“During AdventureELEVATE Virtual , we had a wonderful, and educational session filled with great conversations from participants from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina. The result? Conservation is not enough anymore. Travel must be an act of empathy. Travel must regenerate communities and ecosystems, and as leaders in our trade, and as travelers ourselves, we must make conscious decisions to transform. Transform our programs, our products, and ourselves into something greater – even if that means making certain sacrifices such as smaller group departures and lower-impact travels. The effects of travel must be measurable and traceable. We are convinced that travel MUST regenerate our public and private lands, environments, ecosystems, and communities,” Alicia Caton explained during the Community Roundtable Recap.
Different sustainable concepts in one tour
We have been strategizing on how to develop a product which benefits are given back to local communities, supports conservation, and that the trip integrates the REWILDING concept – all of which posed to be the biggest challenge incorporating these exact concepts into a multisport program.
Cristián, Raffaele and Gonzalo – the CEOs of the three adventure companies (Amity Tours, BirdsChile and Chile Nativo)– went together on a creative retreat, laying out the first draft itinerary and agreeing in the key factors to success with an epic and transformational multisport tour in Patagonia.
As a result, they came back with a unique itinerary connecting the Lake & Volcano Route and the Route of Parks of Patagonia, covering 1.400 miles (2.300 km) between Conguillío National Park and Torres del Paine. This amazing trip was officially launched during AdventureELEVATE Virtual and now 2021-22 dates are already confirmed.
We want to introduce these two iconic scenic routes with a short video:
Conservation as a controversy
The efforts of conservations in these lands were skeptically accepted at the beginning, provoking controversy among Chileans, politicians, and part of the population. Here another video to show the controversy.
Now, an especially important detail of this topic of conservation is Rewilding and the adaptive form of Rewilding in Tourism, which is a new way to power the art of traveling, transforming it from a high consumption product of tourism to a real and genuine act of empathy. Let’s talk a little more in-depth about REWILDING
What is rewilding?
We like to separate the two concepts: Ecological Rewilding and Tourism Rewilding. While ecological rewilding means “to return an ecosystem to its original state”, we have to understand that Tourism Rewilding is “adapted to tourism because we cannot erase the human impact completely”.
The Patagonia National Park has a rewilding concept with one of the highest global standards. If you want to know more about the rewilding process in the Patagonia National Park, you can take a look at this video. The story of Douglas Tompkins is intimately related to this park that became part of the largest donation of private lands ever made, and the first step for the creation of the Route of Parks of Patagonia.
During our multisport trip, we are part of a Tourism Rewilding concept. This is not the only reason why we talk about a sustainable tour. Moreover, we operate the trip only in small groups (8 guests max.), trying to focus on low-impact activities. That allows us to have a traceable and measurable trip. So, between the three companies, we can collect data and publish exact numbers about the real social, economic and environmental impact. Furthermore, we support local NGOs for educational and conservation programs such as Fundación Legado Chile, and Torres del Paine Legacy Fund.
Zero Waste concept
It is our goal to achieve a zero-waste operation during this tour. Our picnic tables and lunch boxes have been redesigned, using only local (mostly organic), non-plastic products. All unavoidable waste will be recycled.
How we do incorporate the local community?
The Multisport Tour focuses also on the local communities, their culture, habits and history. We want to give our international guests the opportunity to learn more about the ancestral heritage of the Mapuche People. We are able to get to know a friendly family, who shares with us their way of life between the actual progress and the ancestral heritage.
In our rewilding work on day 6 of the tour, in the city of Llanquihue, we will combine regeneration efforts to work with local communities, creating a virtuous circle where nature gets restored and communities get benefits.
Furthermore, we meet the friendly Kawésqar women. They started an initiative to rescue their culture. Valuing the ancestral heritage that they inherited from their canoe ancestors of Kawésqar.
This is more than just a Multisport Adventure, but a trip with sense!
Voices From The Field – ATTA is providing this space for the benefit of our members for building awareness within our community. The views and opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily ATTA’s, nor do we endorse them by their publication.