First Sustainable Tourism Workshop on Ilhabela Island, Brazil

First Sustainable Tourism Workshop on Ilhabela Island, Brazil

First Sustainable Tourism Workshop

on Ilhabela Island, Brazil


The municipality of Ilhabela Island, on the north coast of the state of São Paulo, hosted its 1st Sustainable Tourism Workshop, held between April 1 and 3, 2016. This following the World Travel Market Latin America which was held in São Paulo from March 29 to 31, 2016. In Ilhabela, more than 50 local tourism professionals and visitors, including hotel owners, operators, consultants, media and public officials, such as the Secretary of Tourism Harry Finger and manager of Ilhabela State Park, Joan Fava Alves, participated in the presentations and other activities, which included the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and best practices, tools and solutions to develop and market a more responsible tourism on the island of Ilhabela. The event was organized by Pouso Sambaquis, Maembipe Ecotourism Consulting and Hopineo, and was sponsored by Pouso Sambaquis, the Ilhabela Municipal Tourism, the Center of Environmental Monitoring and the Ilhabela Visitors & Convention Bureau.


The event allowed Ilhabela, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve (85% of the island), which is covered by an extensive area of Atlantic Forest and is one of the cradles of the traditional Caiçaras cultures, to demonstrate to local and international participants the island’s diverse and unique potential for ecotourism, adventure tourism and community-based tourism.


Daniel Marcondes of Maembipe Ecotourism

Daniela Marcondes on opportunities and threats for sustainable tourism


Daniela Marcondes of Maembipe Ecotourism Consulting, opened the event in the Pouso Sambaquis and gave a presentation about the tourism context on Ilhabela, which included opportunity and threats for sustainable tourism (view and download the presentation). On the second day, at the Hostel da Vila, the workshop began with a presentation by Dr. D'Arcy Dornan, representative of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in Brazil, who talked about certifications and international criteria for sustainable tourism planning, development and management. This was followed by a presentation about the importance of communicating effectively about good practices in sustainable tourism by Florie Thielin of Hopineo and journalist Ana Duek, site editor of Viajar Verde (view and download the presentation). The participants then proceeded to take a guided visit of the historic center of the city with Guido Botto, followed by a networking schooner sailing opportunity which took them by the northern beaches of the island.


The event also included field visits to the traditional Caiçaras communities of Castelhanos Bay with Nature Experience and Bonete with Ciribai and Pousada Canto Bravo, a bird watching itinerary in the White Water Trail in Ilhabela State Park with Birdwatching Ilhabela and Green Birds Ilhabela and a visit of the historical center led by Guido Botto.


workshop at hostel da vila

Workshop at Hostel Da Vila on April 2nd


As a result of the event:

  • 1st thematic meeting on sustainable tourism and idea of creating an association of tourism professionals to work on these challenges together.
  • This group of professionals are developing an open letter with demands for island wide sustainable tourism initiatives which will be sent to all the mayoral candidates running for office.
  • The participants compiled suggestions for the improvement and development of new ecotourism and sustainable tourism products in Ilhabela (based on the field visits), which will be completed by Maud Vannelli and shared in free access for all on responsible-tourism-on-ilhabela-island-brazil
  • Creation of a website for the communities of Bonete ( and Castelhanos and training a person in website administration by Florie Thielin.
  • Creation of a digital library of free photos to promote ecotourism in Ilhabela.
  • Editing and publishing collaborative video to show and share about the great ecotourism potential in Ilhabela on social media.
  • Open opportunity and invitation to actively engage and collaborate with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and its destination assessment and sustainable tourism programs.



Original article published in Portuguese on Viajar Verde: primeiro-workshop-de-turismo-sustentavel-e-marketing/


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