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Sustainable tourism, an increasing priority

Sustainable tourism is becoming an increasing priority for all destinations. The new models must be based on responsibility with the current and future generations and on an agreement on actions, says the Vice-Councillor for Tourism of Asturias. The Principality itself is an example of sustainability, with seven areas declared Biosphere Reserve; also some areas of Galicia, Catalonia, Cantabria and Balearic Islands, which appear among the one hundred most sustainable destinations in the world. Internationally, Costa Rica -which holds 3.5% of marine life and 5% of the flora and fauna of the planet in only 0.03% of the world’s surface- already preserves 25% of its territory.

14 Nov 2019

Graciela Blanco, Vice-Councillor for Tourism for the Principality of Asturias, says that responsibility and agreement are the two essential elements to approaching any model of sustainable destination. “Responsibility towards the generations, both current and future, and agreement as the keystone on which to integrate each and every one of the actions and lines of work”.

In Asturias this was implemented over 30 years ago, with a project that continues to be a benchmark and that introduced rural tourism in Spain: an initiative developed in the district of Taramundi, quite a few years before sustainability was a generalised concept.

Since then, “projects like the ones that resulted in having seven areas declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO have enabled us to gather experience and develop procedures, to ensure a process of this nature, which we want to implement in the future sustainable tourism strategy of Asturias, with our sights set on 2030”.

Privileged destinations

Following a suitable strategy has also led to good results in various Spanish territories. Baiona (Galicia), Berguedà County (Catalonia), Galicia’s Atlantic Islands Noja (Cantabria), Menorca (Balearic Islands), las Tierras del Ebro y Torroella de Montgrí- L'Estartit (Catalonia) are on the list of the one hundred most sustainable destinations in the world, produced by the organisation Green Destinations. They were chosen following aspects such as the work carried out in areas such as environmental protection, energy transition, waste management, social involvement with sustainability or the impact of tourism on the local economy.

In other regions interesting actions are being implemented, such as the one promoted in Malaga, to enjoy a series of tourism routes  aimed at raising awareness on the climate emergency and to explain concepts such as the circular economy,  ecology or a commitment to local business.

Internationally, Costa Rica is one of the countries that is most aware regarding sustainability. The country with the planet’s highest biodiversity holds 3.5% of marine life and 5% of the flora and fauna of the planet in only 0.03% of the world’s surface. “All of this biodiversity is protected by the country’s National System of Conservation Areas, which preserves a total of 25% of its territory” as explained by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo