Does Chile need Country Brand??

I´ve been working and travelling around Chile for nearly a year now and after visiting some of the touristic areas and getting to know first hand business experiences, institutions and organizations I have seen the great touristic potential that this country offers. It has a diversity of ecosystems from the most arid desert of the planet, beaches, humid forests, lakes regions, and rivers with spectacular waterfalls or glaciers in the Patagonia, among many others.

There is a big push from the government institutions thanks to the tourism strategy 2012-2020 and recently have developed a national Sustainability Distinction (Certification), economical measures and aid programs for implementing sustainable management systems. In the last report from the ATDI – Adventure Tourism Development Index, Chile was ranked first in 2011 as developing country with more potential in this type of tourism.


All these and many other aspects that are happening in the country makes me believe that Chile is positioning as a touristic destination at international level. In my opinion there is only a small push needed to make tourism one of the driving forces of the economy.

After carefully studying the tourism strategy, I see that is document with great potential if taken into practice but it seems that there is no common COUNTRY STRATEGY or BRAND, every territory seems to be competing with each other and not combining effort. There is no clear message from the authorities of the possibilities as a country; it’s missing the definition or how con it can be identified or differ from other destinations.

The strategy must arise from a participation process and a consultation that implies all the stakeholders, from the local population, institutions, private companies or NGOs, among others. Is necessary that the strategy comes from the Chilean society and that they feel identified so that it can work and have the expected results!

I leave you with this last comment and please feel free to leave your thoughts.

I´ve heard many different people argue that there is such a great diversity along the immense territory that it’s never been possible to create a general compelling message for the country. I believe that the Country brand should be that diversity.

Come and discover the great diversity at the end of the world.

This is just an example with which I want to begin a debate to helps us identify Chile Country strategy.

What do you think should be Chile´s Country Brand??

Link to this post in Spanish.


Future Trends in Tourism – Fitur 2013

One more year at Fitur meeting with old friends and getting to know some new professionals. This year I´ve also been able to attend several seminars of FiturTech and FiturGreen and the general message put forward is that the type of visitor is changing. Their motivations and what they look for are normally a memorable experience and we need to adapt in order to fit into this new niche that is clearly increasing in strength.

Here is a little thought;

  • In the nineties, the question was; where do you travel? The place was important, I would say I´ve been to this location or this destination.
  • At the beginning of this century the question evolved to; what did you do? Understanding that the destination is secondary and what is important is the activity, skiing, hiking, golf, among others.
  • Finally tourist of today and more importantly visitors of tomorrow seem to add to these two questions, how did you do it? & with Whom? Putting the emphasis and the importance on the experience and how unique. Move away from the traditional trip and look for something different with local people who know the destination and are able to offer something exclusive, creating that memorable experience to the visitor.

As a responsible traveller and entrepreneur who always try to put the emphasis of promoting a sustainable tourism that puts into value the natural and cultural resources, promoting the local business and the local heritage it seems our time has come to stay. This type of tourism also helps to develop remote and deprived areas as the tourist expenditure goes directly to the local economies helping them to thrive while preserving their local heritage. It also requires lees investment in infrastructure as it uses the local systems and reduces economic speculation; meaning everybody wins.


I have met with former colleagues and have met many new consultants and travel agents that promote sustainable management practices and local development through cultural activities. There is a strong commitment to increase training for heritage interpretation and for local guides. There is also promotion of local practices, local architecture, reduction in energy consumption and use of local materials and investment in more efficient technologies.

With this post I appeal to all those friends and to all those colleagues looking to travel in a responsible way to continues to encourage this type of tourism and help us to get out of the difficult economic situation that many of us are facing.

As a final thought I´d like to think that its bee the actual crisis the turning point that has made us be aware of what really is vital. What is the most important reason why we travel? In my case and I think every day of more travelers; is to find ourselves through discovering other cultures and ways of life. The most important factor and what makes a trip memorable, leaving a trace in us; is always the people.

Let’s promote and preserve cultural and natural diversity, not only for the future generations but simply out of pure selfishness in order to be able to learn from them and be able to discover ourselves in the process.

Tourism of the Future: is the Responsible Tourism; the truly memorable tourism!

Sustainability Vs Development / Adventure Tourism Issues – OPEN FORUM.

This forum was created with the participation of all the ATTA members. A questionnaire was distributed through the members and companies assisting the Adventure Travel World Summit. Of the 6 questions proposed the one selected was:

  • Fire in the fireplace: How can we structure ourselves to be a force for good?

Forum Experts Included:

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  • Costas Christ – World Travel and Tourism Council

Costas Christ is an internationally recognized sustainable tourism expert whose work and travels have taken him to more than 100 countries across six continents, including expeditions to some of the world’s most remote wilderness areas and archaeological sites.

Costas is the Editor At Large for National Geographic Traveler and the former Global Travel Editor for National Geographic Adventure. He also writes the Go Green Travel Column for Virtuoso Life, in addition to serving as Virtuoso’s Director for Sustainability.

  • Shanon Stowell – Adventure Travel & Trade Association

Shannon is President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Under his leadership, the organization has grown into the largest international association of adventure travel companies with more than 600 members and dozens of tourism boards, major corporations and influential individuals helping propel industry initiatives forward.

  • Moe Carrick – Momentum Inc.

Moe Carrick enthusiastically loves to help leaders transform themselves and their companies. When she is not doing that, she loves to play outside in glorious Central Oregon and can often be found digging in her garden or running local trails.

In addition, Moe has woven a cohesive and provocative tapestry of personal leadership experiences, Fortune 100 consulting, academic and institutional learning, keynote addresses, authorship, strategic partnering, and masterful facilitation.

  • Chris Doyle – Vice President, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) & Editor, AdventureTravelNews™

Chris Doyle is a long-time enthusiast of adventure travel who’s gained immeasurable insights from the people he’s connected with on five continents, and the activities he’s experienced including whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, rock climbing, sky-diving, paragliding, backpacking, marathon running, sea kayaking, dog sledding, mountain biking and mountaineering.

Since 2004, Doyle has played a key role in Adventure Travel Trade Association’s strategic direction and development. In addition to overseeing content for and www.Adventure.Travel, he’s primarily responsible for the ATTA’s research, marketing, public relations and communications initiatives, and directs the content and execution of ATTA’s annual Adventure Travel World Summit, regional meetings and professional development programs.

Business perspectives on sustainability are changing and not only because is the “right thing to do” but because it brings more economical value. We see an increasing trend towards being more sustainable. It’s true that no one is totally sustainable as nobody is perfect but there are every day more companies moving towards this line of action and seeing the real values of becoming every day more sustainable not only economically but socially and environmentally.

There are consumer changing trends. For example Wal-Mart is now the leading organic retailer but 5 years ago was going very badly and had some very bad publicity on the conditions of work. 5 years ago they responded to the market shift, it was a strategic position that they followed as they understood that 20 or 30% of the market share was too much to be ignored. For example all the IBEX companies report their triple bottom line, and have code of conducts.

The Millennium Development Goals if endorsed by the tourism sector can aid dramatically for the sustainable development of communities. One of the issues is that sustainability is very hard to define and it seems there are many interpretations. We need to work with communities and with applications to get to common grounds and definitions.

What can we do?

There are various opportunities for merging this paradox: development and sustainability. We have to be specific with business goals and sustainability, we need to encourage and promote sustainable practices, combine efforts and communicate them thorough all the means possible. Teach the adventure traveler about sustainability principles. Never give false expectations, do not say you do more than what you really do, be transparent and responsible. Do not blow thing out of proportions.

Growth and Sustainability Paradox:

  • Adventure travel has grown in expense of other travel sectors.
  • Local travel is more sustainable.
  • Important to promote residents about sustainable practices
  • WTTC is meeting with ATTA to develop the best practices on sustainable tourism and sustainable content.

Finally Chris Doyle, representative of the ATTA, talks about the sustainable tourism council and how it promotes sustainable practices. We are asked if we want to include sustainability criteria as necessary for members of the ATTA. The vote results in a very mixed voting.

One solution is to include badges on the profile of companies that follow sustainability criteria and make them visible in the ATTA Hub. (Social Network) This will provide visibility to those companies which carry sustainable practices and will not be a limiting factor to those who want to become new members.

We have a great responsibility in the adventure travel sector, which is to balance the development and sustainability!

How do you think adventure travel could aid in this balance?

Richard Rogers + Arquitects – From House to City

Very interesting exposition that can be seen in the Caixa Forum in Madrid (opposite to el Prado museum). Related to the construction of social infrastructure focusing on producing structures which integrates public and private spaces.

We can clearly see the focus given by these experts, like the capacity to generate new public spaces, use of materials and innovation methods of production to produce buildings which are flexible and efficient.

Has collaborated in other projects with Frank Owen Gehry among others.

Presentation of PURA VERA S.L.

Hello everyone,
I have been working on the last few weeks on devising the corporate dossier of my new company. It is called PURAVERA, the idea coming from the PURA VIDA in Costa Rica, as we want to develop rural sustainable tourism in the region of La Vera.

This is the first introduction of who we are, what we do and how we differ for the rest.

If you need any further information you can contact me at

At the moment it is just in Spanish but I will include the English version as soon as I finish it.

Dossier Corporativo PURAVERA