Brazil's Bonito sustains itself as a destination

15th Nov 2013

Brazil's naturally breathtaking town of Bonito is the natural destination for outdoor adventurers on energetic group tours.

This assertion has been reinforced by its winning the Best Destination for Responsible Tourism award.

Judges recognised Bonito for its trailblazing way of ensuring the sustainability of the destination.

No wonder a fifth of all overseas tourists who visit Brazil arrive in search of eco-tourism.

Embratur tourism president Flávio Dino hopes the honour will help attract even more visitors on eco-holiday specialist tours.

Bonito, a town in the west of Brazil, is renowned for its crystal clear waters, caves, mountain and forests with diverse wildlife to be found in a national park and 10 private reserves.

Attractions here include Abismo Anhumas, a snorkelling haven with some of the world's biggest underwater stalagmites; Gruta do Lago Azul (Blue Lake Cave), one of the world's largest flooded caves; and Aquario Natural (Natural Aquarium), which offers jungle walks and the chance to float with fish.

Bonito was picked for developing a system that regulates the number of tourists visiting the area's natural beauty spots.

Visitors are managed by means of a digital voucher which registers the tourist's name and the attractions they plan to visit.

Bonito emerged as a tourism destination when its natural beauty was exposed on Brazilian television in 1990. Twelve years later it has welcomed 190,000 tourists.

An awards spokesperson said: "The judges were impressed by the voucher system and keen to recognise its contribution to ensuring the sustainability of the destination."

Bonito's incredible landscape will gain even more kudos in 2014 when it stages the eighth Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference, which attracts more than 500 professionals from countries worldwide.

This year's 10th World Responsible Tourism Awards were held at the World Travel Market, and attracted more than 1,000 entries.

The judging panel comprised 12 hand-picked professionals from throughout the tourism industry.

Dino added: "Bonito's success confirms that Brazil is an outstanding tourist destination in the eyes of the world."

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