One hundred companies, services and destinations have received the Biosphere certification at the event held in Pineda de Mar.
The Maresme is a region committed to sustainable tourism. This is demonstrated by the hundred companies that have received the Biosphere tourism quality commitment, a label that accredits and guarantees the sustainability commitment of tourism companies and destinations. The county has made a firm commitment to sustainability, a concept that not only includes environmental, but also social and economic aspects.
The president of the Consorci de Promoció Turística Costa del Maresme, Joaquim Arnó, pointed out that Biosphere certification is more than just a badge; it is a way of doing things that permeates the entire organisation. He stated that "the fact of being able to give these labels is still a recognition of business participation, the public-private sector to have a network in the county" and stressed that "the key is that the Biosphere labels are increasingly in demand; if we are working for sustainable and responsible tourism it is important to have companies and public elements that are distinguished and have these references at international level that allows tourists to consider us as certified points of responsible tourism".
Arnó also thanked the support of the Diputació de Barcelona, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and the Responsible Tourism Institute, as well as all the agents involved, as it is a joint and transversal work that allows us to go further year after year. According to the president of the Consortium, there are no competitors between municipalities, only allies, and the only way to compete is through quality and uniqueness.
The head of the Barcelona Provincial Council's Technical Office of Tourism, Xavier Font, explained that this is a joint effort in which "we are all working for the same thing", stressing that "nowadays, to be competitive in the tourism sector it is no longer just a question of doing things well and with quality, but we have to make a clear commitment to the values of the destination. And the concept of sustainability helps us a lot, because what we are visualising is that we are preparing the territories not only to be visited, but also because they are places where people live well". He also stressed the fact of being part of a community and reminded us that being sustainable is also being competitive, because the two concepts cannot be separated. Font believes that programmes and tools should be created to facilitate this task, as it is a coherent and quality commitment.
For his part, the mayor of Pineda, Xavier Amor, stressed that tourism is part of the region's DNA, that it is part of the productive fabric and a driving force of our economy. Amor insisted that tourism is part of our identity as a country, our brand, and in this sense he stated that responsible tourism "is no longer an option, but an obligation for competitiveness", a fact that makes it necessary to find new forms of transversal management and teamwork. The Pineda de Mar Auditorium was the venue for the event in which the companies, destinations and services received the Biosphere labels and the Tourist Information Points.
The event was attended by the president of the Responsible Tourism Institute, the body that promotes Biosphere certification. Dr. Tomás de Azcárate, RTI's president, pointed out that certification is not an end in itself but an instrument of guarantee to "demonstrate that what is being done is being done well". The doctor framed it as a project for the present and the future and explained that "consumers are increasingly demanding that the product be sustainable. In the case of tourism in particular, as it has many components that may not be sustainable, such as the means of transport and food. It is a very cross-cutting aspect. For a company to be certified or to make a commitment is a guarantee for the consumer that it is committed to sustainability in all stages of production".
Azcárate explained that the organisation over which he presides will launch a website on "Biospheriencias" to offer consumers a complete overview of sustainable tourism, incorporating tourism experiences that are not tangible. "Not only so that consumers can choose the price and the place, but also so that they know the level of sustainability they have with guarantees", he remarked, stating that "consumers want to choose sustainable products but do not know where to find them", which is why the IResponsible Tourism Institute will make it easier.
Mònica Masramon, president of the Consell del Maresme of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, congratulated the Maresme for the hundred companies, services and destinations distinguished and recalled that the Chamber and the Provincial Council have been working together for more than 20 years and share the values of Biosphere.
Along with the Biosphere distinction, the certifications of the Tourist Information Points have also been awarded, a community to which 5 new companies have joined and 75 more have renewed their commitment to bring all the information about the territory to tourists. This certification has been in place for 10 years and has been increasing all the time.
The aim of the Tourist Information Points is to train the people in charge of the entities and companies in the different projects of the region in order to raise awareness among their clients and offer them personalised attention at the destination.