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This book presents eleven case studies of success about Latin America tourism. The cases are embedded in a framework describing the economic and cultural foundations of tourism development in the continent. Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica are some of the Latin countries which have become examples and models for touristic development, respect for the environment and social inclusion. The book showcases some of the best practices, along with an analysis of how these projects helped improving the environmental and social surroundings and how return on investments has been ensured. Latin America is shown as an excellent example, with the Gross Domestic Product of the continent expanding intensely in the tertiary sector like leisure, hospitality, travel, tourism, entertainment, gastronomy, events and indoor and outdoor recreation. This book is a valuable resource both for professionals in the tourism industry and for researchers in tourism management.



Chapter 1. Latin America: Imaginary, Reality and Tourism

Latin America has always dazzled travelers. Conquistadors, missionaries, courtiers, merchants, smugglers, adventurers, chroniclers and scientists have always been enchanted by its natural wonders and its aboriginal cultures. A rich culture and history shaped the challenges and conquers of Latin America. In this chapter we described and analyzed contributed to social and local economic difficulties and, consequently, difficulties for tourism. We should reflect on the fact that tourism does not develop satisfactorily in the macro-region because it suffers the negative effects of poor public management, poverty and a lack of formal education in the population.
The authors believe that a different type of tourism will only be possible in a more participative society. Capital and knowledge are important in building that society, but reassigning value to humanism is essential for life to be preserved and dignified.
Alexandre Panosso Netto, Luiz Gonzaga Godoi Trigo

Chapter 2. Latin American Economy and Tourism

This chapter analyses tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) from a broad economic perspective. Despite of its immense potential, tourism in LAC has presented disappointing results. The region has some of the best natural and cultural attractions, but still receives only 7.7 % of world international tourist arrivals. A myriad of aspects can be listed as causes of this deficit, most of them being related to more general economic and political problems. Most LAC countries are developing economies characterized by poor public policies, deep social inequality, low educational levels, faulty investments and a long history of poverty, characteristics that provide hard conditions for tourism development. Nevertheless, general economic and political conditions seem to be improving over the last years. The region is going to face some relevant opportunities in the near future and development perspectives are relatively good. This chapter’s introduction analyzes LAC’s economic history and general economic conditions. An overview of tourism supply in LAC is presented next. Tourist attractions, infrastructure, services and governance are briefly described. International and domestic tourism figures are analyzed subsequently. Arrivals, receipts and contribution to GDP are examined by country and region. Finally, some present challenges and future perspectives for tourism in LAC are debated.
Glauber Eduardo de Oliveira Santos

Chapter 3. Tourism in Rio de Janeiro: From the Triad Beach-Soccer-Carnival to Complexity of Contemporary Tourism Experience

Tourism has always earned a distinguished place within the context of Rio de Janeiro. Considered one of the most beautiful tourism destinations in the world, the city begun its process of touristification in the nineteenth century, but only from de 1990s on it has been able to escape from the stigma of tourism based on the triad beach-soccer-carnival and be included in the context of worldwide tourism circuit as a complex and multifaceted destination, capable of receiving large and relevant international events. This process of city retouristification has been followed by an urban restructuring movement as well as the spreading of tourism activity through the geographical area of the city, configuring new urban tourism functional areas.
Aguinaldo César Fratucci, Ana Paula Garcia Spolon, Marcello de Barros Tomé Machado

Chapter 4. Enotourism in Argentina: The Power of Wine to Promote a Region

Wine provides Argentina with an important tool for attracting tourists and strengthening the country’s image. The Argentine province of Mendoza is wine country par excellence and it is therefore no surprise that it has worked hardest to develop wine tourism in Argentina. To get a clearer picture of the subject of wine tourism in that province, the literature on the development of wine tourism and the creation of wine routes in Argentina was reviewed. In addition the region was explored and two wineries visited in order to get a better idea of the changes they underwent when the prevailing conditions in Mendoza’s wine industry altered in the 1990s. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with those in charge of the wineries, and structured interviews with visitors. The collected material indicates that the Mendoza Wine Route is successful, but that there remain aspects requiring adjustment.
Regina G. Schlüter, Juana Norrild

Chapter 5. Good Practices in Private Parks. Valdivian Coastal Reservation

This research unveils the main good practices used by the Valdivian Coastal Reservation Park, which have led it to be one of the most interesting examples of conservation of Valdivian woodland ecosystems, promoted by private individuals in Chile. The outcomes of the investigation show a gradual change of social perception, on how to use the forest resources, that used to have the local communities adjacent to the park, who in the beginning (2003) had an extractive resources vision, stating today (2012) a more sustainable vision of how to use those resources, empirically demonstrating for the Chilean case, that a period no less of 10 years of support are needed for a community to achieve a collective internalization of the firsts concepts of good practices as a collective social benefit of economic, social and environmental implications.
Héctor Caripan Sanzana, Alfredo Almonacid, Edgardo Oyarzun Mendez

Chapter 6. Cultural Tourism in Villavicencio Colombia

This chapter describes among other things, how the Llanero cultural identity has been forged, since the Jesuits evangelization process. Throughout this paper, it is important to remember the multidimensionality of cultural tourism, in its economic, social and geographical aspects. Similarly, it exposes the way in which culture becomes a unifying element that reduces spatial barriers allowing the rapprochement between the people of the region. Finally, it reflects the link between this modality of tourism to the local development; analyzing the importance of the residents’ participation in heritage preservation at all times.
María Cristina Otero Gómez, Wilson Giraldo Pérez

Chapter 7. Protected Wild Areas and Eco-tourism in Costa Rica

This paper considers the difference between the theory and the practice of eco-tourism applied to the Protected Wild Areas in Costa Rica; taking into account how important it is to conserve ecosystems and how ecotourism management can become a source of income. Conservations laws were established early in the twentieth century, and later the Protected Wild Areas became the main touristic attractions of the country. Thus, Costa Rica started being popular as an eco-touristic destination around the world. Nowadays, the practice of Eco-Tourism not always involves conservation in the financial criteria on the use of natural resources as touristic products.
Aurora Hernández, Juan Carlos Picón

Chapter 8. “Jardines del Rey”: An Integrated a Sustainable Management of a Cuban Touristic Destiny

“Jardines del Rey” (“King Gardens”) is one of the main sun-beach tourism destinations in Cuba. It has achieved a sustainable growth and an international recognition. Inside de general Caribbean context and the particular characteristics of the Cuban tourism system, the article shows the positive experiences and non solved problems related on the destination management. The paper recognizes the necessity of changing the sectorial point of view respected to de tourism development by models of integrated planning and management of the destinations, in order to promote the local capacities and opportunities, the actions to cooperate and to collaborate with the active participation of the people, as well as the view of the sustainability as an important factor to achieve the necessary competitiveness.
María Elena Betancourt García, María Caridad Falcón Rodríguez, Luis Báez Peña

Chapter 9. Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Hospitality of Cancun

The hotel companies, as well as other industries of the touristic sector, covers more importance in the development of the destinations, however, it is also recognize the role of the social processes and the nature impact. This paper presents the results of the research about the practices of social business responsibility reached by the three types of hotels in the touristic destination of Cancun, México. According to this empirical study some volunteer statements from the hotel executives are exposed with regard to their performance and the importance of the social responsibility recognized within the daily work of the enterprises and as this constitutes a support tool towards sustainability.
Elva Esther Vargas Martínez

Chapter 10. Endogenous Practices Aculco Agritourism, Mexico, Based on the Valuation of the Cultural Patrimony of Their Plantations (Haciendas)

This paper discloses the results of an investigation focused at the assessment of Mexican haciendas, in the town of Aculco, Mexico, as a cultural patrimony and cultural manifestations (tangible and intangible) that own the local population, order to activate community life, business, public sector participation and expectations of the visitors in a model of rural tourism that propitiate endogenous development. The investigation considered the conceptual analysis this type of tourism, the importance of cultural patrimony, appreciation of the haciendas, the expectations of residents and visitors in the destination, the impact of programs that promote the haciendas, and the required link between the public and social to consolidate the place. Finally, a proposal was designed based on a tourist route which derive thematic routes that together with local practices of the field, leading to a conception of comprehensive agritourism model for four haciendas: La Cofradía, Arroyozarco, Dolores Ñado and Rancho Viejo, with the intending to generate agrotourism projects to stimulate the activity of the town, as best practices in this area.
Marcelino Castillo Nechar, Guillermo Miranda Román, Marisol Orozco Guerrero, Laura Eugenia Tovar Bustamante

Chapter 11. Building “The Way”: Creating a Successful Tourism Brand for Panama and Its Consequences

Panama’s new country brand (The Way) is tightly connected to its long history as a passageway. It also demonstrates the interest of Panama’s government in moving away from the suggestion that Panama’s economy, history, and cultures are exclusively connected to the Panama Canal. Given the historic, economic, cultural and political relevance of the Canal for Panama, how is it possible to explain these concerted efforts to move resources and attention away from it? This chapter attempts to answer this question. I discuss the success of the concerted efforts among the Panamanian government and tourism mediators to transform Panama from a perceived dangerous and somewhat obscure tourism location to a welcoming and attractive temporary and permanent multicultural destination. Conversely, I address the minimal success and improvement that these efforts have represented in the lives of ethnic populations engaged in the tourism industry, paying special attention to Afro-Antillean populations.
Carla Guerrón Montero

Chapter 12. Success in Progress? Tourism as a Tool for Inclusive Development in Peru’s Colca Valley

In contemporary Peru, high expectations have been set for tourism as an economic activity that can contribute to inclusive development by offering an alternative to extractive industries and providing new opportunities to historically marginalized populations, particularly in the rural sierra. We provide a historical overview of criteria for “success” in tourism and note that those criteria associated with coordinated planning and the effective incorporation of local populations in the tourism value chain are currently considered most important by governmental and other actors in Peru. The case study takes place in the Colca Valley in southern Peru, a mainstream and increasingly popular destination. We do not claim this case to be an unmitigated “success” but describe the benefits obtained from tourism by local populations in the districts of Cabanaconde, Tapay and Sibayo, while also noting their respective failures or shortfalls. We suggest that for the positive aspects to be disseminated more widely, and problems to be addressed, there needs to be effective spaces for participation, dialogue and decision-making by different actors. At present there are a number of impediments to this, which ultimately relate to deep-seated problems in the Peruvian society and economy. Thus, there is no straightforward pathway to “successful” tourism in Peru; rather, by opening spaces amenable to social and economic participation by local populations, tourism can be one part of a process of change towards more inclusive and sustainable development.
María-Luisa Rendón, Simon Bidwell

Chapter 13. Dominican Tourism Clusters: Pillars of Development

The touristic clusters’ function is grouping the different players within a destination with the aim of jointly outlining the vision, path and action plan to enhance their competitiveness.
Since 2003, in the Dominican Republic ten touristic clusters have formed, which boast several accomplishments: the creation of commercial capacity, joint ventures in public-private alliances, the establishment of themselves as legal Non-Governmental Organizations, the diversification of touristic products, the promotion of differential cultural aspects, and environmental conservation activities.
Associativism highlights as the most important: organizations cannot compete by themselves. They need the support of their employees, the educational system, the communities, and the government.
The Dominican touristic clusters have reached a high level of local empowerment, and together with the Dominican Consortium for Tourism Competitiveness, which is the umbrella cluster, their continuity is guaranteed.
Pilar Constanzo
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