Gregory Dolgos - Aug 30, 2021

Summer is the time of year with the highest number of people in natural and protected areas. To raise awareness among visitors, the Historical Villages of Portugal - Association for Tourism Development has joined 11 Portuguese tourism networks to highlight the importance of responsible tourism.

Surrounded by pure nature, the Historical Villages are refuges to escape the day-to-day life in the cities. With river beaches, riverside areas, nature parks, protected reserves, landscapes with mountains, endless plains, the Great Portuguese Historical Villages Route (GR22) and numerous hiking trails, this large territory becomes in the summer even more desirable for adventures on foot or by bike, or simply to relax.

Preserving nature is one of the commitments of the Historical Villages - having been the first network destination to receive the BIOSPHERE DESTINATION certificate in the world. Last year, the association was the first national destination to create the “Manifesto of the Responsible Tourist”, reminding visitors of the importance of respect for nature.

This year, the association joined a national campaign to boost responsible travel. With the slogan “Thank you for taking care of our country”, the initiative by the Tourism of Portugal includes 12 tourism networks: ADERE Peneda-Gerês, Aldeias de Montanha, Aldeias do Xisto, Aldeias Históricas de Portugal, Geopark Naturtejo, Heranças do Alentejo, Lugares da Serra Alentejana, Montanhas Mágicas, Rota da Terra Fria Transmontana, Rota do Românico, Termas Centro e Rota Vicentina. These are twelve collaborative networks that have in common the fact that they are sought out, especially in the summer, for their vast offer in Nature Tourism and Active Tourism.

This campaign aims to work on sustainability literacy, based on the idea of collaboration, internally through Portugal’s tourism networks by supporting tourists.

Buying local products, leaving less waste than what is found, respecting the pace of local life, investing fair value, taking into account quality, seeking information about the region and its particularities, not overburdening sensitive places, are some of the messages of the initiative.

In August, these networks of people and territories show - through social media - that the future of tourism lies in the preservation of nature and local culture. A message aligned with the sustainability strategy of the Historical Villages of Portugal, one of the priorities of its action in the territory.

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