Northern Portugal has created a regional strategy and a governance model, bringing together over 15 governmental and non-governmental organisations related with tourism and nature conservation. The Consortium “Natural North – Nature Tourism in the Northern Region” was officially announced on the 9th of April, with the presence of the State Secretary of Land Planning and Nature Conservation, Mrs. Célia Ramos, and EUROPARC Executive Director, Mrs. Carol Ritchie.
25% of the region’s 22.000 km2 area is protected, including the only Portuguese National Park (Peneda-Geres), 4 Nature Parks, 2 Geoparks, 2 cross-border Biosphere Reserves, 2World Heritage Cultural Landscapes, 19 Natura 2000 areas and 6 Sustainable Destinations awarded with the Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas (Peneda-Gerês, Montesinho, Alvão, Douro Internacional, Montanhas Mágicas and Alto Minho).
The Consortium “Natural North” aims to develop an integrated offer for Nature Tourism at a regional scale, and a joint promotion of the territory, in order to increase national and international visibility. The regional strategy, based on the Action Plans of each of the Sustainable Destinations awarded with the Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST), follows the principles established by the EUROPARC Federation. “Sustainability can only be achieved through cooperation and a common vision for the territory,” explained Carol Ritchie, EUROPARC Director.
Read the original article: Northern Portugal: the new nature destination – EUROPARC Federation