Tourism May 13, 2024 | 7:45 pm

“Smart Territories” webinar kicks off sustainability project in Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata, DR.- As part of the “Improving Comprehensive Management of the Puerto Plata Destination” project, the Tourism Cluster is taking action to boost competitiveness across the entire tourism value chain by strengthening governance. Last Thursday, they kicked things off with a free webinar titled “Smart Territories.”

This initiative marks the first phase of the project and featured presentations from two industry experts. Christian Arteaga, CEO and Co-Founder of SmArt Tourism & Hospitality Consulting, shared his knowledge on destination innovation and governance. Felipe Veras, Vice President of Green Destinations and a sustainability expert, also joined the discussion.

Through their respective organizations, they’ll collaborate on creating a globally accessible, transparent, and user-friendly sustainability program specifically for Puerto Plata.

Arteaga emphasized the importance of a call to action in his presentation. He stressed the need to strengthen local governance through active participation from all stakeholders within the Puerto Plata tourism ecosystem. His proposed conceptual model focuses on collaborative innovation, new job opportunities, and leveraging technology.

Veras, on the other hand, outlined plans to introduce a recognition program for destinations through Green Destinations, in partnership with SmArt Tourism & Hospitality Consulting. This program will evaluate destinations based on six key areas: Destination Management, Nature and Landscapes, Environment and Climate, Culture and Tradition, Social Welfare, and Business & Communication.

Nati Casado, Executive Director of the Puerto Plata Destination Tourism Cluster, expressed her gratitude to the speakers for their valuable insights. She also announced upcoming steps, including a face-to-face co-creation workshop. This workshop will involve various local actors and representatives who will collaborate to identify Puerto Plata’s key strengths and determine how to best reactivate or reconfigure the destination.

Casado further explained that a training program on tourism sustainability will be provided to 20 SMEs prior to the launch of the Good Travel Seal program. This training will equip participating companies with a solid foundation in sustainability best practices and relevant technical concepts.

The goal is to ensure they can effectively incorporate the key sustainability indicators outlined by the Good Travel Seal standard, which itself aligns with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) industry standard.

“This project signifies our ongoing commitment to achieving a sustainable future for Puerto Plata,” Casado concluded. “We’re thrilled to launch this process here, bringing one of the world’s most advanced self-diagnosis models to the country. This will allow us to assess Puerto Plata across 18 key areas, ultimately leading to better integration, improved governance, stronger connectivity, and a more sustainable destination overall.”

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