The cloister of the Monastery of Ancede was the setting of excellence that hosted the ceremony for the delivery of the silver award to the Municipality of Baião, in recognition of the certification as a “Sustainable Tourist Destination”.
This distinction is awarded by EartCheck, a certifying entity in the area of sustainability in the areas of travel and tourism, which is governed by the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), a worldwide organization, with the support of the United Nations Foundation, of the United Nations for the Environment, Rainforest Alliance and the World Tourism Organization.
The GSTC works as an accreditation body for certifying entities and recognizes sustainable tourism programs or labels, being a world reference for the sector.
The Secretary of State for Tourism, Commerce and Services, Rita Marques, was present and congratulated Baião for being the first Portuguese municipality to achieve this specific certification.
“I am very grateful to this territory and to this specific municipality, because if we had many municipalities like Baião, we would have even more potential to attract more tourists to our country”. He added that “the Mayor of Baião needs little advice from the Secretary of State because he has done everything very well and I want to congratulate him on this ambitious project that contains many challenges, but also many opportunities and I hope that the Municipality of Baião , with everyone’s help, can bring this project to fruition, which I would like to be a paradigmatic example that can be replicated in other territories”.
Among the international presences, Luigi Cabrini, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSTC and Pau Pitarch de Dalmases, EartCheck representative for Southern Europe and Central America stand out.
This event also served to show the various individuals present, the requalification works that are being carried out to renew this monument of reference of Baião heritage.
4 PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY: ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL
The Secretary of State for Tourism emphasized the importance of investing in sustainability, referring that it is up to all public officials and society in general to “try to deliver a better planet than the one we found”, requiring an environmental, social and also economic approach. .
The Mayor of Baião, Paulo Pereira, said it was “a moment of great happiness” as the awarding of the distinction takes place in a secular space that is being rehabilitated.
He was also “proud to receive this certification, which complies with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which address various dimensions of sustainable development – social, cultural, economic and environmental, and promote peace, justice and effective institutions”. .”
The mayor also mentioned that “we have positioned ourselves nationally and internationally as a tourist destination of excellence, with a strong focus on nature, adventure, culture or gastronomy. And always with the guarantee of well-received.
Paulo Pereira, also left an appeal for “the construction of a more sustainable development model. From the micro-actions that each one of us has the obligation to implement, to the larger ones that have an impact on the so-called structural or innovative media.
Without artificiality and without massification, the process of Sustainable Tourist Destination is part of our contribution to the much-needed change in the socio-economic paradigm, and our commitment to the Future”.
There were several interventions, such as the president of the Union of Parishes of Ancede and Ribadouro, Daniel Guedes, who expressed that “it is with great pride that we receive such distinguished individualities in our ex-libris that is the Monastery of Ancede and from now on the invitation to visit us again. Baião is a unique municipality of differentiated beauty and with an important environmental aspect and these are the reasons that lead us to be here today to receive this prestigious certification”.
The representative of Earthcheck, Pau Pitarch De Dalmases, started by referring to the Monastery of Ancede as “a magical place”, thanking “the municipality of Baião for inviting us to be present on this symbolic day and in an environment so conducive to talking about sustainability. It is a great honor to be here and I congratulate Baião for achieving the sustainability goals that led to this certification. You are an example!”
The President of the Global Council for Sustainable Tourism, Luigi Cabrini, began by giving “congratulations to Baião and its policy makers for this certification. This fact gives greater credibility, greater transparency and greater access to tourist markets to these destinations that seek excellence and privilege sustainability, maximizing the benefits and reducing the negative impacts of tourism.
Today, it is already possible to see these results here in Baião, but this is a constant and evolving work and at the GSTC we are willing to accompany you on this journey.”
The president of the North Region Coordination and Development Commission, António Cunha, described the Monastery of Ancede as “a fantastic place where stones ‘speak’, have memory and convey sensations. It is being very well restored and it is a project that makes the Municipality and the entire North region proud.”
“This certification is the result of a commitment and a strategy that will bear fruit in the future and is a reflection of what tourism makes possible to territories from the point of view of economic, human and social development”, he concluded.
The president of Turismo do Porto e Norte de Portugal, Luís Pedro Martins, began by “congratulating the Municipality of Baião on this international certification and it is with great satisfaction that we are here today, at the Monastery of Ancede”, also leaving reference to the work that is being carried out. to be carried out in the entity that manages:
“Turismo do Porto e Norte de Portugal is working to be the first region to have a very important certification in this matter. We have a vision for sustainability in the territory and a very dynamic and innovative action plan that allows us to take the lead in tourism sustainability and while others look inland as a fatality, but we look at it as an opportunity and Baião is an example. ”
Representatives of the 4 territories certified as sustainable also spoke at the event – Baião, Melgaço, Arquipélago dos Açores and Järvsö (Sweden) – who shared the challenges encountered, and the benefits gained, with the completion of the certification process as a sustainable tourist destination. .
The session was also attended by several mayors of the region, such as Castelo de Paiva, Celorico de Basto, Cinfães, Felgueiras, Lamego, Lousada, Marco de Canaveses, Melgaço, Mesão Frio, Paredes, Resende or Valongo.