Aljezur on the west coast will host the Nature Tourism Biennial (Bienal de Turismo de Natureza – BTN’19) which will focus this year on sustainability.
The three-day conference on February 22, 23 and 24 will bring together tourism professionals, business leaders, public entity movers and shakers, and academics and researchers in a debate organised by Vicentina, the association for the development of the south-west.
Vicentina aims to examine the damaging effects that the tourism industry has on the environment, heritage, and natural, human and cultural resources and identify the areas where the industry operates.
As a consequence, it places emphasis on the importance of strategic and operational planning and sustainability measures.
The goal is to place the issue of sustainability right in the centre of the regional debate, challenging the Algarve to “look to a more sustainable future, with special attention to low-population and density and protected areas where the impact of tourism is largely ignored and could cause irreparable damage in the region”.
To debate the theme, the Nature Tourism Biennial has signed up a broad range of speakers linked to “best practices and experts in their fields” including Luigi Cabrini from Global Sustainable Tourism Council; Fátima Vieira, national coordinator of Green Key; Paulo Castro from the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (Europarc); Ana Garcia, President of Accessible Portugal; and Partrícia Araújo, CEO of Biosphera Portugal.
Apart from sustainability, the Nature Tourism Biennial will also address topics such as natural and cultural heritage, nature and tourism activities, and management and certification, themes that will be in focus in workshops open to those working in tourism companies and entities related to the sector.
The conference will take place at the Aljezur Multiuse Centre over three areas including an exhibition area focusing on sustainability solutions for companies, a B2B area supported by the Algarve Regional Development and Coordination Commission (CCDR) as well as a leisure area featuring a folk and artisan festival.