31 Oct Sustainability and innovation are essential allies
These days, if isn’t sustainable, it isn’t innovative. A key requirement of any renewal process is for business to respect sustainable development. For this, it isn’t enough to take into account the company’s environment: its social context and economic model must also be considered.
Although sustainability is automatically associated with respect for nature, it encompasses the entire environment in which tourist activities take place. This includes the local population, the cultural and historical heritage and, of course, the natural environment. From this perspective, sustainable means designed to be long-lasting and respectful of context.
This is a requirement which is increasingly demanded by society and from which tourist businesses can’t escape. The UN declared 2017 to be the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, although in reality the link between tourism and sustainability pre-dates this. By 2015, the United Nations General Assembly had already set itself the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to put an end to extreme poverty and combat inequality, injustice and climate change, among other issues. Based on this challenge, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) proposed to put tourism activity at the service of these goals, convinced that the sector can contribute directly or indirectly to facilitate each and every one of the SDGs.
In parallel with this evolution of events, new consumers – and therefore new tourists – have become more demanding, independent and sensitive to the reality that surrounds them; which means that whoever visits us expects to find a destination that is authentic and committed to its social and natural environment, in line with the idea of sustainable tourism.
Following the lines of action of the INNOVATUR project, which fosters collaboration between public and private organisations, the Island Council of Tenerife has a programme of more than thirty actions to promote sustainable tourism by 2018 through the Turismo de Tenerife and the Island’s Department for the Environment. These include educational talks, cleaning the seabed, holding a workshop on sustainable audiovisual productions and the recent renewal of the “Quality Charter” for companies engaged in whale-watching.
In addition, it will give continuity to events such as the “Tenerife Walking Festival” or “Respect the Mountains”, undertaken in 2017 to mark the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, demonstrating that they are beneficial actions for the Island with greater impact than just the celebration of an isolated “Year of…”. In the words of Island Councillor for Tourism, Alberto Bernabé, “sustainability must be a regarded as a key and compulsory aspect”.
This tourism renovation project puts a team of expert advisors at your disposal – free of charge – so that you can find out how to make your commercial business or accommodation offering a sustainable business with a competitive future which is recognised for its contribution to the environment. All you have to do is register with INNOVATUR.