TTC Special: International tourism looks at the stars

Photo: Pexels/Walid Ahmad

By Frank Martin

Despite the fact that observing the stars on nights with good weather is often perceived as a bucolic practice, astrotourism is putting an end to such criticism.

Such activity is entering among the attractive modalities especially in some auspicious places.

Specialists use the Atacama Desert in Chile as an a bright example.

There, on certain nights, the stars provide a majestic silent and certainly brighten show.

An observatory located almost 2,500 meters above sea level is in operation in the Atacama, which is the most impressive point for a beautiful stars show.

Technical resources make observation an act of magic. From the observatory, with its powerful telescope, you can see unique scenes such as the rings of Saturn and the craters of the Moon.

In the Caribbean, islands with areas suitable enough for stargazing exist ias the Dominican Republic and other islands. Very interested in the modality are, among others countries, Cuba, with mountainous places in its east capable of attracting spectators.

For its part, in Brazil, are founding a whole network of stargazing that already competes with other modalities.

The giant of South America has numerous remote places where specialists can even undertake investigations of the cosmos without leaving planet Earth.

Such a commercial enterprise in Brazil has brought it the fame of becoming a sanctuary for “astrotourists”.

The Brazilian tourist industry assures that it is the light pollution of the cities that drive tourists to visit remote places in that nation to observe the stars.

The Amazon jungle, the Pantanal wetlands and a long coastline of the South American country are special regions.

For those who protect the environment, stargazing has other properties worth considering.

Studies indicate that these excessive lights at night time for rest induce a negative environment that causes restlessness in people and even influences nature by changing the habits of disoriented migratory birds.

A point that should not be forgotten before any innovative modality is the financial one.

Internet experts say that lovers of the stars and their observation usually have high purchasing power.

In a group studied in Brazil, 29% of these tourists had a personal income of between 1,500 and 2,500 euros and 20% exceeded 3,500 euros per month.

It has also been verified that astrotourism has become in recent years a modality of sustainable tourism of great value, according to studies in Spain.

“It is an activity that is carried out above all in small and sparsely populated municipalities where there is no industrial development. These are territories that also have low levels of light pollution and pollution. This aspect is key for astronomical observation,” recalled that analysis.

An organization from that country called the Starlight Foundation, which is dependent on the Instituto de Astrofísica de las Islas Canarias, has already created a certification system, through which those spaces that have excellent sky quality are accredited.

“They are scenarios that incorporate the observation of the firmament as part of their natural, landscape, cultural or scientific heritage and in turn promote “Tourism of the Stars”. This system is based on the principles contained in the “Declaration on the Defense of the Night Sky and the Right to the Light of the Stars”, is a conclusion of the aforementioned foundation.