Economic development of rural communities in the area of the Inca Route (Qhapaq Ñan, Bolivia) through the valorization and sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage culturale, and the application of new technologies to community-based tourism
icon-home Country: Bolivia
Site: 11 local communities of the departments of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí
Year: June 2018 (duration 36 months)
Partners in Italy: Ngo ProgettoMondo Mlal; CoopCulture ; AITR (Italian Association of Responsible Tourism); UniMiB (University of Milan – Bicocca)
Local partners: RED TUSOCO (Red Boliviana de Turismo Solidario Comunitario) and RED OEPAIC (Red de Organizaciones Económicas de Productores Artesanas/os Identidad Cultural)
Other partners: UNQUI- Universidad Nacional de Quilmes
Sponsor: Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)
Notwithstanding encouraging macroeconomic data, Bolivia is still ranked 118 (out of 188) in the HDI 2016. In order to fill this gap and promote a growth associated to human development, tourism represents a strategic industry, thanks to the varied natural and cultural heritage of the country. Tourism’s share in the GDP is very small (2%) and, though the industry is actually expanding, the economic spillovers for Bolivian people are limited while environmental threats are rapidly growing.
In order to address negative externalities of tourism activities, this action intends to promote an integrated development in vulnerable communities living in the influence area of a cultural route that represents a priority for the government , the Ruta Qhapaq Nan (QN) (“Inca Route”).
By strengthening the ETCs (Emprendimientos Turisticos Comunitarios) existing in the area, the project includes several innovative elements, such as:
- A participatory, multi-stakeholder methodology, with a bottom-up approach, notably in i) the criteria for selecting the sites, cultural expressions and non-material heritage (practices, performances, knowledge and know-how, tools, artifacts and cultural spaces) to be included on a digital platform for promoting the area; ii) implementing a participatory inventory and catalogue of the material and non-material heritage existing in the target area and establishing a database useful to design actions for the protection/valorisation and planned conservation of such heritage;
- The adaptation and application of ICT tools – innovative for the target context – with two objectives: i) promotion and ii) continuous training for young people, with the development of an online and offline digital ecosystem for an integrated management of knowledge;
- Valorising the natural resources of the area, by promoting greening practices for tourist services and facilities (waste separation and waste water treatment ) and the establishment of Syntropic Agroforestry Systems (SAFs) for the recovery of depleted soils where crops, forages, wood and medicinal plants will be consortiated to regenerate productive ecosystems.
The project intends to contribute to the sustainable economic development of 11 communities in the influence area of the Inca Route (Qhapaq Nan) by promoting a development pattern based on the conservation and valorisation of cultural (material and non-material) and natural heritage, by actively involving the public administrations and applying innovative technology to community-based tourism.
- Local communities and ETCs (Emprendimientos Turisticos Comunitarios – Community-based tourism micro-enterprises) in the influence area of the Ruta Qhapaq Nan;
- Local authorities: Municipalities, Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Vice-minister of Tourism
- 2 second-level national networks (TUSOCO and OEPAIC), that will upgrade their skills in representing theETC, in promoting their activities, in analysing and identifying tourism attractions;
- The public at large, through the development of an integrated, high-quality tourism offer .
1: Development of income-generating activities in the sector of community-based tourism and related services and products (agriculture, crafts, restaurants), by an approach based on gender, environmental sustainability and local cultures;
2: Reinforcement of the institutional skills of and cooperation between different actors involved in tourism (communities, national networks, privates) resulting in the development of public policies for sustainable management and tourist promotion of natural and cultural resources;
3: Development of a local tourist promotion strategy, including the use of ICTs, at the national, regional and international levels, involving the concerned stakeholders (networks, municipalities, government, ETCs).