Madeira undergoing sustainable certification process with EarthCheck; new eco-tourism partners, including Terra Bona Agrotourism project (accommodation launching 2022) and solar-panelled boats for dolphin and whale watching
Clockwise from top left: San Lorenzo Peninsula, vineyard at Quinta das Vinhas, Restaurant at Socalco Nature Hotel, Casas de Levada, Terra Bona
MADEIRA, 2022-Apr-22 — /Travel PR News/ — A key goal for the destination of Madeira in 2022 is to enhance its sustainability credentials for tourism. ‘MADEIRA. BELONGS TO ALL. SO SUSTAINBLE’ is the slogan of the project which aims to involve the entire local community. The certification process with EarthCheck began last month – the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism and an entity accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). It is due to be completed by the start of 2023.
This coincides with a growth of eco-tourism offerings in the destination, including the launch of accommodation at Terra Bona this year, an exciting Agrotourism project, Onda Solar tours – solar panelled dolphin and whale watching boats, and various other initiatives.
This project also follows on from the creation of the largest marine reserve in The Northern Atlantic and Europe surrounding The Savage Islands (part of the Madeiran Archipelago) in 2021, the accreditation of Porto Santo (part of Madeiran Archipelago) as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2020, as well as the Laurisilva Forest being a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, which covers around 20% of the main island.
Some Eco-Tourism Projects in Madeira (non-exhaustive list):
- *NEW for 2022* Terra Bona – organic wine production with new accommodation
- Socalco Nature Hotel – rural boutique hotel guided by permaculture principles, with locally produced dining
- Casas de Levada – self-catered accommodation in the mountains, surrounded by an organic garden and farm animals, featured in Conde Nast Traveller
- Onda Solar Tours – solar panelled dolphin and whale watching tours
- True Spirit Jeep Tours – 4X4 off-roading with carbon-offsetting programme to plant trees outside Funchal
- Justino’s X Quinta das Vinhas Bio Wine project – organic, biodynamic wine from the experimental vineyard
EarthCheck Sustainability Certification Process
The process will involve those working in tourism, the wider local community and visitors, seeking to meet sustainable development objectives (SDGs) defined by the UN and sustainability criteria of the GSTC, thus reinforcing the integrated development of the destination sustainably, across environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects.
The destination has created a management structure to lead the process and initiatives, called the Destination Management Organisation (DMO), consisting of several working groups and an advisory board. On 8th February 2022, the first workshop will be held, starting with a letter of commitment. The next steps of the certification process involve the definition of the Destination Sustainability Policy, as well as benchmarking that involves the collection of several qualitative and quantitative key performance indications, a risk assessment plan and an action plan for sustainability.
Eduardo Jesus, Regional Secretary of Tourism said of the development: “this is a natural and fundamental step in the affirmation of Madeira as a tourism destination of excellence, capable of generating a differentiated demand, for being at the forefront of promoting the sustainable development of the territory in environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects. We want to involve the entire local community in the process because we believe that an excellent territory for those who visit is capable of generating well-being for residents.”
The audit of the destination should be carried out at the end of the year, meaning that at the start of 2023 the Autonomous Region of Madeira can receive ‘Silver’ certification as a sustainable tourism destination.
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About the Madeira Archipelago
Considered The Best Island Destination in the World (World Travel Awards), Madeira is a small Portuguese paradise located amid the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean. Of volcanic origin, its privileged location provides a mild climate and sea with pleasant temperatures all year round, in addition to impressive sceneries of mountains, valleys and cliffs, all covered by the exuberant Laurissilva vegetation, named Natural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. The archipelago is formed by a set of islands, the main and only inhabited being Madeira and Porto Santo. There are excellent options for spas, historic monuments and great hotels and restaurants, where you can sample delicious cuisine and award-winning Madeiran wines.
For more information, visit www.madeiraallyear.com.