Visit València has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as a destination member.
VISIT VALÈNCIA is a non-profit Foundation with the participation of the València City Council in association with the majority of the local tourism industry. Its goal is the strategic management and promotion of the city of València as a tourist destination, with a professional focus that combines public and private interest.
Since its creation in 1991, the Foundation has contributed to the evolution of tourism in the city, favouring employment, tourism development and increase in its economic impact; factors which have directly influenced the wellbeing of Valencian society.
Since 2016 sustainability has been an important part of the strategic plans. Since then, Visit València has been gathering information from entities that are working on the subject and have put it into practice by participating in various national and international projects.
But in the face of the new tourism paradigm, there is a new context. On the one hand, the 2030 agenda, where tourism is one of the six priority sectors of activity for a circular Spain. On the other hand, the climate emergency demands changes in the tourism strategy of any destination due to the impacts it entails and a circular economy tactic that will also include new “green” regulations, where the best-adapted destination will be the most competitive. Finally, the COVID pandemic19 has generated many reflections on the extreme sensitivity of tourism and the need to contemplate destinations in their entirety, moving from marketing to management, taking the citizen more into account.
The following are the key actors of sustainability in Valencia: Sustainability working group in the Municipal Tourism Council, to guarantee the participation of all actors; Technical assistance: Visit València has allied with the Fundación Aguas de Valencia to provide the sector and the administration with smart, digital tools to make progress in the area of sustainability; Sustainable tourism task group of the Visit València Foundation (administration, companies and universities).
The sustainability roadmap in Valencia
Visit València has designed the basis of the sustainability strategy through a control panel with 151 indicators that unify those of the European Commission, the UNE standard, the Generalitat Valenciana, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Criteria, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Within the frame of a diagnosis of the economic, social and environmental sustainability of tourism activity, Visit València has calculated the carbon footprint it generates in order to become an emission-neutral destination by 2025.
“The Councilor of Tourism and President of Visit Valencia, Emiliano García, pointed out that “Valencia has started the path to tourism sustainability with very clear and very ambitious objectives. Our reference project is to become a carbon-neutral destination in 2025, and to continue supporting the many social, economic and environmental initiatives underway.”
Garcia believes “Sustainable tourism is incredibly important to the tourism of tomorrow and is one of the biggest travel trends to emerge since the turn of the pandemic. It is vital that the global tourism industry comes together as a whole to address the challenges of the climate emergency as well as the need to recover sustainably after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
GSTC Welcomes Valencia
“We warmly welcome Visit Valencia as a GSTC destination member. Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain and a well-renowned tourist destination, has embraced a comprehensive strategy to improve its sustainability and we look forward to contributing to its ambitious goals,” says GSTC Chairman Luigi Cabrini. “The pandemic is hitting the tourism industry hard everywhere but also provides the opportunity to reflect on the tourism model that generates real and lasting benefits to the community. Visit Valencia has undertaken this approach and the GSTC Criteria framework provides tools for its implementation.”