Catalonia, certified as sustainable tourism destination in the hands of the UNESCO and WTO
The Catalan Tourism Agency, the Institute of Responsible Tourism (ITR), an independent body linked to UNESCO, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, an organization that accredits such certifications worldwide, have signed an agreement to launch in Catalunya the certification for sustainable tourism destinations "Biosphere Responsible Tourism Destination"
Biosphere Responsible Tourism seal guarantees that a destination or tourism company applies a model of environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive and universally accessible tourism responsible. So far, the Biosphere label had been awarded to destinations within large geographic areas, like the city of Barcelona and Gijón, said ITR chairman, Tomás Azcárate. To achieve this recognition, the destinations must meet hundreds of requirements set by Unesco. There are other destinations that are underway in China, USA, etc.
The ITR, a member of the WTO, is the official certifying body. "Catalonia as a region eligible for this label and thus initiate a process of global leadership," added the president of the ITR.
As stated in Fitur the Minister of Enterprise of the Generalitat, Felip Puig, "With this initiative we want to confirm our commitment to responsible tourism model, advocated by the Strategic Tourism Plan of Catalonia 2012-2016, is firm." "We will be the first major global tourist destination, besides other cities or more specific destinations, to get this cross-certification of responsible tourism destination" said Felip Puig. "This label for the whole country should help us stimulate the certification of other sustainable tourism destinations and products of the territory, thanks to the coverage of Biosphere-Catalonia, so we can follow the footsteps of Barcelona and Val d'Aran, which already have this seal".
The process definition, validation, auditing and certification will be deployed over the coming months.
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