Sustainable Tourism Best Practices: VISTAS


In March 2013, a new international programme called VISTAS (Visions Innovative Sustainable Tourism Award Series) was launched at the International Tourism Expo ITB Berlin in order to encourage tourism destinations identifying, exchanging and applying good practices in sustainable tourism worldwide.

VISTAS is managed by five leading international networks: Vision, ECOTRANS, EDEN, EUCC-QualityCoast, and Alpine Pearls, under the umbrella of the DestiNet Innovation Group (DIG).

In this programme, EUCC-QualityCoast’s role is to supports local and regional authorities throughout the European Union in the field of sustainable tourism. VISTAS best practices can only be selected in destinations that have been awarded or certified for tourism sustainability. Selected cases will be presented in a series of international events and they will be prominently featured in the  DestiNet’s global Atlas of Excellence in sustainable tourism. In addition, they will be communicated to the 450,000 tourism professionals connected through TravelMole, and to many others through news media and free publicity. Each year, ten VISTAS Award winners will be selected through a public vote in connection to the Vision newsletter.

Good practice cases can be identified in connection to all important aspects of tourism sustainability -environmental, socio-cultural and economic- covering all possible fields such as nature management, ecosystem and environmental restoration, transport and mobility, energy and climate change, community and business involvement, etc.

VISTAS is a great opportunity to present the destinations strengths and to show how they contribute to the “State of the Art of Sustainable Tourism”.


The VISTAS practice cases

Information on the cases that are completed can be found in:

Greece: Ierapetra (The construction of an artificial wetland at Bramiana and The conservation of coastal dunes at Chrysi Island) and Alonissos (The protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal)

Malta: Gozo (The creation of new heritage trails and The Rehabilitation of Gozo’s Valleys)

Portugal: Azores (Geotourism development), Cascais (Sintra-Cascais Natural Park – Duna da Cresmina Interpretation Center and Quinta do Pisão Nature Park), Lagos (Business involvement in good environmental practices and Local identity and cultural heritage preservation), and West Region (Beach access improvements in Torres Vedras)

SpainBaiona (Smoke free beaches)

The Netherlands: Katwijk (Parking lot under the dunes) and Goedereede (GO-Elektro, a sustainable mobility option)


The following cases are uncompleted. You can find the drafts in:

The Netherlands: Noordwijk (The ῾dike in dune’ flood solution), Ameland (‘De Verwachting’ Wheat and Mustard Mill), Westvoorne (Ecologically sustainable Aan Zee restaurant) and Schouwen-Duiveland (Park & Ride Renesse)

Italy: Migliarino San Rossore (Accessibility improvements for people with special needs and Ecosystems conservation)

Spain: Fuerteventura (The reintroduction of the Loggerhead sea turtle and The Starlight Reserve)

Cyprus: Paphos (Plastics reduction in the hotel industry)


VISTAS practice cases have been prepared and compiled by Gloria de Santa Catalina in cooperation with the destinations.