El PROGRAMA ECO-TANDEM es un proyecto cofinanciado por la Unión Europea para impulsar el desarrollo del turismo sostenible y aumentar la capacidad de las PYMES turísticas tradicionales mediante la cooperación transnacional y la transferencia de conocimientos y tecnología.

La industria del turismo se enfrenta a nuevos retos (problemas de sostenibilidad, turismo descontrolado, COVID-19), que pueden abordarse adecuadamente creando sinergias entre el turismo y otros sectores relacionados, a lo largo de toda la cadena de valor.

A la luz de estas crisis, la sostenibilidad ya no es un nicho: el ecoturismo es real. Es el presente y el futuro, que impulsa muchos retos entre el sector turístico: cómo innovar y ser un verdadero líder en la sociedad pospandémica. Cómo cumplir las normas de sostenibilidad y un enfoque más sostenible del turismo, en particular de las PYME turísticas tradicionales.

Las PYME turísticas deben aprovechar la oportunidad que ofrece el nuevo reto de la sostenibilidad, como posible motor de innovación y crecimiento. Teniendo en cuenta que las habilidades y competencias son cruciales para la industria, el proyecto del PROGRAMA ECO-TANDEM se basa en la cooperación y la transferencia de conocimientos/tecnología. ¿Cómo? Resolviendo juntos los retos, según un enfoque y una metodología en tándem.

Nos complace compartir con ustedes que el Director de KSC - David A. Ortegón Martínez ha sido nombrado Embajador del Programa ECO-TANDEM. El Embajador de ECO-TANDEM de la UE es un profesional o un experto que cuenta con una sólida red en el ámbito del turismo sostenible (o del turismo en general) y que tiene una fuerte conexión con el público objetivo de ECO-TANDEM de la UE: PYMEs turísticas tradicionales (hoteles y alojamientos similares; alojamientos vacacionales y otros alojamientos de corta duración; campings, parques de vehículos recreativos y aparcamientos de caravanas; agencias de viajes, servicios de reserva de tour-operadores y actividades relacionadas), nuevas empresas innovadoras o entidades empresariales que trabajan en el ámbito sostenible.

En los próximos meses publicaremos más información sobre este programa y nuestras actividades. Lea más sobre este Programa en: 



The ECO-TANDEM PROGRAMME  is a Project co-funded by the European Union to boost sustainable tourism development and increase the capacity building of traditional tourism SMEs through transnational cooperation and knowledge/tech transfer.

The tourism industry is facing new challenges (sustainability concerns, overtourism, COVID-19), which can be adequately tackled by creating synergies between tourism and other related sectors, throughout the value chain as a whole.
In the light of these crises, eco-sustainability is no longer a niche: eco-tourism is real. It’s the present and the future, driving a lot of challenges among the tourism sector: how to innovate and be a true leader in the post-pandemic society. How to meet the eco-sustainability standards and a more sustainable approach to tourism, in particular from traditional tourism SMEs.
Tourism SMEs need to embrace the opportunity that the new challenge of sustainability offers, as a possible driver of innovation and growth. Considering the fact that skills and competences are crucial for the industry, the ECO-TANDEM PROGRAMME project is based on cooperation and knowledge/tech transfer. How? Solving challenging together, according to a tandem approach and methodology.
We are Happy to share with you that KSC Director - David A. Ortegón Martínez  has been appointed as a ECO-TANDEM Programme Ambassador. The EU ECO-TANDEM Ambassador is a professional or an expert who has a strong network in the field of eco-sustainable tourism (or tourism in general) and has a forceful connection with the EU ECO-TANDEM’s target audience: traditional tourism SMEs (hotels and similar accommodation; holiday and other short-stay accommodation; camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks, and trailer parks; travel agency, tour operator reservation services and related activities), innovative startups, or business entities working in the eco-sustainable field.
In the upcoming months we will be publishing more information about this program and our activities. Read more about this Programme at: 

Meet David Andrés Ortegón-Martínez, CEO of KAI Sustainable Coaching

See the Interview at Travelife Website:


Total auditing experience:  12 years

Travelife auditing experience:  2 years

Specialisations: Sustainability, quality management, environmental management, health and safety, sustainable agriculture and forestry

Auditing fields: Accommodation, agriculture, food processing, tour operators, destinations

David has been working with sustainability standards and certification for the past 15 years. He began as an auditor and programme manager, then implemented sustainability programmes at various businesses as a sustainability director and consultant. David’s career has seen him working with a variety of tourism, agriculture and food companies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

His experience working with industrial, government and commercial organisations has enabled him to understand how each sector plays their part in a more sustainable future, but his real passion is for the tourism industry due to the vast reach it has in terms of impacts on communities and the environment. He believes that the tourism sector can remain competitive and profitable provided it embraces the power it has to affect real global change, but this will require a strong and lasting effort, something that will pay significant dividends for economies, societies and the planet.

David says that sustainability should be the pillar of any successful business operation. That means that it is embedded in a company’s strategic plan and part of their vision for being an industry leader. He believes that using sustainability as a management tool has a lot to offer the hospitality sector, but only if it is adopted at the highest levels of any organisation and adapted so that it IS relevant to the specific conditions and needs of each location. That ensures that any goals a business sets are achievable and meaningful.


“…sustainability should be embedded in a company’s strategic plan and be an integral part of their vision for being an industry leader.”

David Andrés Ortegón-Martínez



He has found that the ingrained cycle of continuous improvement in sustainable business operations makes companies more competitive and more likely to survive difficulties. He says that this is because sustainability management, by definition, involves important disciplines such as regular performance measurements, continual adjustments to meet targets and transparent reporting. All of this leaves a business, and their leadership, in a strong well-informed position to respond quickly and effectively to external events and market changes that can hurt organisations that are less dynamic.

David finds visiting new places and sharing points of view with people from different backgrounds to be the most rewarding part of his role as a Travelife auditor. One of the most effective projects he has seen was called ‘Recycling makes Sense’, an initiative developed by a hotel chain in destinations that lacked local recycling facilities. This involved collecting recyclable waste from the homes of resort staff then selling it to raise money for community projects, resulting in the dual benefit of supporting local people whilst solving a waste management problem, all the while instilling a culture of recycling in over 4,000 of the chain’s employees.

 Top tips from David for sustainable living:

Think before you act! All our actions as individuals and companies have positive and negative impacts on our environment and our community, so try to generate positive impacts with your actions.

Each time someone makes a decision to be proactive about sustainability it contributes to a positive impact on our communities and the environment, so try to take an active role where you live.


Preparing for a New Start in Tourism in Ecuador

The Import Promotion Desk (IPD) is supporting the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador (MINTUR) as it prepares to relaunch tourism in the country. In conjunction with the consulting firm Hotel Resilient, which specialises in risk and crisis management, the health and hygiene concepts for the tourism sector have been adapted to internationally valid standards and a concept for hygiene and safety training has been developed. David A. Ortegón Martínez, CEO of KAI Sustainable Coaching (KSC) took an active part of this project participating in the alignment of the Ecuadorian Protocols and Guidelines for safe Re-opening of Accommodations and F&B establishements with Internationally Recognised Standards and as Training Instructor. In the first three months, more than 400 Ecuadorian tourism professionals have already been trained; an e-learning program has also been launched.



No other industry has been hit as hard by the Covid-19 pandemic as the tourism industry: travel warnings, cancelled flights and closed borders have become the new reality. IPD was unable to complete its plans to present the destinations and travel suppliers of the IPD program at trade shows, nor to organise roadshows or FAM trips to connect European tour operators with companies in Ecuador, Nepal and Tunisia.

Therefore, IPD and its partners looked ahead instead - to the time after the crisis: In a number of capacity-building measures, the IPD experts supported tour operators in their positioning and marketing in order to ensure a successful new start after the crisis. IPD tackled one particular challenge together with MINTUR in Ecuador: it is essential for the restart that guests have confidence in the guarantee of their safety – and with regard to Covid-19, in the health and hygiene concepts of the tourism providers. The project therefore involved the professional establishment of internationally recognised Covid-19 hygiene protocols in the hospitality and food & beverage sector and their successful implementation across the industry. A fundamental element in the success of the project was broad implementation of the processes throughout the diverse tourism industry in Ecuador. At the same time, the training concept had to consider the special pandemic conditions in order to avoid spreading the virus.


By involving the consulting firm Hotel Resilient, IPD has acquired an expert in risk management within the hotel industry. In close cooperation with MINTUR, the specialists revised existing Ecuadorian protocols and guidelines for the safe reopening of the hotel and hospitality industry. The goal was to maximise the effectiveness of Ecuadorian protocols and build trust by aligning them with internationally recognised standards.

In order to ensure broad communication of the new concept, a „training of trainers“ approach was developed. This allowed locally trained trainers to inform many tourism businesses and their employees about the newly developed hygiene measures and safety protocols as efficiently as possible and support them in the implementation process. The training was offered in both English and Spanish and was accessible as an online tool in even the more remote regions of Ecuador.



Employees of the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Board as well as the hotel association AHOTEC rolled out the information and training campaign on the new hygiene protocols for the tourism sector. In addition to employees of the ministry and the hotel association, a large number of regional tourism authorities and tourism service providers were reached. In the first three months, around 400 tourism professionals were trained.

The targeted development of training competencies at MINTUR and AHOTEC ensured that in the long term the training courses could be offered locally and, if necessary, quickly adapted to new challenges. The e-learning tool also provides access to the training even for tourism companies in remote regions, such as the Amazon and Galapagos.


Preparando un nuevo comienzo en el turismo en Ecuador.

La Oficina de Promoción de las Importaciones (IPD) está apoyando al Ministerio de Turismo de Ecuador (MINTUR) en sus preparativos para relanzar el turismo en el país. En colaboración con la consultora Hotel Resilient, especializada en la gestión de riesgos y crisis, se han adaptado los conceptos de salud e higiene del sector turístico a las normas de validez internacional y se ha desarrollado un concepto de formación en higiene y seguridad. David A. Ortegón Martínez, director general de KAI Sustainable Coaching (KSC) tomó parte activa en este proyecto participando en la alineación de los Protocolos y Directrices ecuatorianos para la reapertura segura de alojamientos y establecimientos de F&B con las normas reconocidas internacionalmente y como instructor de formación. En los tres primeros meses, ya se ha formado a más de 400 profesionales del turismo ecuatoriano; también se ha puesto en marcha un programa de aprendizaje electrónico.



Ningún otro sector se ha visto tan afectado por la pandemia de Covid-19 como el sector turístico: las alertas de viaje, los vuelos cancelados y las fronteras cerradas se han convertido en la nueva realidad. En 2020, IPD no pudo completar sus planes de presentar los destinos y los proveedores de viajes del programa IPD en ferias comerciales, ni organizar roadshows o viajes FAM para conectar a los operadores turísticos europeos con empresas de Ecuador, Nepal y Túnez.

Por lo tanto, el IPD y sus socios miraron hacia adelante, hacia el tiempo posterior a la crisis: En una serie de medidas de desarrollo de capacidades, los expertos de IPD apoyaron a los operadores turísticos en su posicionamiento y comercialización con el fin de garantizar un nuevo comienzo exitoso después de la crisis. IPD abordó un reto concreto junto con el MINTUR en Ecuador: es esencial para la reanudación que los huéspedes confíen en la garantía de su seguridad, y en lo que respecta a Covid-19, en los conceptos de salud e higiene de los proveedores de servicios turísticos. Por lo tanto, el proyecto consistió en el establecimiento profesional de protocolos de higiene Covid-19, reconocidos internacionalmente, en el sector de la hostelería y la alimentación y en su aplicación con éxito en todo el sector. Un elemento fundamental para el éxito del proyecto fue la amplia implantación de los procesos en toda la diversa industria turística de Ecuador. Al mismo tiempo, el concepto de formación debía tener en cuenta las condiciones especiales de la pandemia para evitar la propagación del virus.


Con la participación de la empresa consultora Hotel Resilient, IPD se ha asociado con expertos en gestión de riesgos dentro de la industria turística. En estrecha colaboración con el MINTUR, los especialistas revisaron los protocolos y directrices ecuatorianos existentes para la reapertura segura de la industria hotelera y de los establecimientos de A&B. El objetivo era maximizar la eficacia de los protocolos ecuatorianos y fomentar la confianza alineándolos con las normas reconocidas internacionalmente.

Para garantizar una amplia comunicación del nuevo concepto, se desarrolló un enfoque de "formación de formadores". Esto permitió que formadores entrenados localmente informaran a muchas empresas turísticas y a sus empleados sobre las nuevas medidas de higiene y los protocolos de seguridad de la forma más eficaz posible y les apoyaran en el proceso de aplicación. La formación se ofreció tanto en inglés como en español y fue accesible como herramienta en línea incluso en las regiones más remotas de Ecuador.


Employees of the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Board as well as the hotel association AHOTEC rolled out the information and training campaign on the new hygiene protocols for the tourism sector. In addition to employees of the ministry and the hotel association, a large number of regional tourism authorities and tourism service providers were reached. In the first three months, around 400 tourism professionals were trained.

The targeted development of training competencies at MINTUR and AHOTEC ensured that in the long term the training courses could be offered locally and, if necessary, quickly adapted to new challenges. The e-learning tool also provides access to the training even for tourism companies in remote regions, such as the Amazon and Galapagos.


Los empleados del Ministerio de Turismo y de la Junta de Turismo, así como la asociación hotelera AHOTEC, pusieron en marcha la campaña de información y formación sobre los nuevos protocolos de higiene para el sector turístico. Además de los empleados del ministerio y de la asociación hotelera, se llegó a un gran número de autoridades regionales de turismo y proveedores de servicios turísticos. En los tres primeros meses se formaron  400 profesionales del turismo.

El desarrollo específico de las competencias de formación en el MINTUR y AHOTEC garantizó que a largo plazo los cursos de formación pudieran ofrecerse localmente y en caso necesario, adaptarse rápidamente a los nuevos retos. Además, la herramienta de aprendizaje electrónico permite el acceso a la formación incluso a las empresas turísticas de regiones remotas, como el Amazonas y las Galápagos.

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