Sustainability will be the motto for the second edition of the Biennial of Nature Tourism (BTN'19), which starts tomorrow and will run until Sunday, the 24th, in Aljezur. The official opening of the event, scheduled at 18:30 pm this Friday, will be in charge of the Secretary of State for Forests and Rural Development, Miguel Freitas.
The event, organized by Vicentina – Association for the Development of the Southwest, will bring together, for three days, tourism professionals, businessmen, decision makers, certifying entities and researchers from the sector, and aims to launch Sustainability as a point of reflection for the development of the territory in the coming years.
“There is no doubt about the need to value the region's natural and heritage resources, incorporating principles of social, economic and environmental sustainability”, considers Vicentina.
José Gonçalves, President of the Municipality hosting the event, also underlines “the importance of BTN'19, because, since always, Nature Tourism has been of great importance to Aljezur, since Nature is in fact the greatest asset of the council”.
The mayor warns, however, that the event should serve to “call the attention of decision makers who have competences in these areas, because Nature Tourism can be a product of excellence and has very interesting opportunities, not only in Aljezur, but throughout the region, but it also has many associated risks”.
For this reason, he points out, “discussing the challenges that will be presented to us and trying to fine-tune a solid and concrete strategy to address the future”.
In this sense, to BTN'19 will feature a number of excellent speakers linked to the main tools for certification or awards and best practices for sustainable development. Luigi Cabrini, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and former director of the Sustainable Tourism Program of the World Tourism Organization, Fátima Vieira, coordinator of the Green Key, or Paulo Castro, of the Europarc Sustainable Tourism Charter, are confirmed presences in the debates.
Also present will be Ana Garcia, president of Accessible Portugal, António Carlos Duarte, coordinator of Geopark Arouca, Catarina Gonçalves, national coordinator of the Blue Flag Program of the Blue Flag Association of Europe, or Patrícia Araújo, CEO of Biosphera Portugal, who is working certification of the Alentejo region.
In addition to these speakers, various regional and national decision makers will be present at the round tables that will take place this Friday. At the end of the debate cycle, Sérgio Guerreiro, coordinating director of Tourism Knowledge Management in Portugal, and a message transmitted by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, will precede the official opening of the event.
At this time, in addition to Secretary of State Miguel Freitas, they will be present Aura Fraga, President of the Board of Directors of Vicentina, Fátima Catarina, vice president of the Algarve Tourism Region, Paulo Águas, rector of the University of Algarve, Pedro Valadas Monteiro, regional director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Francisco Serra, president of the Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR) of the Algarve, Jorge Botelho, president of the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL), and José Gonçalves, president of the Municipality of Aljezur.
Simultaneously, over the three days, more than 50 Knowledge Workshops (upon registration) supported by mentors from institutions such as the University of Algarve, Turismo de Portugal, Rota Vicentina, Almargem or entrepreneurs linked to the region's tourism dynamics.
Sustainability also extends to the innovative format of the fair installed at Espaço Multiusos in Aljezur. All stands were built from cardboard boxes, which will then be collected by Algar for recycling. On the other hand, waste management will also comply with the ECO Event membership standards.
The BTN'19, which will take place between 09:30 am and 23:00 pm on the 22nd and 23rd, and between 09:30 am and 22:00 pm on the 24th, is possible through the co-financing of CRESC Algarve and the Municipality of Aljezur and through partnerships with Municipalities , Algarve Tourism Region, In Loco, Terras do Baixo Guadiana, Almargem, Rota Vicentina, among other entities.
The event program can be found here: