The project, which is being carried out by the Regional Tourism Board of Alentejo and Ribatejo, together with the Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR), was in focus on Friday at the International Conference entitled “Certification of the Alentejo/Ribatejo Tourism Destination,” in Évora.
“It is very positive and was a step forward for Alentejo,” to “transform itself into a sustainable tourism detination,” said the Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, who attended the conference.
She noted this would offer the region “international projection,” because it would be only the second destination in Europe (after Spain) with this certification and it would also help “improve and qualify what is on offer,” as it “requires all areas of the business, from accommodation, restaurants and entertainment to meet a number of conditions.”
The “Biosphere Responsible Tourism” standard was created by ITR and is recognised by the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) and the World Tourism Organisation, according to the Biosphere Portugal website.
The project is already underway and has received European Community funding, said the president of the Alentejo and Ribatejo Tourism Region, António Ceia da Silva. The certification process is expected to be concluded in 2020, he said.