Accession procedure

  • What is involved in accession to the Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Counties of Barcelona Biosphere?

The Provincial Government of Barcelona and the region’s three tourism trademarks: Costa Barcelona, Paisatges Barcelona (Barcelona Landscapes) and Pirineus Barcelona, have been approved as Biosphere Gold Destinations, an innovative certification based on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are taken up in the Agenda 2030. Gold status can be acquired after an audit. Further, it requires that, in addition to the Biosphere certification for the destination, work has been done on engagement among the companies, services and public organizations of the destination, which will receive the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle certification. This way, and thanks to this certification, companies and tourism services or public organizations located in the geographic area of the 12 counties of Barcelona can benefit from the Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Counties of Barcelona Biosphere Programme.

  • How and when can I begin the accession process?

Send your details and those of your company, tourism service or public organization to turisme.sostenible@diba.cat. Once this information has been received, we will contact you to help you begin the accession procedure. The certification has annual periodicity: it begins in January and ends in December, approximately. Therefore, if you would like to begin the process in the current year, contact us before the end of February.

  • How much time should organizations devote to it?

In the first year, there are two training sessions (two mornings or two afternoons), personalized advising from an expert consultant (5 h), the county destination workshop (3 h), the time that each organization devotes to complying with the requisites through the computer platform, and drafting the Improvement Plan. Some organizations complete the entire process in a few months, while others can take nearly a year. As of the second and subsequent years (in which the seal is renewed), please allow for training on demand in tourism sustainability (4 h), personalized advising from the expert consultant (3.5 h), attendance at the county destination workshop (3 h) and the time each organization must devote to updating the requisites of the Biosphere platform and its annual Improvement Plan.

  • What is the Destination Workshop?

The Destination Workshop is a working session that will put you in contact with other companies and organizations of the tourism sector of the counties of Barcelona, to generate a network of knowledge, synergies and cooperation. Different topics of interest are worked on to improve the competitiveness of the destination, through workshops for the creation of products, break-out groups, benchmarking, etc.

  • What is the process of accession to the Commitment considered complete?

The advising company will confirm that your organization has carried out the improvements specified to achieve the Commitment, and will draw up the relevant verification report, which it will present to the Tourism Sustainability Panel. The final step is validation by the Responsible Tourism Institute. The organizations that have passed the entire process will receive the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle certification.

  • What is and who makes up the Tourism Sustainbality Panel?

The supervision of the process of Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Counties of Barcelona Biosphere will be made through the Tourism Sustainability Panel which, regularly convened by the county tourism management body, will supervise the compliance with the certification in the companies and services. The Tourism Sustainability Panel will be made up of individuals who represent different economic and social actors involved in the tourism activity of your county.

Requirements

  • What requirements should your organization meet to join the Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Barcelona Biosphere?

When access is formalized, the organization will sign a Statement of Responsibility.

Requirements to meet vary according to tourism type and casuistry of your organization. There are requirements that are of mandatory compliance to receive the certification. There are also recommended requirements that are not mandatory to receive the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle certification but are advisable to improve sustainability management in your organization.

The areas on which the different requirements have been developed are:

    • Climate change
    • Environment
    • Social
    • Economy
    • Culture
  • How can I know if my organizationis ready to join the Commitment to Sustainability?

Accession to the Commitment to Sustainability is not a destination; it’s a journey toward sustainable tourism. Therefore, as long as the mandatory requirements are met, a continuous improvement is sought through implementation of an annual action plan, always conditioned by the type, resources and idiosyncrasies of your organization.

  • When do I have to renew my accession?

The Commitment is renewed annually. In other words, the organizations must comply with the phases and fill out the relevant documentation within the periodicity of one year to keep the certification. After the year has passed, renewal of the accession involves new training and advising sessions to propose and comply with a new improvement plan with new actions to carry out throughout the year. This way, year after year, the continuous improvement process that is sought with this process is shaped.

Cost

  • How much does it cost to join?

The cost of joining the Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Counties of Barcelona Biosphere is almost entirely subsidized by the Provincial Government of Barcelona.

    • The annual accession cost for new organizations is 80 €.
    • The cost for organizations renewing the seal is 40 € / year.

Safe Travels Stamp

  • Can organizations that want the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp get it through the Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

With the Safe Travels Stamp, travellers in any country around the world can identify the companies, organizations and public services that have adopted approved protocols of COVID-19 safety and prevention measures.

Any company, organization and public service of the tourism sector and visitor economy that can present documentation to accredit compliance with any of the following conditions can apply for the stamp:

    • Having the certification or stamp for COVID-19 prevention measures, granted by an official certification entity.
    • Being recognized as a Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Barcelona Biosphere Destination after September 2020, or having the seal renewed at any time after this date.

The stamp is important for sector professionals and other stakeholders, as it is an internationally recognized credential confirming the implementation of safety and prevention measures for protection from the pandemic.

  • Who is the Safe Travels Stamp meant fo, and how much does it cost?

It is meant for any tourism company or organization of the Barcelona destination, and any related with visitors. The cost for processing the stamp is 25 € plus VAT. However, in the case of Turisme de Barcelona member companies, the price is subsidized and covered by the Consortium, and the Provincial Government of Barcelona, which covers the cost of the companies from the counties of Barcelona that hold the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle certification.

  • Where are the companies with Safe Travels Stamp listed?

The list of companies with the Safe Travels Stamp, classified according to activity type, can be viewed here.