Indicadores ambientales para el turismo sostenible en San Gil - Colombia: el punto de vista de los actores locales a través del método Delphi

Sandra Bibiana Becerra Gualdrón, José Luís Cruz Vásquez, Carlos Felipe Gallardo Sánchez


El turismo ha sido identificado como un sector con alto potencial para afectar el medio ambiente. Para minimizar los impactos negativos y lograr sostenibilidad, uno de los primeros pasos es contar con mediciones contextualizas. La ciudad de San Gil es reconocida como uno de los destinos de deportes de aventura más importantes en Colombia, sin embargo carece de mecanismos de medición que sirvan de base para la toma de decisiones. A través del método Delphi se propusieron 43 indicadores ambientales relevantes para los grupos de interés de San Gil, pertenecientes a 9 categorías


Tourism has been identified for its potential to generate development and well-being but also for causing negative impacts in different areas. The environmental sphere is one of them and has been recognized as critical by various investigations because it can affect the well-being of present and future generations by destroying tourist attractions, the income generated from them and environmental diversity. One of the first steps to minimize negative impacts and achieve sustainability is to have site-specific measurements. The city of San Gil is recognized as one of the most important adventure tourism destinations in Colombia. However, tourism in the region presents environmental challenges such as the absence of measurement mechanisms that serve as a basis for decision-making. Thus, the present research aimed to propose a set of relevant environmental indicators for stakeholders, within the framework of a sustainable tourism activity in the municipality of San Gil, through the use of the Delphi method as a social validation tool. Following similar investigations we began with the theoretical identification of indicators. This theoretical review resulted in the identification of candidate indicators and criteria were established for their inclusion or exclusion such as ease of identification and measurement, functional relevance to the ecosystem, having modest technological requirements, being sensitive to the problem in question, being low in ambiguity, and be technically and financially feasible. The above criteria, together with the characterization of the tourism sector in the region, were the basis for screening the theoretical indicators. With these bases and following the Delphi methodology, a database of experts was built according to the structure of the tourism sector of the region. We include experts from the academic area, the business area, government agencies and the community and institutions such as tourism police, institutes, and non-profit organizations. The measurement instrument was built based on the candidate indicators. These indicators were included as individual items in a survey that asked the participants, in addition to general information about their experience in tourism, the relevance of each indicator for the San Gil case, using a Likert scale from 1 to 5 from highly irrelevant to highly relevant. After the pilot application of the instrument, some items were adjusted. The survey was sent online. An iterative process of two rounds was carried out with an interdisciplinary panel of 13 local experts. A consensus was reached with a total of 43 indicators belonging to 9 categories: Water, Energy, Waste, Air, Noise, Mobility, Natural Heritage, Global and Institutional. The research supports similar studies about the importance of the validation of different actors in the construction of indicators, as well as the need for them to be specific to destinations.

© Revista de estudios regionales 2014 Universidades Públicas de Andalucía