Early Successes in Bocas del Toro
We recently told you about the launch of the geotourism mapguide program in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The Solimar team has been hard at work for a few months getting ready for the official call for nominations, which began June 1st.
The Bocas Geotourism Stewardship Council (GSC) began with 7 members and now has 13 active members, due in large part to the efforts of the local team conducting individual presentations about the project. The council will steer the site nomination gathering and vetting process. The council now includes the Mayor of Bocas, the Environmental Unit of the Municipality, the Smithsonian Institute, the local Tourism Chamber, local TV and newspaper representatives and local hotel, surf shop and dive center owners.
Several members of the Bocas GSC have donated television, radio and newspaper advertising space to help promote the upcoming site nomination website launch. The local billingual newspaper has also donated space for an article on the Geotourism Program in every issue. So far two articles on the upcoming program have run in that local newspaper.
Solimar’s local coordinators and GSC members have also conducted over 60 presentations to 79 business promoting the site nomination period and raising local awareness about the geotourism program. At least 10 Bocas site nominations will be ready and loaded onto the Go Blue Central America site nomination website for the launch on June 1st.
Twenty-nine additional businesses have signed letters of interest committing to participate in the Geotourism prorgram. Many more local businesses have given a verbal commitment to participate. These businesses have expressed great enthusiasm about receiving the tourism sustainability best practices training as a part of the Geotourism Program. To learn more about this program or to nominate a business, please visit the website: