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Bahía Solano (Chocó), 14 de febrero de 2014
- The La Aguada beach, located in the Utría National Natural Park received the Servicert-SGS international seal and the Colombian Touristic Quality Label making it the first domestic beach in certify the fulfillment of the minimum quality and sustainability requirements for implementation in protected areas.

The certification was delivered in a special ceremony in which participated the vice-minister of Tourism Sandra Howard Taylor, the Director of National Natural Parks of Colombia Julia Miranda, the authorities of the department and the municipalities that make part of the cove and local leaders who publicly committed with the conservation and care of the high quality standards they possess.

In order to obtain this certification, the La Aguada beach required to pass a demanding verification checklist that included aspects such as: an environmental management plan, an eco-touristic ordering plan, a sustainability strategy, information and awareness for visitors and tourists, monitoring of the quality of the sea water and the sand, residues control and measuring of the level of satisfaction of tourists among others aspects.

On the matter, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Santiago Rojas Arroyo emphasized that his office leads, orients and finances the quality and certification programs not only to allow the tourist the tranquility to enjoy a safe and sustainable space but also to provide the domestic destinations with internationally recognized tools that will allow the performance of sustainable tourist practices.

"This is also the first certification of the Colombian Touristic Quality Label granted with a new design articulated with the Country Brand strategy. We are currently advancing in the same certification of beaches in protected area in Providencia and Coralina and in the design and ordering of other six beaches in the country with an eye in certification in Sustainability", the official said.

During the meeting, the Vice-minister of Tourism, Sandra Howard Taylor highlighted that the certification obtained by the beach is complemented with other world-class added values offered by the Utria NNP such as the Native Lodgings, the Auditorium and the Elevated Trail, these two built with the resources of the Ministry.

"On December 2012, we finished the construction of 800 meter of elevated trail over the mangrove and the auditorium for the attention of tourists, works that cost more than COP 2.000,000.000 and that today allow us to offer an adequate infrastructure, to strengthen and promote the development of ecotourism and invigorate the municipal economy", the Vice-minister added.

That was ratified by Josefina Klinguer, representative of the Mano Cambiada Corporation that manages the park under the model of community tourism. According to her statistics, the number of tourists that arrived at the Utria NNP increased in 68% in relation to the previous year.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Colombia S.A.
Cr 16A #. 78-11 Piso 3
Bogotá, Colombia
t: +571 6069292

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.