Quality Coast 2013 Gold Awards for sustainable tourism

Posted on 2013/05/22 by

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Tourism Awards for Galicia and Pafos – The Spanish coastal town Baiona in Galicia, and Pafos region (Cyprus) are the winners of the QualityCoast 2013 Gold Awards for sustainable tourism.

The Awards were presented at European Maritime Day which  was celebrated on 20 May in Gozo (Malta), another QualityCoast 2012 Gold winner. The Portuguese  archipelago of the Azores remains Europe’s best overall “green” tourism destination, like in 2012,  when they won QualityCoast Gold.

Paphos Quality Coast in Cyprus

1000 destinations assessed world wide Candidate destinations have been assessed by an international team making use of more than 100 indicators covering all aspects of sustainability: nature; environment; local identity & culture; tourism  & business; host community & safety. The annual QualityCoast Award series is an initiative of the  European Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC), that is assessing sustainability aspects of 1000 tourism  destinations worldwide.

The award are a recognition for the destinations’ efforts to sustain the attractiveness of their tourism
in the future. Not only visible, tangible aspects are measured, such as natural heritage, but also policy
and management plans that take sustainable development principles into account. Representatives
of award winning destinations are attending the ceremony and they are speakers at European
Maritime Day conference in Valetta, Malta, 21-22 May.

The Portuguese town of Cascais and the German island Norderney are the winners of QualityCoast
Silver. All municipalities of the Portuguese West region (including Peniche, Torres Vedras, Obidos,
Nazaré) received QualityCoast Bronze. The QualityCoast Nature Award was presented to the Marine
National Parks of Kosterhavet (Sweden) and Ytre Hvaler (Norway).

The Azores is leading the European green tourism hit list since May 2012. The Azores have profited
from its policy to make its local and regional products in a traditional way, especially wine, cheese,
fruits, tea and tuna. Azores tuna is captured with traditional poles and lines, in a dolphin friendly
manner; it is among the most sustainable canned tuna in the world market. Furthermore, the region
has managed to turn the economic drawback due to the international ban on commercial whaling
into an opportunity by developing whale watching. The Azores regional authority aims at exploring
and optimizing renewable energy, in particular wind, geothermic and biomass.

About QualityCoast
QualityCoast is the largest independent international certification programme for sustainable
tourism destinations. Since 2007, more than 140 tourism destinations in 23 countries have been
selected for a QualityCoast Award: coastal towns, resorts and islands. It is supported by the European
Commission. www.qualitycoast.info

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Posted in: Sustainability