More than 100 destinations and tourist facilities have achieved the Biosphere Certification, issued by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI). 90% say they are "satisfied" and "fully satisfied" with the advantages of the certification.
Meanwhile, 85% of tourists welcome the addition of "quality, society, economy and environment" involving this range of excellence. It’s significant that respondents confirm that the client shows interest and asks for the practices of the Biosphere establishments.
In the survey conducted by the RTI, 70% of the sample ensures that the degree of difficulty of implementation of the measures required for the certification "is normal", while 16.7% say they have had certain difficulty. This fact underlines that in the last decade a segment of the tourist industry implements sustainable and responsible practices, while others remain in the old business standards.
Besides the heads of tourist destinations, hotel and leisure recognizes that since they adapted to the requirements of the Biosphere Certification, "has increased the number of customers", and so don’t hesitate to recommend this mark of commitment to responsible tourism.
The reality finds that, today, the main challenge for the tourism industry is to implement models that develop sustainable products and destinations. Faced with this emergency, the RTI has created the Responsible Tourism System (RTS) to develop certifications that meet and improve sustainability requirements.
Tomás Azcárate Bang, RTI chairman, is emphatic when he says: "Responsible tourism is not a strategy, as in the 80s, it is a new development model, in which we must go further. It is urgent that we apply sustainable models. "
So was confirmed in World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20, proclaimed in Vitoria-Gasteiz, where more than 200 experts and technicians have ratified the Certificate Biosphere as an international standard. The commitment has been adopted by Euskadi, Barcelona, Escorca, Gijón, La Palma, Lanzarote, Catalonia and the Aran Valley, and other 7 destinations are in the process: Arona, Costa Barcelona, Leon, Barcelona Landscapes, Fuerteventura and Sitges, besides the certification having presence in 20 other countries and being adopted by the GSTC Early Adopters Norwegian Fjords, Huangshan, China, or the Okavango Delta (Botswana).
As the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness of the Government, Pere Torres, explains: "Before 2020 the priority is quality over quantity. We are committed to create a more competitive, more responsible and sustainable tourism. We need public and private investment, and make the tourist wealth contribute more by its responsible behavior, while becoming a propagator element, "explains Pere Torres.
In the Basque Green Capital, the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu is clear when he says that "the development of tourism in the Basque Country is a commitment to people, an idea that applies to tourism quality and proximity, and to tourism as a shared experience of life. Tourism is an essential factor of cultural, social and economic development, and is the vision we share, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, outlined in the United Nations Summit this year. "
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