Director for the Americas of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
In this exclusive interview Gustavo Santos, Director for the Americas of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), reviews the development of the region and the country in astronomical matters. He also assesses the impact of the World Astrotourism Summit Vicuña 2023, to be held between 6 and 9 September, at which he will be a speaker.
Are you surprised that a small commune like Vicuña is organising an event of this magnitude?
I am not surprised for two reasons: Firstly, because Chile was one of the pioneering countries in the world in developing astro-tourism; and secondly, because astro-tourism happens to take place in small towns.
What is the importance of investing in this type of tourism?
Astrotourism is a tremendous opportunity for rural populations to enter the world tourism circuit, and for this to become an opportunity for life and roots for its population.
Moreover, it is sustainable...
We say it from the World Tourism Organisation: Either it (tourism) is sustainable or it is not". We are the ones who protect the resources because we know that these resources are the ones that will allow us to develop our activity.
In this sense, astrotourism is an activity that goes directly hand in hand with sustainability; it is in its very essence the preservation of the space of the skies to be able to be contemplated.