Subject: Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: get to know who was awarded in Brussels

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Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas
Dear readers,

Last week, we welcomed 4 new Sustainable Destinations to our network and proudly awarded 12 Sustainable Destinations that renewed their commitment. The Charter Award Ceremony 2019 was hosted by Roby Biwer, 
Vice-Chair of the ENVE Commission, at the EU Committee of the Regions, and was an opportunity to highlight the role of Protected Areas as catalysts of sustainable rural development through quality tourism.

In addition to the Sustainable Destinations awarded, the ceremony was also a moment to celebrate the collaborative work between parks and private businesses with the official announcement of the winners of EUROPARC Star Awards 2019 – the Sustainable Tourism Partners Awards. The winners came to Brussels to receive their Star Award, and now they need your help to win a trip to Austria (and join us at the EUROPARC Conference 2020!).

In this special eNews on Sustainable Tourism, we reveal you the Sustainable Destinations awarded and the stories of the five winners of EUROPARC Star Awards 2019, we are sure they will inspire you! Also, some good opportunities to those who are interested in improving skills on tourism management...

We wish you cheerful readings,


EUROPARC Directorate
Charter Award Ceremony
16 Sustainable Destinations awarded in Brussels
Protected Areas as drivers for Sustainable Tourism

On the 2nd December, the EUROPARC Federation 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.

The 4 New Sustainable Destinations
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 Sustainable Destinations (including two transboundary areas) in 16 European countries. The biggest network of its kind in the world!
Star Awards
The EUROPARC Star Awards aims to champion the effort and investments made by tourism businesses working with our Sustainable Destinations across Europe.

The implementation of the Charter methodology is an opportunity to work side-by-side with local business partners and ensure that tourism can bring social and economic benefits to the local community.

The Star Awards awarded 5 impressive businesses that have been active in the protection of their natural and cultural heritage, who are innovative and working to reduce environmental impacts, and work daily to inspire a sustainable behaviour among their clients.

The businesses are actively cooperating with the EUROPARC Network of Sustainable Destinations and now they need your help….
One of the businesses, together with a representative of the Park they are cooperating with, will be invited to present their business at EUROPARC Conference 2020, the largest event of protected area professionals in Europe that gathers over 400 participants annually!

The Conference will take place between 27-30th October, in Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park, Austria.

The voting ends at 23:59 of January 31st, and the Park with more votes will be the winner!

Category: Contribution to Conservation

Reviving the ancestors’ knowledge…

Partner of Delta del Ebro Natural Park, Catalonia
Category: Reducing impact on the environment

The flavour of self-sufficiency

Partner of Montseny Natural Park, Catalonia
Category: Building my community

Following the steps of locals

Partner of Cévennes National Park, France
Category: Communicating the values of my park and my business

The hotel that educates its guests in sustainability

Partner of Adamello Brenta Natural Park, Italy
Category: Innovation

The pioneer in sustainable mobility

Partner of Coastal Dunes Regional Park, Italy
3 awards for 'A Sustainable Journey'
A Sustainable Journey, film on sustainable tourism produced by EUROPARC Federation in the framework of the CEETO Interreg Central Europe project, was awarded with three new awards at two recent film festivals: the 12th edition of the ART&TUR – International Tourism Film Festival, and the 10th Amorgos Tourism Film Festival:
  • 1st place in the Documentary section, “Sustainable and Responsible Tourism” at the Amorgos Tourism Film Festival;
  • 1st place in the category “Environment and Ecology” at the ART&TUR Film Festival;
  • 2nd place in the category “Short Docs (up to 30’)” at the ART&TUR Film Festival.
Tools and resources
Presenting the CEETO NETWORK

CEETO Network is an association of practitioners in nature conservation and sustainable tourism in Europe, established by CEETO project partners.

To enable dialogue among interested stakeholders, the Network created the CEETO on-line platform, an easy-to-use platform for networking and knowledge sharing. Registering to the CEETO on-line (free) platform offers an opportunity to publicly and privately discuss and learn about sustainable tourism: visitor monitoring methodologies, engagement of local community and innovative practices in protected areas, especially those already tested in Europe.

Register, share your views in lively discussions and invite others who might be interested!
Erasmus+ Training
‘Sustainable Tourism: Training for Tomorrow’

Protected area professionals in Europe need to have a certain set of skills and tools for the development of sustainable tourism. But which are their training needs? With the Erasmus+ project ‘Sustainable Tourism: Training for Tomorrow’, we have identified the main skills and knowledge gaps for sustainable tourism professionals. To answer these needs, a free online learning platform will be launched soon. 

Stay tuned and download the report
DestiMED Footprint Calculator
Measure the Ecological Footprint of your Ecotourism Itineraries

Does your Protected Area offer ecotourism itineraries and sustainable destinations? Find out what is their Ecological Footprint with DestiMED’s Calculator. This free online Calculator, developed in cooperation with the support of the European programme Interreg-MED, enables to measure and monitor the Ecological Footprint, based on the 4 main aspects of an ecotourism package, i.e. accommodation, food & drinks, mobility & transfer activities and services.

Become a Sustainable Destination
Technical guidelines of EUROPARC

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is awarded by the EUROPARC Federation through an independent verification process. The award recognises not just a commitment to sustainable tourism but also the implementation of practical sustainable actions by public and private partners.

How to become a Sustainable Destination? Read more and download the technical guidelines, they are available in 5 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French and Catalan!
Conference 'Shaping ecotourism in partnership'
4 -5 February 2020, Joensuu, North Karelia Biosphere Reserve (Finland)

To mark the end of the SHAPE project a conference will be held on 4-5 February in Joensuu, Finland. Participants from around Europe are welcome to join and discuss their experiences of developing ecotourism initiatives and explore ways of using SHAPE outputs and experience to inform and support further ecotourism development.
The conference will focus on practical ways of developing sustainable ecotourism in rural areas rich in natural and cultural heritage. SHAPE aims to develop tourism that generates local economic value while preserving and enhancing the natural and cultural assets upon which it depends.


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