Futaleufú and Puerto Natales are positioned among the most sustainable destinations thanks to the recognition granted in the Sustainable 100 Top competition organized by the Green Destinations NGO, which aims to make visible emerging or already consolidated destinations that comply with good sustainability practices.
During the sixth edition of the Global Green Destinations Days 2020 event, the contest emphasized the advancement of 30 basic criteria of the Universal Green Destination Standard recognized by GSC and that the experiences offered by the destinations are responsible and attractive to visitors, while being an inspiration to other destinations and tour operators.
Hence, Futaleufú and Puerto Natales, thanks to the work of the local tourism authorities together with the community, are added as green destinations to the 100 most sustainable cities in the world.
Futaleufú; located in the northern area of the Chilean Patagonia and considered one of the three best destinations in the world for Kayaking and Rafting, is recognized for the first time in the Top 100 Green Destinations in the world and number one nationally.
Among the actions that highlighted this destination with only 2,600 inhabitants is the commitment of families with the segregation of household solid waste, as well as the preservation of the Futaleufú River basin and the protection of aquatic species after being declared Zone of Tourist Interest (ZOIT) by the Undersecretary of National Tourism.
In the case of Puerto Natales, city home to the Torre del Paine National Park, this is its second recognition, since in 2019 it obtained third place as the most sustainable destination in the Americas, after Galapagos in Ecuador and Thomson-Okanagan in Canada.
Within this context, Futaleufú and Puerto Natales enter decisively towards sustainability, joining green destinations already positioned as Chiloé, whose sustainable development in tourism actively involved the cultural and natural heritage and the participation of the community. Additionally, Cabo de Hornos stood out for the protection of the tiny lichen forest and the development of ecotourism programs that encourage the community’s ecological value and economic development. Lastly, the Huilo Huilo National Reserve was awarded thanks to its work positioning sustainable tourism in Chile during the last 15 years.
The concern for the development of sustainable or environmentally friendly tourism is not new in our country, since 22% of the Chilean territory is part of the National System of State Protected Wildlife Areas. Therefore, the National Tourism Service (Sernatur), which is responsible for promoting the tourism industry at domestic level, has encouraged tourism operations that minimize their environmental impact, respect cultural heritage, and boost local economies. And to guarantee that the experiences comply with the destinations’ environmental and heritage protection, the authorities issue “Sustainability Seals” to the companies that assume the commitment. To date, 167 seals have been awarded to different companies in the tourism industry throughout the country.
With the recognition of Futaleufú and Puerto Natales, Chile manages to position itself alongside Brazil, Ecuador and Peru as the only South American representatives in the competition organized by Green Destinations.