Sustainable Tourism in our Territories 2020 European Week of Regions and Cities workshop

Friday, 16 October 2020

As key actors in the transition to a sustainable economy, Local Intermediate Authorities (NUTS III/LIAs) have been acting as relays for European policies. Due to their local perspective, experience in managing EU funds and administrative capacity, LIAs are ideally equipped to implement sustainable growth initiatives, as well as to provide bottom-up feedback on the viability and efficiency of local measures to EU institutions.

The workshop can serve as a catalyst for participating organisations to replicate the good practices that will be presented by the speakers. It can also be a platform to discuss not only the potential improvements that LIAs can apply to their local sustainable growth policies, but also the adaptation to the new requirements of the European Green deal and the response to the global health crisis, to ensure that tourism is a key sector for the European economic recovery.

Nicolas Reynès, Coordinator, Partenalia, Belgium.
José Manuel Baltar Blanco, President, Partenalia - Deputación de Ourense, Belgium.
Carlos FERNÁNDEZ BIELSA, Vice-president, Partenalia - Diputación de Valencia, Spain.
Manuel José González Andrade, Provincial Deputy - Digital Transformation and Tourism, Diputación de Badajoz, Spain.
Pedro Granados, Deputy, Diputacion de Tarragona, Spain.
Virginia Martí Sidro, Provincial Deputy of Tourism, Diputación de Castellón, Spain.
Bartolomé Nofuentes, Councilman - Concejal, Quart de Poblet, Spain.
Noemí Otero, Deputy, Diputación de Segovia, Spain.
Magdalena Rodríguez Gómez, Provincial Deputy (Tourism), Diputación de Segovia, Spain.
Nicanor Jorge Sen Vélez, 2nd Vice-president, Diputación de León, Spain.
Patricia Valle Corriols, Provincial Deputy - Tourism and sustainable development, Diputación de Cáceres, Spain.

Session summary

The president of Partenalia, Manuel Baltar, opened the workshop, recalling the importance of tourism as a backbone of the territory and as a competence shared by all local intermediate authorities, which allows for the development of interprovincial cooperation projects. The president also detailed the opportunities offered by thermal tourism in post-COVID times to achieve greater sustainability in the territory.

The vice-president of Partenalia and of the Valencia Provincial Council (in charge of European projects), Carlos Bielsa,  insisted that the combination of innovation and sustainability is synonymous with territorial development. This commitment of the province regarding sustainable innovation materialised, this year, through the candidacy of the city of Valencia for the European Capital of Innovation award.

The councilor of Comarca de l'Horta Sud  Bartolomé Nofuentes, commented on the opportunity offered by teleworking for a new sustainable European tourism in Spain.

Noemí Otero, Deputy of the Sustainability area of ​​the Diputación de Segovia together with Magdalena Rodríguez Gómez, Deputy of the Tourism area of ​​the Diputación de Segovia, focused their presentation on the articulation of the work on sustainability and tourism areas of the Diputación, the digitisation of the tourism sector in the province and the actions and activities aimed at promoting the sustainable development of this important economic activity for any destination.

Manuel José González Andrade, deputy for digital transformation and tourism of the Badajoz Provincial Council, presented "The Sustainable Development Strategy for  2020-2023" that aims to respond to the main challenges faced by municipalities through the implementation of 121 measures aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, among which are the public policies that the Provincial Council is developing on tourism. The deputy also commented on the technical support and advice to municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants and the development of actions that favour the digital transformation of the tourism sector.

Virginia Martí Sidro, Mayor of Cabanes and Deputy of the Castellón Provincial Council, presented the initiative of the Castellón Provincial council Castelló Ruta de Sabor (Sustainable tourism development and quality agri-food production as a lever for tourist transformation) that aims to recognise the flavours and food created and produced within the territory, in compliance with strict quality standards, following the main objective of fostering the consumption of local products.

Pere Granados, Mayor of Salou and Deputy of the Tarragona Provincial Council, focused his presentation "From overtourism to sustainable destination" on those elements of environmental and sociocultural sustainability that facilitate a better experience for the visitor, as well as the participation of residents to guarantee an improvement in quality of life and sustainable employment in tourist municipalities. 

Nicanor Sen Vélez, Vice President of the León Provincial Council, presented the initiative El Camino de Santiago: raising conservation awareness issues, that is, the work of the Provincial Council to improve the sustainability of the part of the Camino de Santiago that runs through the province. 

Patricia Valle Corriols, Deputy of the area of ​​demographic challenge, sustainable development, youth and tourism of the Diputación de Cáceres presented the initiative "Province of Cáceres: Sustainability 360 °" implemented through the Sustainable Tourism Marketing Plan of the province of Cáceres 2020-2030. 

Take away message


Local Intermediate Authorities (NUTS III) are at the forefront of their territories's tourism development conceiving and implementing marketing plans to boost their attractiveness.

LIAs are instrumental in implementing the SDG at the local level via their sustainable tourism strategies.

Sustainable tourism practices are beneficial to the territory and its citizens as a whole  (not limited to the tourism sector).

One of the keys to more sustainable destinations lies in the promotion of the consumption of local goods and produces.


        "One of the keys to more sustainable destinations lies in deseasonalisation." Pere Granados

"One of the keys to more sustainable destinations lies in the promotion of the consumption of local goods and produces." Virginia Martí Sidro

"The generalisation of teleworking can be instrumental in achieving a greener tourism industry." Bartolomé Nofuentes