Tanya Deporta gives insights into the work of Terra Institute as Preferred Partner of TourCert
The Terra Institute is a competence centre for innovation and sustainability of companies and society based in Brixen, South Tyrol. Each of our 25 consultants and trainers makes his or her specific contribution to a comprehensive system change in economy and society: Climate and nature regeneration, global cooperation, prosperity and peace are some of the terms that describe the world that we want to help shape together with our customers and partners.
With companies with whom we share common values, we want to develop further and increase our impact, especially in our home country. As South Tyrol and Italy are countries of tourism, we have found TourCert to be an ideal partner to strengthen our contribution to sustainable development in the tourism industry in these two countries. As TourCert’s preferred partner in Italy, we want to live up to our responsibility and anchor sustainability as a basic model for economic activity in the tourism sector.
South Tyrol already has a good base: situated in the middle of the Alps, the region offers fascinating and contemplative landscapes, lush green meadows and fields, fresh air and cool, clear water. The alpine flora and fauna can survive on untouched spots in numerous nature parks. The South Tyroleans grow up very close to nature with the intact nature all around them and so, for example, conservation of resources and near-natural economy are no foreign concepts for them. With increasing globalisation and technisation, however, many people in this country have lost their ties and are making decisions to the disadvantage of nature and the landscape.
But in every movement the counter-movement is also formed: In this case, those who return to nature and try to strengthen the positive effects of their actions on the environment and minimize the negative effects. In South Tyrol, for example, there is an increasing number of certified nature and organic hotels as well as organic farms which, for example, rely on renewable energy sources to generate electricity, equip their rooms purely with natural materials and offer their guests biological, regional and seasonal or farm products.
On a regional level, the large South Tyrolean Hotelier and Innkeeper Association, the HGV, has also taken its first steps in sustainability management with TourCert, which it intends to expand further. Some municipalities in South Tyrol have joined the Alpine Pearls, which represent a modern holiday concept that implements sustainability and soft tourism in the Alps. Gentle or car-free mobility is encouraged by guest cards, whose users can use the public transport of the respective holiday region free of charge and enjoy free admission to numerous cultural events.
In line with this, the local centres of many Alpine villages are already completely car-free and high alpine pastures such as the Rodenecker Alm and the Seiser Alm are closed to motorised traffic. And also with TourCert Italy, the first hotels in South Tyrol have set out to anchor sustainability as a principle in their corporate philosophy and management.
For all those who want to get to grips with sustainability in their tourism company, want to embark on the path of sustainability or want to improve and certify their sustainability performance even further, we are at your service with TourCert.