Ecotourism


The term Ecotourism was introduced in Brazil in the late 1980’s, following a world trend that valued the environment. The Brazilian Institute of Tourism (Embratur) initiated the Project "Ecological Tourism" in 1985, creating, two years later, the National Technical Commission jointly constituted with the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), first initiative taken to ordinate the segment. Still in the same decade the first specialized courses for guides were authorized, but it was with Rio 92 that this kind of tourism gained visibility and boosted a market that was growing rapidly. 

 In 1994, with the publication of Diretrizes para uma Política Nacional de Ecoturismo (Directives for a National Ecotourism Policy) by Embratur and the Ministry of the Environment, the "ecological tourism" was called Ecotourism and conceptualized as "a segment of the tourism activity that uses, in a sustainable way, the natural and cultural heritage, incentives its preservation and aims at creating environmental awareness through the interpretation of the environment, promoting the welfare of the populations."

 Bahia has one of best known regions for Ecotourism: Chapada Diamantina. However, in the entire state, there is a big offer of this kind of tourism for nature watching, or blended with extreme sports and adventure, or with mystical and esoteric purposes.

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