Catalonia becomes the first Biosphere Destination as a whole

Catalonia becomes the first destination as a whole to obtain the Biosphere Destination certification awarded by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an organization supported by UNESCO, member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and attached to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The Minister of Enterprise and Employment, Felip Puig, presided this morning in the Sant Pau Modernist Campus the ceremony which makes Catalonia the first destination as a whole to obtain the Biosphere Destination certification.

This certification, promoted by the Responsible Tourism Institute, establishes sustainable performance criteria in the international tourism business and acknowledges the industry of this sector which has made responsible tourism the focus of the activity. Its peculiarity is the fact that it consolidates in a single hallmark sustainability attributes related with diverse areas. The Minister of Enterprise and Employment, Felip Puig, ensured that the hallmark recognizes the work of many years of tourism in Catalonia and has been achieved through public-private collaboration.

Barcelona was the first town in receiving the Biosphere World Class Destination certification, in 2011, for the responsible and sustainable tourism management of the city. In 2014 received the Biosphere Awards for Responsible Tourism, in the Destinations category, in recognition for the commitment to develop a sustainable management model, which has turned the Catalan capital into an example of promoting responsible tourism.

Puig explained that this certification and has the city of Barcelona as a city and the Val d'Aran mountain destination, but stressed that Catalonia is "the first destination of destinations, the first tourist country in the world" to get it, which shows that the Catalan tourism model is a successful model to follow.

In that sense, Puig stressed that the Biosphere Destination certificate gives Catalunya a 'reputational value" in the world, and recalled that it’s received after a very demanding protocol and audits.

He said that, for the Government, sustainability is not a necessary obligation or a simple opportunity, but a "conviction" and is integrated in all of the Government’s decision-making process, not only between governments, but also in the private sector thanks good level of coordination and public-private cooperation.

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