CETS: European Charter for Sustainable Tourism
The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS) is a certification pathway, which enables better management of protected areas for the development of sustainable tourism. The core element of CETS is collaboration among all stakeholders to develop a common strategy and action plan for tourism development, based on a thorough analysis of the local situation.
There are three Phases of the Charter:
- Step 1: The certification of the protected area
- Step 2: The certification of tourism enterprises
- Step 3: The certification of sightseeing offers (tour operators)
The Charter is issued to parks that have submitted a concrete program of actions, related to the principles of ecotourism and environmental sustainability, to be implemented over a period of 5 years.
The main purpose of the charter is to increase sustainable development and management of tourism in protected areas that takes into account the needs of the environment, residents, local businesses and visitors.
The specific goals to which CETS responds are:
to improve knowledge and support for Europe’s Protected Areas, fundamental subjects of our heritage, which must be able to be preserved and protected for present and future generations; to improve sustainable development and management of tourism in protected areas that takes into account the needs of the environment, local communities, local businesses and visitors.
Adherence to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, as evidenced by numerous national and international experiences, makes it possible to harmonize and enhance the economic forces in the area and ensure an adequate quality of life for the local population.
In addition to Asinara National Park, the municipalities of Porto Torres, Stintino and Castelsardo are involved.
CETS Phase 1
Asinara National Park formally began its journey to join the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS) in 2019 by reaching the first phase 1 certification in 2020.
The charter commits the signatories, the protected areas, to implement a local strategy to achieve a “form of tourism development, planning and activity that respects and preserves natural, cultural and social resources in the long term and contributes equitably and positively to the economic development and full realization of the people who live, work or stay in the protected areas.” In this sense, it represents an important opportunity to jointly identify new and effective forms of sustainable development of our territory and to improve its tourist attractiveness. CETS is an operational tool for managing tourism in the Parks, designed and awarded by EUROPARC Federation (in 1998), represented in Italy by Federparchi.
A path necessarily based on discussion with the operators in the area engaged in the various activities that in various ways benefit from the presence of tourists and visitors.
CETS Phase 2
Asinara National Park has formally initiated the implementation of the second phase of the European Sustainable Tourism Charter, the path of which was approved by Federparchi in June 2023 and ratified by resolution in November 2022. With Phase II of CETS, the prerogative of Protected Areas already recognized with the implementation of Phase I, more fruitful and structured collaborative relationships are formalized with economic tourism operators, certifying entrepreneurs and economic companies residing in their territory against their clear, signed and monitorable commitments.
The certification pathway is aimed at hospitality and hospitality businesses, businesses that provide services to enjoy, learn about and visit the Park, and tour operators in general that provide tourism services to promote the area.
The aim is to offer businesses operating in the Park and in the territories of Porto Torres, Stintino and Castelsardo the opportunity to certify with CETS, in a shared process of environmental sustainability promoted by the Authority under the aegis of EUROPARC Federation.
The European Sustainable Tourism Charter strengthens the credibility of a company operating in a protected area. Certifying one’s business with the CETS label has numerous benefits, including feeding visitor spending into the local economy, improving tourism offerings based on the enhancement of the local area, increasing bookings, reducing operating costs through sustainable use of resources, gaining European recognition of the business, and developing new business opportunities.
Phase 2 of CETS is a voluntary membership pathway in which a collaborative agreement is established between operators and the Park, through the proposal of actions aimed at promoting tourism from a sustainable perspective. Emphasis at this stage is placed on the need to open the door to more responsible tourism, which focuses incisively on the protection of nature and landscape and the sustainable development of the communities that live in and guard the Park.
Companies wishing to acquire the certification will be supported by the structure from the Park Authority through a counter at the institutional headquarters at Ponte Romano Street no. 81, available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment.