Sustainable Tourism Workshop looks at opportunities for Green Economy in Mato Grosso

14 March 2019, Mato Grosso State, Brazil – PAGE partner organizations in Brazil, the State Secretariat of Tourism and SEBRAE, jointly conducted a Workshop on Sustainable Tourism for government managers and private and entrepreneurial Initiatives. The event brought together about 80 entrepreneurs and public managers to discuss  crucial challenges and opportunities for the sector, above all, the development of guidelines for sustainable tourism in Mato Grosso.

The State of Mato Grosso attracts many tourists every year, who enjoy the areas’ biodiversity and outdoor activities in a stunning landscape, such as in the Chapada dos Guimarāes National Park. The Northern Pantanal is the state’s most famous destination. With an area close to 200 000 km2, the Pantanal is one of the largest wetlands in the world, offering an amazing natural setting. The Pantanal contains a very high degree of biodiversity with hundreds of different species, which makes it famous for its remarkable wildlife attracting hundreds of tourists every year.

The workshop analyzed the main challenges and opportunities for the sustainable tourism in Mato Grosso, looking at collaborative networks, the role of public power, potential for private investment and possible paths for the development of sustainable tourism in the state. "We are going to prepare guidelines, and for this, we are doing a series of surveys, identifying economic data, practices that already exist in other states, certification standards as references, to build an agenda for Mato Grosso" said Alexandre Garrido, environment and sustainability consultant.

The event also gathered 34 entrepreneurs who work in several areas of the tourism sector. Lack of infrastructure, quality services and adequate skills are among the main obstacles pointed out by private sector representative when asked about the main challenges for tourism development in Mato Grosso. Participants also expressed the need to increase investments on sustainable tourism where the use of resources is environmentally responsible, socially just and economically viable.

Mato Grosso was the first subnational state to join PAGE in April 2016, and is currently receiving support from the Partnership on the development of the sustainable tourism sector, among others. In collaboration with SEBRAE, PAGE has been supporting the elaboration of guidelines for the standardization and certification of Sustainable Tourism Products as well as on the elaboration and promotion of financial strategies for sustainable certification in key products.

"We have developed a supportive work in search of international partnerships and investments, which can bring greater impact to the actions that are already happening," said Marcela Gaíva project assistant and PAGE representative.