MADRID - FiturNext, the FITUR Observatory dedicated to promoting good tourism practices in terms of sustainability, unveils the winning initiatives of the 2023 Challenge focused on how tourism can contribute to the regeneration of the natural environment. Plogging Tour, Iberostar Group and Green Pepper Travel are the winning projects in this year's three categories: regeneration of the terrestrial and aquatic environment, and management and promotion of environmental regeneration, respectively. The awards ceremony will take place on 18 January at the Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR).
Two barometers to analyse impact and replicability
As in each edition, the Observatory follows the same process of selecting winning and finalist initiatives through two measurement models. The Replicability Barometer assesses the chances of the initiative being adapted and replicated in different contexts, resources and actors. On the other hand, the Impact Barometer analyses the potential of the initiatives by measuring the degree of participation in the project, the previous work carried out and the impact on the environment where it operates, among other aspects. After this measurement, the conclusions of the FiturNext Advisory Board, with its international external evaluations, have been taken into account for the final verdict.
Regenerating and conserving the natural environment: the focus of the winning initiatives
The three winning initiatives have in common their contribution to a more conscious and responsible way of travelling that helps to regenerate the natural environment of the destination visited, with the participation of the local community.
Specifically, Plogging Tour is a foundation that combines sports tourism with waste collection for environmental conservation. The initiative has been awarded in the category of land regeneration, for its positive impact on the territory and its level of replicability in many countries. With more than 30,800kgs of waste collected, this tourism activity allows visitors to leave the place that welcomes them better than it was and to promote the circular economy.
Meanwhile, the Iberostar Group presented, as part of its pioneer movement Wave for Change, a roadmap for coastal health, which won it the award in the aquatic environment regeneration category. This initiative promotes a model of responsible tourism focused on the conservation of coral, marine species and coastal ecosystems to make them resilient to climate change. Both hotel staff and guests are involved in these actions, and among the most popular activities is the visit to the Coral Lab.
Finally, the Green Pepper Travel travel agency, winner in the category of management and promotion of the regeneration of the natural environment, seeks to give travellers the opportunity to choose more conscious trips with services focused on the local community and the regeneration of the territory. They design community-based tourism trips in Latin America, including a reforestation project in Chiapas that brings visitors into contact with local agents, planting native tree species and involving the indigenous community.
Finalist projects and how they contribute to regeneration
In addition to the three winning initiatives, nine finalist projects of the FiturNext 2023 Challenge have been identified that stand out for their support for regenerative tourism:
- Amazonia Emprende, through its school and training develops solutions and measures against climate change supported by tourism for the recovery of the territory. Quinta Saroco, which re-establishes the social fabric after the FARC armed conflict by offering agro-eco-tourism opportunities in the area.
- B'n'Tree by Click A Tree, which for every trip booked through its agency generates a positive impact on the environment by planting trees in countries in Asia and Africa.
- Red de Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil del Alto Ricaurte, which promotes ecosystem conservation and safeguards against threats from mining and less aware tourism through an independent citizens' collective.
- La ruta del coral (by ProCoReef), which organises activities with the local community and visitors to regenerate the oceans.
- Playa Viva and ReSimar, which contributes to turtle rescue and mangrove recovery through tourism activities.
- Chao plástico del mar, a foundation that cleans beaches together with visitors to protect the coastal marine ecosystems of the Colombian Pacific.
- La mar de dones, a women's cooperative that conserves coastal border areas to promote fishing activities and the tourist attraction of the destination.
- Camina sostenible, which disseminates knowledge on regenerative tourism through consultancy, training and participation in events.
FiturNext 2023 programme underway
The awards ceremony, which will take place at FITUR on 18 January from 12:30 pm (CET), will be accompanied by a series of presentations, talks and round tables with experts in regenerative tourism and conservation of the natural environment. FiturNext will also present the 2023 report.