On Monday morning, June 12, the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the president of the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), Tomás de Azcárate y Bang, signed the adhesion of the municipality of Adeje to the "Letter of Commitment to Sustainable Tourism", "which aims to provide a tool or platform for dialogue to promote new models of tourism production and consumption that favor cultural diversity, peace and sustainable development, thus contributing to the creation of a world based In the understanding and respect of the common socio-cultural and natural heritage of humanity.
The document recognizes the firm commitment to move towards a new model of tourism development based on the principles of sustainability, cultural diversity and social responsibility, sharing a common future and defining a series of strategic actions that will promote international debate on issues related to cultural diversity and sustainability and its relation with tourism development in social, professional or scientific forums.
"This initiative fits perfectly with the philosophy that we have developed from Adeje: responsible tourism, of the people. Tourism has to produce, in first place, well-being for those who live here and then, it has to open possibilities of collective enrichment, where people can be more open and respectful" said the mayor, who also stated that "tourism is a great opportunity for the contemporary world and sustainability. In addition to being linked to the environment, it is also related to society and respect for cultures and ways of life."
Rodríguez Fraga emphasized that "training is fundamental in all aspects and a tourist scenario is even more necessary. We need to continue to defend the premise that tourism is a source of wealth that we have to diversify and that at the same time, serves us to root our own Canarian identity, which is increased in the measure that our people also practice tourism in other latitudes, in the end, the exchange makes us better because it enriches us a lot. "
From his perspective, the president of the Responsible Tourism Institute, Tomás de Azcárate y Bang, also coincided with the mayor in regards to inclusive tourism "of the people", which "respects cultures, traditions and local knowledge in all its forms, which must be respected and put into value in the development of ethical and sustainable tourism policies." He added that "the Biosphere seal is a prestigious distinction that certifies the compliance with the standards of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), integrated in the 2030 Agenda, and applies the guidelines and recommendations of the World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20 ".
With this agreement, the City Council and the Responsible Tourism Institute, propose to develop means of awareness and forms of cooperation between all entities that converge in a tourist destination and are oriented to the safeguarding and enhancement of cultural diversity and to the best Knowledge of tangible and intangible heritage of the municipality.
Among other actions that will be attempted with this letter is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and good tourism practices aimed at promoting responsible tourism with cultural diversity and sustainable development; promote demonstration projects that serve as a reference for sustainable tourism development and enhance the cultural diversity of Costa Adeje; incorporate cultural diversity as an essential tourist resource into tourism research, training and education programs; promote the application of new information and communication technologies as an instrument for enhancing the cultural diversity of destinations and facilitate a better understanding of this resource by tourists.
Likewise, policies and strategies for the preservation and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage in the tourism planning process will be incorporated, paying special attention to the intangible heritage, given its fragility: and, finally, contributing to the creation, development and implementation of new products and tourist activities that facilitate the respectful use of cultural, natural and intangible heritage.
The Biosphere sustainable tourism label that Adeje aspires to obtain, which currently hold destinations such as Barcelona and whose procurement process has been started abroad in Thompson Okanagan (British Columbia) or Yuriria (Mexico), is a methodology, voluntary and independent based on criteria established in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Granted by the Responsible Tourism Instute (an institution that maintains special relations with UNESCO through a Memorandum of Understanding and that is an affiliate member of the UNWTO), the destinations that are part of the Biosphere Community host more than 30 million tourists per year.