LANZAROTE, THE FIRST IN THE WORLD TO BE CERTIFIED AS A BIOSPHERE RESPONSIBLE TOURISM DESTINATION
Lanzarote has become the first destination in the World to obtain the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a body under the World Tourism Organisation.The recognition is the culmination of a process developed by Turismo Lanzarote for over the past 2 years
After becoming an Early Adopter of the Global Sustainable Council’s Sustainable Destination Criteria and Indicators this standar recognises the social responsibility, economic development, environmental compliance, cultural protection and the involvement of the tourist at the destination. “This certification recognises the work that has been done not only by previous regional governments and Biosphere Reserve but also by society at large and economic players. This is a decisive step towards the model of development that best represents Lanzarote” said Pedro San Ginés, President of the Island Council.
“This model of development contributes to the differentiation of Lanzarote in the international tourism market while strengthening the position of Lanzarote in those markets particularly sensitive to the preservation and care of the environment” said a representative from Turismo Lanzarote
Luigi Cabrini, the president of GSTC and Tomás Azcárate, the president of ITR (Instituto de Turismo Responsable) travelled to Lanzarote to present the award on the 23rd April.
ITR is an independent organization and its purpose is implementing actions and programs of sustainable development in the touristic industry. For this target, ITR follows the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Rio 1992), and of the guidelines from several programs of the World Tourism Organisation and UNESCO about sustainable development and cultural and natural heritage protection.
ITR created and developed the Responsible Tourism System (STR) which is recognized by Biosphere Responsible Tourism label. The certification came up like an answer to establish the criteria to get a sustainable behavior into the international touristic business. Therefore, the STR promotes the sustainable touristic activities so that Responsible Tourism can be a specific touristic product. At present, the ITR maintain a MoU with UNESCO and is affiliated to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and it is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The process leading to the Biosphere Responsible Tourism recognition started back in July 2012 when Lanzarote became an Early Adopter of the Global Sustainable Council’s Sustainable Destination Criteria and Indicators. British turoperator TUI recommended Lanzarote to GSTC due to the sustainability trajectory followed by the island.
It is the first time that this award is awarded to an entire destination. Other destinations awarded include Okavango delta in Botswana, Teton County in Wyoming (USA), the Caribbean archipelago of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Fjords in Norway and Huangshan in China. Destinations that historically and traditionally have maximised the positive impacts that tourism has.
Lanzarote works closely with the Sustainable Destination Leadership Network and non- profit organization Sustainable Travel International in a sustainable model that contributes to the differentiation of Lanzarote in the international tourism market while strengthening the position of Lanzarote in those markets particularly sensitive to the preservation and care of the environment.