Gijón/Xixón renews its Biosphere Gold Destination Certification

Gijón/Xixón has revalidated its Biosphere Gold Destination certificate, as a tourist destination, by demonstrating the maintenance of its commitment to sustainability and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030.

Gijón/Xixón has been Biosphere certified since 2013. In addition, in 2019, it became a "Gold" destination. This accreditation is obtained thanks to the continuous improvement of sustainability in local actions, as well as the involvement of the destination's business sector, which joins to reinforce a joint strategy towards a more sustainable tourist destination.

Some of the outstanding measures carried out to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the free guided tours for entities with social purposes and campaigns to donate basic necessities. Local gastronomy is also promoted through the Gijonomía tourism promotion campaign. In addition, work is being done to improve the professionalism of the local tourism sector in the area of food and the use of raw materials.

In the area of health and wellness, we promote healthy habits at work and train the sector in health and safety. Plans, programs and campaigns to prevent damage to health and promote well-being are also disseminated.

Visita Gijón/Xixón has been working for years with the private sector to advance its positioning as a sustainable destination. An agreement was signed with the social agents for economic recovery, the transformation of the productive fabric and the creation of quality employment and Visita Gijón/Xixón professional was launched, thus improving communication with the sector and favoring joint work to improve the competitiveness and professionalization of the tourist offer.

In terms of measures to advance gender equality, Visita Gijón/Xixón stands out for its use of non-sexist language and inclusive communication. In addition, "female" tourist routes have been developed to highlight illustrious women in the city.

Other actions that contribute to the SDGs are the awareness campaigns for tap water consumption; the implementation of energy efficiency measures; the provision of tools to control water consumption and energy consumption for companies and tourist services; the modernization of public roads in tourist areas; the development of campaigns to deseasonalize tourist demand; the reduction of the use of paper and the promotion of km0 products in the merchandising line; the promotion of sustainable mobility; or the dissemination of programs and aids that facilitate the calculation of the carbon footprint.

If there is one thing that distinguishes Gijón/Xixón, it is its capacity for innovation. This has been key to obtaining certification as an Intelligent Tourist Destination. Important steps have been taken in digitalization for the attention and reception of visitors and in the work processes of Visita Gijón/Xixón.

Progress has also been made in accessibility. The tourist information points have a magnetic loop and easy-to-read tourist brochures in Braille and have been awarded the TUR4All seal by PREDIF. To facilitate visits to the city, four accessible routes were developed with information on adapted establishments and public services. In addition, Gijón/Xixón has a beach for travelers with reduced mobility: the Poniente beach.

As for the environment, natural spaces are highlighted and visitors are offered information on nature trails through the council. The relationship between the city and the sea is also valued, promoting the blue economy and taking into account the uniqueness of this ecosystem so that it becomes a driving force for the local economy.

At the institutional level, transparency is promoted through tourism governance, sustainability was incorporated as a strategic pillar in the Gijón/Xixón 2021-2024 Tourism Marketing Plan and the "Gijón/Xixón, identity, sustainability and digitalization" 2022-2024 Tourism Sustainability Plan for Destinations was launched.