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The Azores becomes the world’s first Platinum Sustainable Tourism destination

Having been named the No.1 sustainable tourism destination in 2013-2014 by Quality Coast, the Azores bettered the Gold Award standard it achieved in 2013-2014, becoming the first destination ever to achieve the Platinum Award standard.

The results are in, and the archipelago of the Azores has become the world’s first destination to be awarded the Platinum Quality Coast Award (2014-2015) by the largest international certification programme for sustainable tourism destinations, Quality Coast.

Having been named the No.1 sustainable tourism destination in 2013-2014 by Quality Coast, the Azores bettered the Gold Award standard it achieved in 2013-2014, becoming the first destination ever to achieve the Platinum Award standard. The Azores scored highly in all of the programme’s criteria including factors such as nature, marine life and coastal areas, landscape, clean water, blue flags, culture, hotels, environment, socio-economic factors and identity/community.

The unanimous decision to recognise the islands with the highest possible award was made by an international panel of coastal and marine management experts. As a result, the Azores have been named the No.1 sustainable tourism destination by Quality Coast for a second year running, beating over 1,000 other coastal and island destinations to the top spot. The accolade cements the archipelago’s recent rise to the forefront of the sustainable tourism field, having been recognised as a Quality Coast award-winning destination since joining the programme in 2009.

Only around 5% of the Azores’ ground is ‘built-up’ urbanized area. Today, the archipelago makes effective use of renewable geothermal energy, and its main industries include agriculture, dairy farming, livestock ranching, fishing, and tourism which is becoming a major service activity. The number of regulations and protected areas in the Azores is continually rising, thanks in no small part to the importance placed on the environment in schools.

The volcanic islands have low levels of development and offer many sites of natural heritage and protected marine life, which include UNESCO Biosphere Reserves sites. Marine life includes dolphins, sperm whales, great whales, marine turtles and birds, pelagic fish and cold water corals.The islands, which were also certified as a UNESCO European Geopark in 2013, offer well-regulated hiking and cycling trails, 33 Blue Flag beaches, snorkelling and scuba diving.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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