Portugal is one of the leaders in the application of renewable energies scoring second place with 18% of its energy sources coming from renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. The country has many admirable laws when it comes to the conservation of both industrial and domestic energy sources .
More and more nature areas in Portugal are gaining the status protected and have strong building regulation laws, with its fast growing tourist industry, it seems only natural that ecological tourism should get the emphasis it deserves.
The definition of Ecotourism is according to Ecotourism.org – Ecotourism is now defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Education is meant to be inclusive of both staff and guests.
And on this note we would like to donate this article to the research and promotion of Ecological tourism in Portugal aiding the promotion of rural societies, environmentally aware travel and the balance between nature and the traveler creating a better version of luxury travel that does not put stress on its environment but rather stimulates old traditions in a newer surrounding with a clear understanding of the impact our society is having on its environment and the environment of future generations.
When it comes to tourism we want to concentrate on the partnerships created between well being, luxury and natural processes and the point we want to make is that ecological tourism does not necessarily collide with luxury or comfort but rather emphasizes the complete feeling of well being most of us strive for on a vacation or trip.
Portugal is a country of wonder, diverse and fast changing landscapes, a rich cultural historical past evident in its multitude of castles, monasteries and churches, medieval cities, Ancient remains and quiet sunny city squares,, it also has a vibrant fertile landscape, 300 days of sun and an amazing vegetation and wildlife that finds no equal anywhere else in Europe it only logical that ecotourism should evolve to the extend that the famous six senses resort chose to open its first doors in Europe, in Portugal.
So how is Portugal manifesting itself as Ecotourismm capital of Europe? Well it starts with its amazing laws every house sold must be fitted with an energy certificate telling its new owners how eco friendly it actually is.
Every new house built must be fitted with solar panels new Portuguese buildings code includes an obligation to install solar thermal systems to take care of the part of the energy need, Hotels can gain thee status green label which has been practice since 2003 in Portugal, this label is stuck to strict regulation some of these rules are
- Housekeeping uses non-toxic cleaning agents and laundry detergent
- 100% organic cotton sheets, towels and mattresses
- Non-smoking environment
- Renewable energy sources like solar or wind energy
- Bulk organic soap and amenities instead of individual packages to reduce waste
- Guest room and hotel lobby recycling bins
- Towel and sheet re-use (guests can tell housekeeping to leave these slightly used items to reduce water consumption)
- Energy-efficient lighting
- On-site transportation with green vehicles
- Serve organic and local-grown food
- Non-disposable dishes
- Offers a fresh-air exchange system
- Grey-water recycling, which is the reuse of kitchen, bath and laundry water for garden and landscaping
- Newspaper recycling program
These hotels are not neccesaily situated in rural areas.
Visiting Portugal, a country with a problematic political climate, a big national debt that gives austerity control, a trying bureaucratic system but a warm welcoming population and nature reserves that will leave you gasping for breath and will stay in your memory for life and could send you home inspired, fulfilled and ready for action.
Portugal is a lovely country with a lot of unpretentious good taste, luxury in Portugal can mean a palace that invites you to walk in its doors and taste its past, an adventurous park of tree houses in which you can spent the night gazing at the stars, a rescued village that uses mountain water and local produce combined with biological herbs grown on the land, vineyard and farm hotels that give you the possibility to partake and learn production processes, mountain retreats ad so much more! The coming months we will be researching and writing about these great places traditional, modern and innovative to help you plan a vacation, holiday or team event that takes better care of the environment and helps raise awareness.
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