For a long time, tourism was considered as an industry with no negative social and environmental impacts. Thankfully, things have evolved and nowadays more and more people are becoming aware of the often negative balance of tourism and its implications for People and Planet alike. This highlights the importance of shifting the travel industry towards offering low impact alternatives to traditional holidays: ones which involve clear and conscious choices about how we choose to travel, where we stay and what we consume, in such a way that those choices result in no harm being done, and where possible yield positive economic, social and environmental outcomes in our holiday destinations. Such positive impacts can translate in many ways, such as creating employment, supporting local community development needs, reducing forms of environmental degradation or enhancing the conservation of cultural and natural resources.
How can I know if a destination is sustainable?
International bodies such as the UN's Global Sustainable Tourism Council work to promote sustainable tourism and have defined a set of standards around the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural sustainability of hotels and tour operators and recognise compliant certification standards put forward by certification companies - who are in turn responsible for ensuring that destinations and/or businesses meet the criteria in international standards for sustainable travelling. The certification process involves third-party assessment through an onsite audit process. If it is deemed that sustainability criteria have been met, a standard is awarded which reflects the level of commitment of an individual business to sustainability and is easily identified by the general public.
Is Quinta do Bom Despacho certified as a sustainable lodge?
YES! We comply with over 400 criteria that speak for our responsibility in Economic, Environmental and Social spheres. We are certified to GOLD level by the Green Growth 2050 Global Standard, having achieved, in 2017, a compliance score of 93.78% - one of the highest in the world! This makes us an international reference in sustainable lodging. Our metrics are robust, aimed at fulfilling clearly defined objectives - sustainability is at the core of everything we conceive and aim for, so certification isn´t a difficult process for us (but it does demand a lot of work!).
In fact, our audit visits are always moments of learning, team building and happy working!
In collaboration with the University of the Azores, we carry out customer satisfaction surveys where we have been finding that the sustainability element is highly significant as a deciding factor at the time of reservation, but also (and we are really proud of this!) that our guests feel inspired by their stay and take away with them motivation and practical ideas to apply in their daily lives - at home and in their workplaces.
Certification is the external validation of our commitment to Sustainable Development, of our responsability towards future generations.
In any stay, walk through the farm or attention to detail you will understand that we breathe that commitment in everything we do!