Patnerships between the public, private and community sectors to build the Naranjal Tourism Cluster
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Naranjal takes up the challenge of integrating its territories and sets out on the path to tourist reactivation.
On Wednesday 18 November, a meeting was held between members of the PREIT-Tour, public officials, communities and tourism workers from the canton of Naranjal. The purpose of the meeting was to socialize the first tourist packages that integrate different territories of the canton. The event was also attended by members of the Guayas Prefecture, a technician from the Cuenca Tourism Foundation and representatives from travel agencies Guía Tours and Best Experience.
The programme began with an induction about the PREIT-Tour project, where the study approach, its area of influence and the progress during the first stage of project implementation were explained. Subsequently, the meeting continued with a talk about the competences of the public sector in the field of tourism and the commitments that must be assumed by the actors to achieve an efficient tourism management model. In this case, the importance of self-management and integration by communities to achieve sustainability through the implementation of tourism activities was stressed. Another point discussed during the day was the need to generate a model of institutional cooperation between the public and private sectors, communities and academia, to work in a coordinated manner and join forces to achieve common objectives.
In the second part of the conference, Johana Yanes and Belén Matovelle (representatives of the Travel Agencies Guía Tours and Best Experience) gave a talk about the elements that communities and tourism providers should comply with before to promote the tour packages to Travel Agencies. Johana and Belén stressed the importance of training and adapting their spaces to guarantee visitor satisfaction. A relevant aspect is the creation of routes and itineraries which generate positive experiences for tourists; and that above all, tourism is configured as a source of complementary income to the main productive activities of the population. "In no case does tourism intend that residents abandon their main occupations to devote themselves entirely to tourist activities".
The third part of the day focused on socialising the tourism packages with the main actors of the GAD of Naranjal and discussing the management model for these itineraries. It is important to note that these packages are still in the pilot stage since it is necessary to make work commitments among the actors, generate the necessary facilities in each territory and carry out a familiarization trip before their commercialisation. In any case, this exercise is a major step forward in the process of tourism reactivation, which the actors in the canton are seeking.
Finally, the socialisation ended with a series of commitments by the actors. Firstly, the actors agreed to continue with socialisation and training processes to improve their tourism management mechanisms and to offer quality tourism products. Secondly, actors who were not linked to the tourism packages committed themselves to integrate with other actors and joining efforts to reactivate tourism activity in the canton. Finally, all actors committed to working together to create the first tourism association of the canton of Naranjal.
For Hugo Vanegas (owner of the Hostería Kaluz), this is the first time that representatives of different organisations have met to improve tourism in the canton, so he encouraged the other actors to continue working towards the reactivation of tourism activity in the area. For her part, Edith Maldonado (Director of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Sport Management of the Municipal G.A.D. of the canton of Naranjal) stated that the municipality's priority is to commit to the development of tourism activity in Naranjal so that the public administration will make efforts to coordinate and manage tourism in the canton. In this context, Ana Belén Maruri (Representative of the Guayas Province Tourism Board) mentioned that the Guayas Prefecture is taking steps to support tourism activity in the province. She believes that these type of meetings are very productive in generating processes of tourism reactivation that benefit the inhabitants and allow the local economy to be revitalized.
The socialisation carried out by the University of Cuenca, within the framework of the PREIT-Tour project; aim to provide the actors with the necessary tools so that they can manage the tourism activity in their territories in the future.
Photo credits: Byron Alvarado Vanegas and GAD Municipal del Cantón Naranjal