The Regional Director of Tourism, Rosa Costa, announced that the Azores are already working on the second-year validation of the silver certification of sustainable tourism destination by EarthCheck, believing that the Region can “achieve Gold Certification within three years”.

In December 2019 the Azores achieved the sustainable tourist destination certification by Earth Check, according to the international standards of Global Sustainable Tourism Council. This achievement has placed the Azores “as a leading global destination in the field of sustainability, being the first and only archipelago in the world with this certification”. This achievement has placed the Azores “as a leading global destination in the field of sustainability, being the first and only archipelago in the world with this certification”.

In the opinion of Rosa Costa, this achievement “reinforced the strategic positioning of the region, as a destination that combines its stunning nature, the authenticity of the customs and traditions of the population, contributing to the sustainable balance of the Region in the economic, social, cultural and environment, responding to current trends in international tourist demand for non-massified, nature-based and more sustainable destinations, where immersive, but respectful, contact with local communities is provided ”.

The Regional Director of Tourism, in an interview with Nonangon’s magazine ‘Thinktech’, stated that in the Azores “there is a struggle to improve the tourism sector, which is facing enormous difficulties, never before”. “It is difficult to manage expectations about the future, but we must continue to have hope and continue to be resilient, aiming and working for the rapid recovery in the sector as soon as possible, in which tourism will be the protagonist, which may trigger the economic recovery in the Azores, due to its sectoral transversality”, she affirmed.

She noted that the tourism sector “has been gaining great expression” in the Azores over the past few years, with a “very positive transversal performance for the Region”.

She considered that the tourism figures in 2019 “are a reflection of the growth of the sector, where there are more than 3 million overnight stays and 100 million euros in tourism income in traditional hotels”.

In the opinion of Rosa Costa, “the relaunch of Tourism” in the Region “will be guided by a strategy that combines Safety with Sustainability, guiding business models towards a service that values quality and the safety of tourists”.

In her opinion, “destinations that rely on more positive, sustainable, non-mass tourism models and in contact with the outdoors and nature, will be better prepared to receive tourists safely, so the Azores are positioned in the line of ahead while choosing a holiday destination”.

As Rosa Costa stated, “the Azores tourist destination is positioned as a destination of exuberant and exclusive nature, providing unique outdoor activities on land and at sea. It has a rich culture and gastronomy and provides immersive contact with the unique customs and experiences of the Azorean people”.

In the opinion of the Regional Director of Tourism, “the first steps in tourism have already been taken and, now, we must be more ambitious, raising the goals through the application of policies and regulations at the level of environmental, economic and social sustainability, in a transversal way in the region. We have to identify and enhance our cultural assets as a tourist product and continue to work on accessibility, product and service qualification, reinforcing training”.

“The premise of improving internal and external accessibility that guarantees tourist flows to the Region is essential for the development of tourism, as well as a surgical investment in priority markets and segments, so that tourists continue to be distributed throughout the islands of the Archipelago, and throughout the year, reducing the current marked seasonality and which continues in a consolidated way in the creation of wealth and employment”.
“It is essential to increase the external promotion of the destination through various promotional actions aimed at the intended targets, namely through digital marketing, communicating the Azores as a tourist destination of a nature, sustainable and experiential”, she added in the same interview.

Source: Correio dos Açores