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II National Meeting of Cultural and Archaeological Tourism in San Agustín and Isnos

HUILA, CRADLE OF CULTURAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL TOURISM

From June 25th to 28th, the II National Meeting of Cultural & Archaeological Tourism was held in San Agustín and Isnos in the department of Huila. This event was organized by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, the Ministry of Cultures, Arts, and Knowledge, FONTUR, the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH), the Government of Huila, the Municipality of San Agustín, and the Municipality of Isnos. It brought together around 250 tourism service providers, cultural managers, national and local government delegates, academics, and international speakers.



The Yanacona Indigenous Reserve was responsible for welcoming the delegations that arrived in San Agustín from various parts of the country and even from other countries such as Jamaica, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Spain. This marked the beginning of a series of conferences, talks, and panels that addressed various topics such as popular economies, innovative and creative experiences, tourism management of archaeological sites, among others.


Foto: Cortesía Nicolás Latorre Rodríguez Nofako Guainía de Inírida

It is worth noting that the Archaeological Park of San Agustín was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995 and has since become a cultural attraction of great importance for national and international tourists. Therefore, during the different sessions, it was inevitably a topic of conversation.



The development of these spaces is of utmost importance, considering that, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (2024), cultural tourism is a segment with great development potential in Colombia. 40% of the world's travelers, 38% of foreign visitors to the country, and 4.8% of national tourists are interested in this type of tourism, generating an average economic benefit of around 300 billion pesos annually.


 

Part of the Chaska Tours team participated in the academic agenda, guided visits to the archaeological parks of San Agustín and Ídolos in Isnos, as well as the gastronomic and cultural exhibition. For Chaska, this event allowed us to reconnect with old friends but also identify new proposals for responsibility, sustainability, and creativity that make cultural tourism a real development opportunity for local communities in emerging destinations in the Land of Beauty.

Finally, this meeting leaves us reflecting on the challenges and difficulties we face as a society to preserve and protect our biocultural territories through responsible management of tourism activities, considering the models of participatory popular economy that involve and benefit every actor in the cultural tourism value chain.

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