16 Sustainable Destinations awarded in Brussels

Charter Award Ceremony 2019, EU Committee of the Regions, Brussels

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On the 2nd of December, the EUROPARC Federation, the European network of Protected Areas, announced the sixteen Sustainable Destinations of 2019, in a special event hosted by the European Committee of the Regions, in Brussels. Four new Sustainable Destinations were announced at the Charter Award Ceremony 2019, along with the twelve that renewed their commitment this year.

Protected Areas as drivers for Sustainable Tourism

Charter Awards Ceremony 2019 in Brussels.

The event was an opportunity to highlight the role of Protected Areas as catalysts of a sustainable rural development through quality tourism but also to celebrate the collaborative work between Parks and private businesses. The winners of the Star Awards 2019 – the Sustainable Tourism Partners Award were also announced at the event.

In 2019, four new Sustainable Destinations joined the network and twelve current ones renewed their commitment.

Every year, the EUROPARC Federation awards Protected Areas who have successfully applied the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas methodology, delivering a tourism approach that is good for parks and good for people. To create positive outcomes for local communities, increase economic opportunities, whilst reducing environmental impacts of tourism, are the aims of the methodology managed by the EUROPARC Federation,  now implemented by 110 protected areas in 16 European countries. The biggest network of its kind in the world.

“Sustainable tourism is cooperation, common vision, respect for the environment, local pride, and it is a beautiful form of democratic participation” said the representative of the Italian Colline Metallifere Grossetane National Park who renewed its commitment this year, after being first awarded in 2014.

Sustainable Destinations awarded

The 4 New Sustainable Destinations

The 12 Sustainable Destinations that will renew their commitment

Pursuing continuous improvement

The Charter Award is valid for a period of five years, during which, the Protected Area authority will implement, through a join collaborative work, with its local actors, a strategy and action plan for the territory. However, the process is not over after the first five years of implementation.

Sustainability requires a long-term commitment, based on the principle of continuous improvement,  therefore EUROPARC Sustainable Destinations are invited to assess their performance after the five years of the Award, and redesign a future action plan.