Melgar - Tolima, First destination in Colombia committed to Biosphere Destination Certification

Despite the paralysis of tourism during the pandemic, the Secretariat of Economic Development and Tourism of Melgar has continued to work on behalf of the municipality and its visitors. In this way, it has initiated the path towards sustainability, seeking to consolidate the municipality as the first national destination with the Biosphere Destination seal.

Despite the fact that 2020 has been a complicated year, marked by great challenges in dealing with the crisis caused by the global pandemic of the Sars-Cov-2 Coronavirus, Covid-19, the municipality of Melgar de Colombia and its Secretariat of Economic Development and Tourism have continued to work on the development and growth of the destination.

Committed to achieving recognition of their sustainability efforts, on March 18, 2021 they took their first step towards obtaining Biosphere Destination certification, with the signing of the Biosphere Commitment Charter.

For this act, a public event was organized at the Kualamana Convention Center of the Cafam Vacation Center, where 50 people attended in person, due to the capacity limit imposed by health restrictions. Among the people who attended the event were the Mayor of Melgar, Mr. Agustín Manrique Galeano and Mrs. María del Pilar Rubio, Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism. The event also brought together personalities from the public institutions of the territory, as well as relevant figures from the business sector, among them: Carlos Paz Cabal, President of the Colombian Hotel Association Cotelco -Tolima; Colonel Néstor Cortes Fernández of Air Combat Command No.4; Angélica Vargas, regional leader of Fontur; Dr. Karol Fajardo, director of the District Institute of Tourism of Bogotá and Guillermo Cárdenas, President of the Melgar-Tolima Municipal Council, among other personalities. Thanks to the measures imposed and the capacity limit, the event was held within the distances and recommendations of national and international health organizations.

In spite of the limited capacity, thanks to new technologies, Dr. Tomás de Azcárate Bang, President of the Responsible Tourism Institute, Mr. Patricio Azcárate Díaz de Losada, Secretary General of the Responsible Tourism Institute, and more than 45,613 Internet users were able to attend the virtual event via streaming, thanks to the live broadcast made by the municipality of Melgar.

With this first step on the road to sustainability, the Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism of Melgar - Tolima demonstrates its commitment and intention to offer its municipality a responsible tourism, with the objective of achieving the Biosphere Destination certification with which to ensure a firm commitment to continuous improvement towards sustainability, quality and the fight against climate change, in compliance with the 17 SDGs of the United Nations, in the framework of the 2030 Agenda.

From Biosphere we hope that their efforts and achievements promote and encourage the addition of more destinations and companies in the territory to good practices and the achievement of sustainable and responsible tourism.