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Colombia launches its first illustrative handbook for nature tourism guides

This handbook is a tool that will contribute to the country’s high quality, sustainable and responsible tourism, and as well it will help to position itself as an international touristic destination.

Bogotá DC, January 25th, 2021. - The first nature tourism guide in Colombia will serve as a code of ethics for professionals specialized in the subject, interpreters and travelers from around the world who want to expand their knowledge of the attractions and natural wealth of the most biodiverse country per square meter, according to the United Nations (UN).

“COntemplar, COmprender, COnservar: Illustrated Manual for Nature Tourism Guides in Colombia,” is a project led by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and ProColombia, supported by USAID Natural Wealth Program, the Humboldt Institute and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). In addition, it has the quality seal of Punto Apart Editores.

“This handbook is key to supporting the programs and policies in which we work to promote nature tourism. In addition, it is very useful to reinforce the work of the sector’s service providers, especially at a time when we are working together for the tourism’s recovery and strengthening throughout the country,” said the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism José Manuel Restrepo.

“Launching this manual represents a step in the right direction for the development of high quality, sustainable nature and adventure tourism. And it’s timing couldn’t be better, since activities around nature will be in greater demand in this new reality, which is key for the tourism’s industry recovery, and therefore, for the country’s economic reactivation,” explained ProColombia President Flavia Santoro.

The manual has 306 pages and is divided into five chapters: The naturalist guide; Key concepts; Megadiverse country; Various scenarios; and Biological heritage. The manual has more than 50 related podcasts and factsheets featuring researchers and academics, among others, can be downloaded in its Spanish and English versions for free at

“The launch of this manual is very good news, and it will surely become a handy tool for tourist guides that will facilitate the interpretation of the country’s natural heritage. Further, it is open to a multiplicity of readers who have an interest in Colombian nature. Yes, the ideal would be that all Colombians and many foreigners have this manual and help us take care of our natural wealth. People tend to protect those areas they know and love, and this document is a contribution to the knowledge of our country”, said the Vice Minister of Tourism Julián Guerrero Orozco.

According to data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), nature and adventure tourism has grown in recent years, and compared to traditional tourism, nature tourism generates more direct income to countries. According to the United Nations Environment Program, 65.6% of the income generated by adventure and nature tourism remains in the visited destination.

Additionally, according to the Colombian Association for Responsible Tourism (ACOTUR), in the country there are 1,264 tour guides and 2,451 tour operators who will have the opportunity to see in the Illustrated Handbook for Nature Tourism Guides a tool to strengthen the interpretation skills of Colombia’s biological heritage in a simple language and with a scientific basis.

“This is a product that connects the knowledge about biodiversity and the country’s the natural capital with one of our greatest potentials, such as nature tourism. It is a very useful tool for our tour guides in the territories where they can access robust and detailed information about the nature that surrounds them. The objective will be to continue consolidating this line of the economy, making us increasingly competitive”, said the General Director of the Humboldt Institute, Hernando García Martínez.


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