EUROPARC Star Awards 2022

All the 2021/22 Star Award winners at the Award Ceremony in the European Parliament.

EUROPARC Sustainable Tourism Partners’ Award

Sustainable Destinations depend on businesses, communities, and municipalities that are all working for a common purpose.

That is why, with the biannual STAR Awards, EUROPARC seeks to celebrate, champion and acknowledge the effort and investments made by tourism businesses to be more sustainable and help to protect their natural and cultural heritage.

The STAR Awards are your chance to really put the sustainability of your business on the map!

You can get inspired by the previous winners of STAR Awards here.

What are the categories?

With the Star Awards, we honour those businesses that actively create sustainable offers for tourists. This was the second edition of this award.

Business could apply in 4 categories:

  • Contribution to Conservation
  • Reducing impact on the Environment
  • Building my Community
  • Communication the values of my Park and my Business

All categories include some questions regarding “Contribution to Conservation“, as it is a fundamental principle of the Charter for Sustainable Tourism. All applications were considered by an international jury, made up of Sustainable Tourism experts.

Who are the winners?

Trescàlia (ES) – Contribution to conservation

Butterfly monitoring activities organised by Trescalia

Trescàlia provides nature and cultural tours. The company has sustainability at their core. They have been part of the permanent Forum for Sustainable Tourism “Turisme Garrotxa” in the La Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa Nature Park, since its beginnings in 2013. Within the forum, they help promote the “Garrotxa Experience Catalogue” for tourism agencies. This catalogue contains ecotourism proposals, with all ECST accredited companies in the area!

The International Jury awarded the incoming tourism agency Trescàlia in the Contribution to Conservation Category for their very positive commitment to raising environmental awareness amongst tourists and visitors.

You can learn more about them here.

Hotel Gran Rey (ES) – Reducing impacts on the environment

Hotel Gran Rey offers a sustainable place to stay, for all those that want to enjoy a natural holiday.

View from the Hotel Gran Rey.

The hotel was created with the philosophy of integrating into the environment. It is located in a landscape formed by steep cliffs, palm groves, springs, and farmhouses. It belongs to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in La Gomera since 2011, and as such, works closely together with the Garajonay National Park.

The International Jury awarded the Hotel Gran Rey from La Gomera, because they have done an excellent and well-documented job implementing different measures to reduce water and electricity consumption, recycle and reduce packaging.

You can learn more about them here.

Explore Iberia (PT) – Building my community

Cultural activities from Explore Iberia.

Explore Iberia is a small independent tour operator that is invested in providing visitors with an authentic experience in Northern Portugal and Galicia. When creating their activities, the team always makes sure to add a “cultural discovery moment”, where interpretation and experiencing the local culture play a key role. From corn bread workshops, to seaweed harvest or traditional pottery painting, visitors can experience the authentic culture of the region, whilst enjoying local food and drinks.

The International Jury awarded the tourism agency and activities provider Explore Iberia for their work as promoters of a consortium of local business.

You can learn more about them here.

Pensión Candelaria (ES) – Communicating the values of my Park and Business

Plantation activities from Pension Candelaria.

Our second winner from the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in La Gomera: Pensión Candelaria! The staff puts great care into promoting the natural values of the area to their visitors, particular to German tourists. However, the Pensión Candelaria does not just tell the story of the area, they also help maintain it! The staff are active collaborators in the Plántate project. This participatory project promotes the reforestation of thermophilic forests in La Gomera.

The International Jury awarded the accommodation Pensión Candelaria from La Gomera because, despite being a small company, they are very active. They lead, cooperate and communicate about actions and projects linked to environmental problems on the island – fires, reforestation, carbon footprint compensation or beach cleaning.

You can learn more about them here.

Projecte Sèpia (ES) – Innovation (special award)

Conservation measures taken by Projecte Sepia

The PROJECTE SEPIA was born with the aim of improving the breeding conditions of cephalopods and repopulating the waters of the Empordà, Spain. Together with local, artisanal fishermen, the project wants to preserve traditional fishing and promote sustainable practices.

The International Jury decided to create a special award on Innovation to acknowledge the originality of this conservation project and the strong cooperation with fishermen, schools and tourist business.

You can learn more about them here.

Hotel Ristorante La Pieja (IT) – Global approach to sustainablity (overall winner)

The hotel and restaurant La Pieja wants to create an “Economy of well-being” centred around

Trail cleaning done by La Pieja

enjoyment and conservation of nature in the area of the Abruzzo National Park. To make that goal a reality, they have created an integrated offer for tourists, that includes nature, culture and outdoor activities. All of this is done in close cooperation with other local operators, guides, and museums. La Pieja regularly meets with the Abruzzo Park Authority and local producers to create common objectives and commitments that ensure adherence to ecological standards.

The International Jury decided to award the Hotel Ristorante La Pieja as the overall winner of the Star Awards 2021-2022 edition for their comprehensive approach to sustainability. Hotel Ristorante La Pieja has been the only one to candidate to all four categories with consistently strong performance across all four.

You can learn more about them here.

EUROPARC Congratulates these businesses for leading the way on Sustainable Tourism. Only in working together, can we create tourism that is Good for Nature and Good for People!

Take a look at the album to see all the photos from the event:

If you would like to download the photos, you can find them here.