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Interview with Machete Tours
Interview with Machete Tours
Machete Tours is an eco-tourism company running enlightening and entertaining cultural, wilderness and activity tours in South America. From stories of ancient Inca creation Myths told amidst the misty and dramatic ruins of pre-Colombian citadels to living demonstrations of Peruvian festivals and insights into day to day life Machete Tours can guarantee ethical adventures that are both rich and inspiring.
Why are ecotourism and sustainable tourism principles important to Machete Tours?
We consider ecotourism participation and cooperation between us and the local people in areas were we operate our trekking tours – Machete Tours believes and is committed to using ecotourism as a tool to encourage the protection of the natural environment. We endeavor to encourage a love and respect of nature through enhanced understanding and awareness, both in our staff and clients. With local communities, we create frameworks where the ecotourism business promotes truly sustainable use of pristine natural environments and nature. These benefits are shared equally and fairly and with communities with no loss to the natural world. Local communities not only benefit in the physical and financial sense but also from education and literacy initiatives.
Can you tell us about your ecotourism achievements that you are most proud of?
Machete Tours is most proud of our associations with local communities and families, as we have witnessed how important it is for these local communities to have eco- and sustainable tourism and income, as a means to ensure their own education, food, shelter, etc. and also preserve their culture, traditions and natural surroundings that make them so unique and special. We are especially proud of having encouraged the empowerment of several local guides to start their own tourism business - we take great pleasure in knowing that we are aiding local communities and also aiding in the preservation of some of the earths most beautiful locations, and that these practices will carry on and spread throughout communities.
What challenges remain towards Machete Tours becoming more sustainable?
We believe that there are always ways one can improve, when it comes to becoming more sustainable. At the moment, we would like to be better and educate ourselves on the distribution of garbage after our treks conclude, in for example Cusco – we cannot be sure how or if garbage is being handled in a eco-safe and sustainable matter, although we pride ourselves that our clients and staff do not litter, while there are with us on treks.
Another way we would like to improved, would be in the area of reusable energy during our tour operation. At the moment we use gas stoves and lamps powered by natural gas and some with solar panels. This could definitely be improved, by acquiring all our equipment powered by solar energy, for example a stove or lamps powered by solar energy panels.
What is the state of ecotourism and sustainable tourism in Peru?
In the last 5-6 years, we have seen a huge improvement made by the Peruvian Government, in regards to the preservation of natural resources - this is absolutely crucial for a country to improve and to change. Since May 2008, the Peruvian government has a Ministry of Environment, which has two subdivision: 1) Strategic Development of Natural Resources 2) Environmental Development.
It should be regarded, that the Peruvian government has created several special zones that offers protection of areas, natural water sources, flora, fauna and indigenous people living in these areas. Lots of work is done in these areas to conserve and safeguard their biological diversity and maintain their environmental services.
In January 2015, Promperu and the Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism in Peru, won the Ulysses Prize at the UNWTO Awards Ceremony, for their campaign “Y tu, que planes,” as its campaign benefits tourism locally, regionally and nationally.
There has even within the Peruvian population been great change, as there is more awareness of littering and protection of natural resources. All in all it can be said that Peru still has long ways to go, but great strides have been made – the future certainly looks optimistic.
What tips for ecotravelers do you have for practicing sustainable tourism in Peru?
- Don’t litter – even on the inkatrek you should keep a bag of your trash that you dispose of when you reach a place with garbage containers
- Don’t disturb the wildlife
- Carry a reusable water bottle
- Save electricity
- Save water
- Book trips with agencies who are engaged in social projects and/or partner with hotels/lodges that are eco-friendly and are focused on sustainable tourism
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