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Madalena ,  July 13, 2012

International environmental recognitions raise the Azores to prominence

The sustainability policies that guide the development of tourism in the Region have resulted in "various international environmental awards" that have contributed to "raise the Azores to prominence and strengthen their image" as a Nature Destination of excellence.

The statement was made by the Regional Secretary for the Economy during the prize delivery ceremony of "Myosotis Azores- Green Accommodation" awards that took place at the Pico Mountain Support House on Friday. The event was also attended by the Regional Secretary for the Environment and the Sea.

As an example of this "international recognition," Luísa Schanderl mentioned the existence of 23 areas that make up the Natura 2000 Network and the three islands classified as Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. In addition, the government official also alluded to the distinctions awarded to Faial Natural Park, the first national destination to receive the “EDEN - European Destination of Excellence” award, as well as the "Quality Cost Destination" that distinguished the Azores as the most sustainable coastal holiday destination in Europe.

In addition to these international recognitions, "the Azorean archipelago has been distinguished several times by well-known international publications," added the government official.

In an increasingly competitive market, "it is important to invest in the natural and unique features of our territory, the only that can make the difference," stated the Regional Secretary. The government official mentioned that this assumption also underlies the creation of the “Myosotis Azores” Award through which the Region will "distinguish those that stand out for the implementation of good practices to promote the environmental enhancement of their establishment."

Nevertheless, the Regional Secretary for Economy reminded that the "international recognition" the Azores have achieved "should not make us forget the many challenge that our tourism has yet to overcome."

For Luísa Schanderl, the "most immediate" of these challenges is the response to the drop in the number of regional tourists, a trend that was registered throughout the country that demonstrates the "deep recession" in the national market. In the face of this reality, "we must continue to develop strategies to tackle this decline as the growth cannot resume in the coming months with the possible implementation of austerity measures," defended the government official.

Thus, she defended that international markets "are essential for the growth of tourism in the Azores." In this context, the Regional Government has been reinforcing "our promotional strategy with the purpose of undertaking a structural change in this sector so that the impact of the national market may decrease in the total of overnight stays."

According to the government official, the creation of "Myosotis Azores" prizes provides an important contribution to the success of Azorean tourism "as good environmental practices are essential to promote the destination among target markets."  


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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