Charter Award Ceremony 2013 in the European Parliament, Brussels (B)

9th European Charter Network Meeting

4-7th May Vila Nova de Cerveira Portugal

Posted: 12th May 2015

The European Charter Network Meeting has just successfully concluded. Last week at the Inatel Hotel in Vila Nova de Cerveira, in the beautiful Altho Minho in the north of Portugal, took place the 9th edition of the meeting.

The event, kindly hosted by the Cim Alto Minho one of the applicants for 2015, and supported by the ADERE Peneda Geres has been a unique opportunity for tourism business and parks to showcase their work in sustainable tourism and to learn from each other. Through key note speeches and practical workshops the participants have looked at new ways forward in the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas and how it contributes to a resource-efficient, green and competitive, low-carbon and climate resilient economy!

The meeting was opened by the President of the executive council of CIM Alto Minho (Mr. Eng. José Maria Costa), the President of the Município de Vila Nova de Cerveira (Eng. Fernando Nogueira) and  the President of the EUROPARC Federation (Mr. Ignace Schops). Present at the opening session also the Secretário de Estado do Ordenamento do Território e da Conservação da Natureza which pointed out the wide range of possibilities that sustainable tourism offers to the growth of Portugal through the integrated development of regions and municipalities by creating a model of development set on the heritage and natural resources of the region and aligned to the EU values. Economic development integrated in nature, sustainable green growth and cooperation with partners on the territories the main aspect of its very motivating intervention.  

On the agenda the challenges the Charter Network needs to face to properly deliver its goals in line with the new approved EUROPARC Federation strategy 2015-2020. Three the main workshop sessions during which key topics have been discussed and developed:

-          the new Charter fundamentals texts, templates and procedures

-          experience of involving tourism businesses in the Charter

-          the active involvement of travel agencies in the Charter

-          monitor sustainability in the Action Plans of the ECST and the Tourism Businesses

-          building a common strategy with other awarding schemes of tourism destinations

-          strategies for the Internationalization of the Charter

-          a new way of communicating the Charter, branding and logo development

Many the inputs that came out of the workshops including a new communication strategy of the Charter, logo and branding, the work on the new charter forms and procedures have been finalized and once edited will be circulated amongst the network. Moreover, a new cooperation strategy between the Federation and the Section has been discussed to gain mutual support amongst sections and directorate. Very interesting also the work of the French section on the development of the Charter Part III methodology to be adapted at national level and spread through the network.  

About 80 people coming from different countries have been working together during two days with the common goal in mind that: "Sustainable Tourism is an opportunity for the future" and that: "the Charter is the solution to make this happen by connecting societies with biodiversity, economic values with social values"  (cit. Ignace Schops EUROPARC Federation President).

Have a look at some pictures of the event on our flikr account!

You can find the presentations held during the meeting following these links:

Delivering the EUROPARC Strategy and the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism: Challenge 2015-2020 by Ignace Schops

The ECST challenge in the North Region of Portugal by Associação Parques Com Vida, Vitor Sousa

The ECST challenge in Alto Minho Territory by CIM Alto Minho, Julio Pereira




Website by: Julian Guy

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