The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) Wednesday launched a campaign to promote tourism in the Amazon Rainforest area.
The Amazon Rainforest area occupies over 7.5 million square kilometers, about 40 percent of South America's territory, but it does not attract as many tourists as it could.
In order to attract tourists, both domestic and foreign, the ACTO will promote, during the next year, over 80 events in the eight countries in which the Amazon River Basin is located: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
Among the events foreseen in the campaign are festivals, congresses, indigenous celebrations, social forums and carnivals.
"It is an enormous challenge and a great opportunity to generate revenues to the local populations," said Francisco Ruiz, ACTO's general secretary, during a press conference. According to Ruiz, only 3 percent of Brazilians choose the Amazon Rainforest area as a tourist destination.
ACTO's Tourism Coordinator Donald Sinclair qualifies the campaign as an opportunity to provide sustainable development to the region, which suffers from deforestation.
According to Sinclair, a study carried out by 120 tourism agencies in Europe showed that the Amazon Rainforest area has a great potential as a destination to those who seek adventure and more contact with nature. However, only 5 to 6 percent of all tourists who arrive at the eight countries in the Amazon River basin visit the Amazon Rainforest area.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2008)