The Sustainability Case of the Azores Archipelago

A couple of weeks in the past, I couldn’t comprise my pleasure as I stepped into the Azores Archipelago for the very first time. I used to be in the midst of the Atlantic to talk at a convention on Sustainable Tourism ‘Encontro Regional de Turismo dos Açores’ organized by the Governo dos Açores and Azores DMO, with regional commerce companions. We landed on Santa Maria, additionally known as the ‘Sunshine Island’, and for good motive. As our aircraft was getting ready for touchdown I may already really feel the facility of the wind and see nature throughout.

Convention Insights

As I fastidiously listened in Portuguese, I realized that the Azores are the World’s first licensed archipelago designated as a sustainable vacationer vacation spot by Earthcheck. What does this imply technically? 

From pure indicators:

  •  92% of Azores territory is classed as a Inexperienced Space and 39% is a Protected Habitat
  • Capitalizing on their native renewable power assets, the Azores presently generate about 40% of their electrical energy from renewables, 60% of which come from geothermal power (the rest is supplied primarily by means of wind and hydroelectric energy).

One problem when visiting the Azores is the necessity to fly to connect with most islands inside the archipelago, however the excellent news is that on October twenty fourth, SATA Airways noticed its first-ever flight utilizing sustainable aviation gas (SAF).

As superb as this sounds, there may be extra to sustainability than simply the environmental facet and each firm that works within the area wants to offer again to the neighborhood. 

On the convention, the viewers was full of about 160 Azorean tourism professionals, together with guesthouse house owners, native operators, automobile rental representatives, eating places, travel businesses, and exercise suppliers. Your entire journey ecosystem was engaged, and we had been additionally in a position to meet with Santa Maria’s neighborhood members, together with native farmers and artisans, which was such a spotlight!

Journey Journey / ATTA Group 

On the panel, I used to be in a position to share in regards to the which means of Journey Journey and its constructive influence on the neighborhood by means of a deeper connection to the vacation spot, larger native funding and engagement, and the facility of collaboration and neighborhood. We additionally mentioned Seasonality (attracting guests exterior the excessive season), Range (exploring websites off the crushed path), and Sluggish Journey (spending extra time exploring every location) and talked about certification.

We additionally co-hosted an AdventureConnect occasion with Governo dos Açores, due to Rosa Costa, Regional Tourism Director, and we had been thrilled to have some key ATTA members to share their experiences, together with members from Picos de Aventura, Rota Vicentina and Futurismo Azores Adventures, with our ambassador Carlos Picanço.

“ It’s actually essential to be related and to really feel that you’re not alone however that there’s a large motion, the place everybody has the identical challenges and you’re collectively, supporting one another, and sharing the identical imaginative and prescient, that is priceless!” Marta Cabral – Rota Vicentina

Native Agrotourism & the Volcanic Wine of Santa Maria

Santa Maria is the oldest volcanic island of the archipelago, and like its neighbors, it’s coated by black basalt stones. The partitions had been constructed from these stones on the island again within the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and have become ruins and in want of a challenge to renovate and protect them. 

Right here comes the wine… 

Impressed by Pico, nicknamed “the island of wine”, the dry-stone partitions manufactured from black basalt stones had been rebuilt in terrasses to guard the vines from the wind, salt, solar and chilly temperature whereas the basalt saved the warmth of the day in a single day. The black basalt stones first needed to be faraway from the bottom to render the soil fertile. The eliminated basalt stones had been then used to construct these protecting dry-walls.

Santa Maria with its sunny local weather had the right situations for this strategy. The grapes stay on the bottom utilizing the partitions as a shelter, making for an uncommon and fully natural atmosphere whereas preserving the ancestral tradition of native wine.

Supported by RURITAGE, the municipality of Vila do Porto along with companions goals to regenerate the panorama by valuing its vineyards and wine-making enterprise, bringing collectively pursuits from the atmosphere, agriculture, tourism, and cultural businesses. With a collaborative rehabilitation strategy of the agricultural heritage panorama, the area people goals to show issues round and develop a sustainable tangible worth by means of cultural, ecotourism and product gross sales.

This can be a nice instance of how collaboration between native farmers, scientists, authorities and personal tourism sector could make a extremely constructive influence for all.


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