The International conference Azores2017 Towards Sustainable Tourism took place at Nonagon, the first Science and Technology Park of the Azores on the 5-6th December 2017.
The year 2017 was declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. As part of the celebrations during this year, there are several events around the world that aim to analyse, celebrate or declare commitments to sustainable tourism.
The aim of the conference was to join in these celebrations, to bring together national and international experts on the subject and to assume a multi-sectorial commitment towards sustainable development. It was also a unique opportunity to showcase the Region internationally, and to create recognition for the destination.
The conference was essentially a place of learning and dissemination of the theory and practice of Sustainable Tourism, with a strong working ethos and an emphasis on action research. The guest speakers were national and international experts, political and business leaders, and academics with recognized careers in this area. They brought to the conference and to the Azores the knowledge and practical advice needed to better analyse and debate the necessary course to furthering the archipelago of the Azores as a sustainable tourism destination.
In the previous months, in order to establish the current positioning of Azores according to international sustainability criteria, an extensive mapping and diagnostic inquiry was carried out with sessions of regional working groups that analysed the challenges and opportunities of the Azores as a sustainable tourism destination.
It is intended that the knowledge generated will allow benchmarking the region in an appropriate and desirable way.
The unique moment of the closing of the conference was intended to strongly reflect corporate and governmental responsibility, culminating in a public commitments session in which several stakeholders signed a sustainability charter and committed their strategies to achieving sustainability-led goals in the short, medium and long term.