The year 2012 was proclaimed the “Year of Sustainable Tourism in Central America” by the Ministers of Tourism at a regional conference in October last year in Panama. As a tour operator (DMC) and market leader, the team of Solentiname Tours – Discover Nicaragua have spent years developing and publicizing sustainable tourism. Their motto since founding the company 13 years ago: “Join us as a Sustainable Traveler who will protect our precious environment by taking nothing but photos and memories, while leaving only the lightest of footprints behind.”
Since 2007, in conjunction with the Rainforest Alliance, Solentiname Tours-Discover Nicaragua has worked with hotels and other tourist services in the emerging tourism industry in Nicaragua, to introduce and support the concept of Sustainable Tourism. More than 90 resorts and hotels have undergone a rigorous evaluation—of which 38 achieved a score higher than 50 percent compliance with the GSTC-certified Rainforest Alliances’s criteria for Sustainable Tourism.
“Working only with top-rated companies, we offer guests the best possible service, while protecting and sustaining the natural beauty of Nicaragua,” says Immanuel Zerger, General Manager of Solentiname Tours-Discover Nicaragua. “We believe it’s the right time to present Nicaragua as a sustainable destination.”
As part of the Central America’s overall 2012 goal to focus on climate change and ethical tourism practices, involve community-based tourism and small businesses to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of countries like Nicaragua, Solentiname Tours released the first print of 10,000 copies of a touristic map highlighting sustainable tourism opportunities throughout the country.
The map will help visitors to Nicaragua make travel plans, while not losing sight of how easy it is to protect the planet. Unlike other maps, it is designed to help travelers discover private wildlife reserves, and to enjoy the richness of nature at its tropical best in Nicaragua.
“We recommend destinations and accommodations that are characterized by quality, and well above average service—each of which regularly receive top marks from our customers,” reports Zerger, from surveys conducted by the tour opertor.
The Points of Life () icon was created to highlight rural tourism projects that bring prosperity to communities and give Solentiname clients a unique experience meeting local people. On the reverse side are detailed insets, such as “Volcanic Route”, “Route Solentiname – Rio San Juan”, “Café Route & Bosawas,” Biosphere Reserves, National Parks and Private Wildlife Reserves of Nicaragua, as well as information on social and cultural events.
“Environmental Protection, Conservation, and Biodiversity is something that we take seriously in Nicaragua,” Zerger highlights. Almost 60 percent of the ‘natural capital of Nicaragua’ is preserved; putting the country first in Central America, according to experts who worked on the report Status and Future of Biodiversity in Central America, sponsored by the Regional Strategic Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity, Promedbio, Central America.
Private Wildlife Reserves are properties where the owners actively participate in the conservation, protection, and restoration of natural resources and the local environment. In these properties, there are areas with representative ecosystems of wetlands, dry forest, cloud forest, rainforest, and animal and plant species threatened with extinction. Some of these special places are also coffee farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Solentiname Tours – Discover Nicaragua recommends 11 Private Wildlife Reserves for a sustainable tourism excursion in the “Tourist Map Nicaragua – Traveling Sustainable.”
The “Tourist Map Nicaragua – Sustainable Traveling” is printed on environmentally friendly stock, and presents the country in three languages: Spanish / English / German. It can be downloaded for free: http://solentinametours.com/web/menu.php
 Download the full report Status and Future of Biodiversity in Central America. On pages 52-55 is shown that Nicaragua has conserved almost 60% of the natural capital and biodiversity. This fact put the country well above the average for the Central American region. The entire chapter on Nicaragua is found starting page 137 in part 2 of the study. The study was carried out by the Regional Strategic Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity (Promebio).”
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