La Palma: the island of sustainable tourism

By | 24 June, 2021 | 0 comments

La Palma is one of the Canary Islands’ most captivating island destinations. Its stunning landscapes and natural wilderness will take your breath away. Which is precisely why this beautiful island has always been a pioneer in Spain for its commitment to sustainable tourism. And its fame has spread. In fact, it’s so high up on the international stage that back in 2006 it was the first place in the world to be declared a Sustainable Tourism Destination. The credit for this accolade goes to its natural heritage, which has been exceptionally and delicately protected.

A commitment to sustainable tourism

La Palma has set itself a particularly challenging sustainable tourism model. The island’s tourist offering must be environmentally friendly. And not only that – those in charge need to know exactly how to make the most of the island’s resources to attract the kind of guests who demand excellence in this area. The aim of this model is twofold: to protect the island’s natural environment, and to act as a driver for economic growth, job creation and quality of life. And at the same time, minimise any negative impact on the environment.

The whole island was designated Biosphere Reserve status in 1983, and 35% of the island’s territory is protected, with the Caldera de Taburiente National Park as its flagship. The park is located in the centre of the island – a 4,700-hectare circular area, home to rich geology and biodiversity unlike anywhere else in the world. The incredible formation originates from a succession of volcanic eruptions over 500,000 years ago, and the subsequent landslides that headed towards the coast. The environmental and water erosion that followed formed a unique landscape, with slopes dominated by Canary pine trees, and a ravine – the Barranco de las Angustias – acting as a natural outlet to the sea, chequered with streams and beautiful waterfalls.

La Palma’s captivating skies

In La Palma, the sky is another major attraction, and another reason why it won the accolade of being a sustainable tourism destination. The sky holds its own Starlight Reserve certificate, confirming its status as a protected natural space committed to preserving the quality of the night sky and access to starlight.

Thanks to its incredible night sky, La Palma has its own observatory at Roque de los Muchachos, the island’s highest point. It has one of the world’s most comprehensive sets of telescopes, all from different nations, and all managed by the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute. It also boasts the largest optical telescope in the world.

Such is the quality of the sky on the island that La Palma has a Sky Act to fight against light pollution. Measures include soft lighting in cities, pointing downwards, and no lights outside cities.

The island of the slow life

You won’t see traffic jams, congestion or pollution in La Palma. The island, with a surface area of 743 square metres and a population of 90,000, has a lot more pleasing things to offer. Long hours of sunshine, trails between green forests and volcanic sand beaches where you can revel in the Atlantic waters.

La Palma simply breathes peace and tranquillity. There are so many awe-inspiring activities to choose from. Walk on volcanoes, walk around one of Spain’s most beautiful National Parks, or gaze at stars in one of the finest skies on the planet. The island’s network of trails offers yet another sustainable tourism attraction. It’s so extensive that you can cover the whole of the island on foot. Even more of a privilege today, where we spend much of our lives ruled by roads and big cities.

Responsible and sustainable hotels

Princess Hotels & Resorts is acutely aware of its responsibility to the environment and society, which is why each destination has a specific Corporate Social Responsibility programme in place.

Our stunning La Palma & Teneguía Princess resort is one of the jewels in the chain’s crown. The hotel benefits from an absolutely exceptional location, surrounded by nature. To one side, the Atlantic Ocean, home to a dreamy sunset every evening; to the other, immense banana plantations with huge green leaves, one of the island’s emblems. Our La Palma hotel has also joined the sustainable tourism commitment with its Princess 360º programme to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At Princess, we always prioritise using local produce (Made in the Canary Islands), only use cleaning products with the EU ECOLABEL certificate, use cardboard packaging to avoid plastics, and reuse all our wood pallets and fruit and vegetable boxes.

Categories: Canaries, La Palma, La Palma

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