Orchid show stimulates tourism in Bolivia


Bolivia’s spring orchid festival here attracts thousands of tourists annually and has created opportunities for livelihoods for the local people, officials said.

Different varieties of orchids grow in the country’s Concepcion region where an exhibition is organised to showcase these flowers during the springtime every year.

The event, being organised for the past nine years, attracts thousands of tourists from Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina.

This year, some 45 orchid exhibitors and 5,000 tourists participated in the fair Oct 9-11.

‘The idea is to take advantage of the orchids here to promote sustainable tourism,’ said Rubens Barbery, director of the Centre for Promotion of Sustainable Development (CEPAD), which organised the event.

‘Orchids are my hobby. I’ve been working with them for 12 years. I have more than 40 species,’ said Carmen Deli Olachea, a local resident.

‘I have about 600 plants and I want more. I grow them in my garden,’ Carmen told EFE. She said the event is promoting development in the region.

Last year, the profits from the exhibition totaled about $120,000.

Barbery said besides sale and exhibition of orchids, rural excursions, film and concert shows are organised during the three-day event that ‘activates the Concepcion’s economy, as the tourists arrivals give a boost to hotels, transportation and other sectors’.

CEPAD, Spain’s International Development and Cooperation Agency of Extremadura (Aexcid) and Santa Cruz Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Cainco) have been jointly organising the event since 2001 to promote tourism.