Brazil’s eco-tourists keep social enterprises successful and sustainable
Thursday, July 25, 2013
In part three, Richard Brownsdon investigates the development of ecotourism in the central-west region of Brazil and explains the lessons he learnt from a successful conservation enterprise in the south.
Become a specialist
Juca Ygarape, is the founder and owner of Ygarape Tour in Bonito, in the central-west region of Brazil. He personally discovered many of the natural attractions that have made Bonito famous for ecotourism. Because of this, he quickly became the man the Discovery Channel and National Geographic call when they need a local expert.
Develop best practices
Over the years, Ygarape and friends have been responsible for designing many of the guiding principles and best practices that keep Bonito’s tourist trade sustainable.
For example, Bonito is famous for its crystal clear waters. Some of the rivers have visibility of 40 metres underwater. Thanks to Ygarape, there’s a limit on the number of tourists that can go each day and on the group size.
Snorkelers are reminded not to touch the riverbed as it disturbs the natural environment. They are even asked not to use sunscreen or insect repellent, as they effect the delicate ecology of the water. These steps preserve the environment and still allow it to be shared it with tourists. Ygarape sees huge potential for the area.