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Case Study on the Sustainable Destination of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Álava Province (Spain) - Susana Conde


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Case study at Summer School "Leadership and Governance for Sustainable Tourism - 1 July 2014, Finland

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Case Study on the Sustainable Destination of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Álava Province (Spain) - Susana Conde

  2. 2. Who are we?  We are the first Spanish company certified with Travelife, specialised in Responsible & Sustainable Tourism We are working as both an outbound and inbound travel agency, in Spain and especially in the Basque Country We are also a tour-operator of community-based tourism & ecotourism in Mexico, Totonal Viajes que Iluminan In addition, we are developing projects related to sustainable tourism, to promote and advise in this field in different destinations around the world.
  3. 3. DESTINATION POTENTIAL Vitoria-Gasteiz / Álava  Located in the Basque Country, an unknown yet surprising destination  Its natural richness, cultural identity, and variety of food & wine makes it a destination with a great sustainable potential  A small but emerging destination: Vitoria-Gasteiz receives 346.000 visitors last year, and the entire Álava province 526.000 .
  4. 4. Tourist potential as a sustainable destination Vitoria-Gasteiz/Álava  Vitoria-Gasteiz = European Green Capital 2012, with a sustainable city development and urban expansion  The province of Alava has : - protected natural areas - wine region candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Sites - restored historical centres given Europa Nostra awards.  Great diversity of traditions, customs, and unique cultural events
  5. 5. Destination Leadership & Governance Vitoria-Gasteiz/Álava The Strategic Tourism Plan 2020 of the Basque Country supports its sustainable development  At the same time, local administrations such as the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Álava County Council, have made sustainability the main strategic focus for future tourism development  The project leadership is managed by local public institutions promoting the participation of the local tourism industry  The leading hub for the entire province’s sustainable destination development is its capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz
  6. 6. Destination’s objectives in terms of sustainability We believe the best option is to work on a long term basis searching for progress in the field of sustainability and responsibility. This work should help in building a renowned sustainable destination and thus a responsible one, for tourists to enjoy.
  7. 7. Destination’s objectives in terms of sustainability 1. Transform Vitoria-Gasteiz and Alava in a sustainable and responsible destination. 2. To promote the involvement and participation of the tourism industry as well as the local community. 3. To present and to position the city as an pioneering destination in sustainable tourism,in order to attract tourists interested in sustainable and green destinations.
  8. 8. Phases of the project 1. To evaluate the destination according to the GSTC criteria 2. After obtaining the evaluation results, start working with the stakeholders: - Implement a Sustainable Tourism Forum in Vitoria-Gasteiz - Practical workshops with concerned parties in other parts of the province: the tourism industry, local institutions, local community, local businesses, cultural and environmental associations etc. 3. With the conclusions drawn from phase 2, launch the corresponding initiatives to improve the destination’s sustainability 4. To implement a destination management based on the EU Sustainable Tourism Indicators ( TIES)
  9. 9. Phase 1: Evaluation of the Destination • This phase was developed by implementing the PM4ESD methodology, with the idea to apply it to the next phases of the project • The difficulties we found : - the Project Board’s lack of understanding of the methodology, - Business Case, - Risk management, - Finalizing the phase.
  10. 10. The Analysis & the Evaluation of the results • Results are quite good at the provincial level especially in the environmental indicators • Allows to set a starting point to begin working on the weakest sustainability aspects detected • Factor of motivation for local region to continue working towards making a sustainable destination
  11. 11. Phase 2: Working with stakeholders • The concerned stakeholders identified in each region are already taking part in the project to decide together on future necessary actions to progress towards a more sustainable destination • To involve the local tourism industry, the local community, and of course the tourists. Fields in which more weaknesses were detected.
  12. 12. Conclusions on the work that has been achieved so far: • Everyone is learning a lot on how to work towards sustainability • This project is being considered as platform for future collaboration within Álava • One of the biggest difficulties is to manage the communication and participation of all stakeholders • It is necessary to transfer the leadership to the private industry and the local community, although under public administration control
  13. 13. MANY THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION www.turismoresponsable. es info@turismoresponsable.e s QUESTIONS?