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Mission accomplished: Valsugana is the first Eco-Destination!

Mission accomplished: Valsugana is the first Eco-Destination!

The Valsugana valley is the first and only worldwide certified sustainable destination, under the GSTC criteria. An unprecedented participative process that has led to a such a prestigious recognition for the territory as the first Italian destination certified by GSTC and the first one in Europe and in the world according to the GSTC standards.

A model that will put the community first, a positive example of Italian excellence that confirm and reaffirm the focus Valsugana has on sustainability and climate change.

What is GSTC - Global Sustainable Tourism Council?

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a not-for-profit organization, that gather numerous international bodies, one of which being the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), ONG, national and local administrations, all united by the will to put into actions good practices on the matter “sustainable tourism”.
This organ’s goal is to define and manage global standards for the evaluation of the sustainability criteria of destinations, tour operators and accommodations.

The criteria which the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) certification is based on have been defined using the United Nation 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a baseline: these have been translated by several organization (such as the UNWTO – United Nations World Tourism Organization) into about one hundred concrete indicators specific for touristic destinations, tour operator and accommodations. Many companies leader in their sector such as TUI and Alpitour have already implemented these sustainability guidelines into their strategy.

Certification, a starting point

The GSTC certification isn’t just a final goal. It defines and gives even more value to the already intrinsic characteristics of the touristic destination as a territorial system (e.g. attention to the environment and the climate changes, green and slow touristic experiences, the safeguard and well-being of the local community…). It stimulates the further development of actions under a community and participative logic for a more quality and conscious tourism.
Because the first ambassador of a sustainable lifestyle, to share and promote, is the community that lives in that territory and that puts its well-being right in the center… towards and eco-destination.

A daily effort that can be translated into four main objectives:
  • Demonstrate a sustainable destination management
  • Maximize social and economic benefits and minimize all negative impacts for the hosting community
  • Maximize benefits for the community, the visitors and the cultural heritage and minimize all negative impacts
  • Maximize benefits for the environment and minimize all negative impacts

The certification has been achieved thanks to the effort of the Valsugana Lagorai Tourist Board and the local stakeholders and the coordination and participation of the company “Etifor”, spin-off of the University of Padua, member of the GSTC and first consulting agency in Italy to support such a certification process. The accredited audit company was Vireo srl, from Padua.

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