NECSTouR, the Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism, and SPEL-Lanzarote, the organisation responsible for the tourism promotion of Lanzarote, are committed to “Empowering Destination Leaders to Deliver Sustainability” in a joint Masterclass on 14-16 March 2023 in Lanzarote. The masterclass will provide destination leaders with knowledge and practical tools to deliver the necessary action for tackling three major common challenges: reducing seasonality, measuring tourism’s carbon footprint, and fostering tourism’s climate action. On the 16th of March, in the morning, a thematic conference on ‘Delivering Tourism Climate Action’ will take place open to all participants.
1. Why a Masterclass on Sustainability
The idea came from our intention to build shared knowledge, create connections and focus on concrete actions among destinations. We strongly believe that this Masterclass will facilitate collective debates and joint actions. The discussions will focus on accelerating the transition to a more sustainable tourism governance, in line with the European Tourism Agenda 2030 and the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism targets. The Masterclass is designed for Sustainability Managers, Data Managers, Policymakers of Destination Management Organisations, and Tourism Authorities in Europe at the regional and local levels.
Thanks to the knowledge of Sustainable Tourism experts such as Dr. Xavier Font and Dr. Anna Torres Delgado from the University of Surrey, NECSTouR DMOs will explore how to tackle seasonality through sustainable tourism experiences and how to manage sustainability data for making better evidence-informed policy and marketing decisions. NECSTouR’s Tourism of Tomorrow Lab department, represented by Ana Moniche and Daniel Iglesias, will focus on how to use sustainability data to inform policy decisions. Dr. Paul Peeters from Breda University of Applied Sciences and Graeme Jackson from the Travel Foundation will present the ‘Envisioning Tourism in 2030’ report released by The Travel Foundation, Center of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism, and Hospitality, Breda University of Applied Sciences, the European Tourism Futures Institute, and the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions. Furthermore, with the support of the Travel Foundation, NECSTouR members will pursue the delivery of the NECSTouR Climate Action Plan by triggering inspiration and consequently replication.
2. Why Lanzarote
We chose an in-person Masterclass to allow collective knowledge creation and to empower destination leaders to be a catalyser of sustainable tourism. Despite the challenges that come along with insularity, we trust to learn the most from Lanzarote’s expertise.
Turismo Lanzarote has a strong commitment to sustainability, with a history of successful actions, including pioneering the creation of a planning framework that introduced limits to creating tourism infrastructures and approving a Sustainable Tourism Letter in 1995. The island was awarded the Biosphere designation by the United Nations in the 1990s. Lanzarote has been awarded the ‘Biosphere Responsible Tourism’ certificate and has led the Macaronesian project Ecotur_Azul, a common model for the sustainable use of the territory and the responsible use of its maritime and terrestrial resources. Moreover, this unique volcanic island has been an emblem of Sustainable Tourism in Europe since the approval of the Insular Plan for Spatial Planning in 1991, which represents a key instrument for the declassification of more than 200.000 tourist beds and set the basis for a model still standing today.
In this event, we will follow the advice of environmental consultant MJC Ambiental to assess, calculate and compensate for our carbon footprint. We will foster positive impacts by collaborating with local entities to generate a circular economy and social responsibility. All meals will be locally sourced in CACT. Journeys on-site will be reduced and optimized. We chose only certified sustainable accommodation. The masterclass will also foresee a dedicated session for the Lanzarote tourism ecosystem in order to empower and transmit knowledge to the local stakeholders.
3. Time for collective debate and joint responses
Thanks to gathering a critical mass of destination professionals working in a network, NECSTouR believes the positive impact of developing projects and good practices together will be accelerated in the years to come, benchmarking what results we achieve in our destinations and what extra efforts are needed.
This event in Lanzarote is the first of a series of in-person sessions offered to the NECSTouR DMOs as part of the network’s 2030 programme, aligned to the European Year of Skills. NECSTouR focuses on reinforcing the capacity of tourism governance to take real action on climate issues through collective knowledge development, pilot actions, and broader interregional collaboration. The aim is to maximise impacts in territories and trigger the necessary transformation of destination models embracing sustainability.
It is crucial to network and act jointly through collective debate and responses.