Planet: Magallanes.

Sustainable tourism in the extreme south of the Planet: Magallanes.

By Arturo Crosby

However, as they tell me, they have been with very little snow for the last few years, although it seems that on the other side, in the Argentine part of Ushuaia (Cerro Castro) they do.

The debate in the region focuses on the sustainability and competitiveness of tourism, on the tremendous seasonality that makes it like now to have a low season, where there are hardly any hotel establishments or rather open accommodation, which coincides with the high season of outbound tourism European, one of the most important markets for the area.

The vulnerability and fragility of the sub-arctic ecosystem forces to plan a tourism that is not only very respectful of the natural environment, but also conditions the management of this economic activity, based on the environmental impact, but also on the economic profitability, which is appreciated by , is based on very high prices, which do not really respond to the reality of the market or the expectations of travelers. This is like the popular tourist saying of Spanish tourism of "doing August", which obviously has subsequent consequences.

Tourist destination

The Magallanes Peninsula is a future tourist destination, because now it could be considered more a territory with a tourist offer, which has infinite natural resources to value, but you have to know how to design, structure it and have a vision of the future, with the commitment to an innovative model, in which sustainability and competitiveness are harmoniously combined, moving from theory to practice.

At the end of the day it is an ideal laboratory where even the University of Magallanes wants to play a key leadership, putting in value the knowledge of the field with the reality of the market.

Where we are, Patagonia is considered, sister of the Argentine part, on the other side of the Andes, but nevertheless this same tourist market only considers Patagonia the Argentine part, quite possibly because they have been able to empower themselves and position themselves, but as the own one commented to me Academic Vice-rector of the UMAG, Dr. Andrés Marcilla, the Chilean part is not Patagonian, due to its geo-environmental conditions, but rather it is a sub-Antarctic area, with different climatic influences and therefore this should be the best approach to build a sustainable tourism - by necessity - in this extreme south of the planet.

At the end of the day, we are a stone's throw (It is a saying for the distances in the Region) of Antarctica, whose last point, outside the continent, the famous Cape Horn, where the ships were shipwrecked fleeing from pirates, It guides us as far as we can go before entering that other world of ice, where tourism has also made a very important incursion, although for now only accessible to a market with high purchasing power.

It is without any doubt not only a biological and ecological laboratory, but also a high-level tourist experimentation scenario.

EFE Green

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