Around 2006 representatives from 7 communities, Las Mangas, El Naranjo, La Unión, El Pino, Boca Cerrada and Salado Barra, got together and we saw there was a need of generating a space to coordinate among the communities, for trainings, advocacy, building capacities, and other issues.
A couple of years went by seeking external support, and finally in 2009 we were able to obtain a sustainable tourism Project through the Danish cooperation, aimed at promoting sustainable tourism values in the communities. In 2010 we took a further step to formalization and held the meeting on May to establish our organization with twelve (12) communities affiliated to the network: El Naranjo, Las Mangas, El Pital, Rio Viejo, East End, El Porvenir, El Pino, La Unión, Orotina, Salado Barra, Boca Cerrada and La Rosita.
It is interesting to see the long road we have walked, which has allowed us to grow, to get organized and position ourselves at the community, local and national levels, as the only tourism communities’ network in the country. We already have our strategic plan for 2011-2015 and its annual operational plan. The strategic plan has five (5) strategic lines: Organization, Basic infrastructure, Enterprise Development, Marketing and the Environment. The purpose is to develop and strengthen the business capacities of each and every one of the member businesses of the committees.
Today we are trying to attain financial stability and to support our affiliate members in promoting their tourism services. For this purpose a marketing channel has been created called “Touristic Reservations La Ceiba” which, on the one hand, will help us to reach the institutional sustainability of LARECOTURH and socio environmental investment in our communities by selling tourism packages; and from the other, the touristic reservation center allows to provide potential and current tourists the services provided by the micro-entrepreneurs affiliated to LARECOTURH, that is sustainable tourists packages of multiple nature: nature, culture, adventure, and education tourism among others.
Another achievement of LARECOTURH is being part of the Latin American Network of Community Tourism REDTOURS and the alliance with Social Travel from Guatemala and being part of the Sustainable Tourism Good Experience Manual in Latin America show we are going forth and developing. We want to create alliances, contacts, understandings that allow us to expand our possibilities of improving the quality of our lives, to know new experiences and above all to place ourselves us a destination that can offer tourists an experience according to the sustainable tourism philosophy. If you want more information about our developments or any other information write to LARECOTURH’s executive director, Marcio Rivera, firstname.lastname@example.org