category: best practices
With an increasing focus on innovative products, tourism is synergistically combined with the environmental aspect, generating activities inseparable and in close interdependence. Tourism activities need an environment to occur whether this is natural or not, and potentially positive or negative impacts may result from this interaction, depending on the care, actions and associated principles. Conversely, by conditioning tourism activities, climate change is a worldwide example, testing innovative and creative capacity.
Given the negative impacts associated with the presence of a more conservative tourism, the concern for its minimization arose, creating a tourism activity in harmony and with principles of environmental integration: sustainable tourism. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism is considered to be one that meets the needs of today's tourists and host regions while protecting and fostering opportunities for the future. Specifically, the sustainable development of tourism must be managed by managing all resources in such a way that they can meet economic, social and aesthetic needs while respecting cultural integrity, ecological processes, biodiversity and other natural systems that underpin it.
Inserted in local sustainability concerns increasingly demanded by the users, the lodgings and tourist enterprises, have several fronts of environmental quality recognition, namely the certification and the eco-labels. In the Azores, this adhesion has a very low expression due to the inadequacy of some criteria to local reality and, in some cases, to the fees associated with applications and applications. To bridge this gap and in order to ensure both judicious and appropriate environmental practices, to be implemented in local tourism enterprises, there was a need to restructure and create new parameters and speed up recognition by creating the present award.