Good practice destination Lagos (PT)

Contributor Sabrina Vecchio Ruggeri
Country Portugal,
  • Destinations-in-Europe
  • Energy conservation
  • Environmental risks
  • Europe
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Support for community
  • Tourism seasonality management
  • Visitor satisfaction
  • Wastewater
Release date 25/06/2014
  • Destination Management
  • Climate Change - Energy and Resource Efficiency
  • Natural Heritage & Biodiversity
GSTC Criteria for Destinations
  • D1 Protection of sensitive environments
  • D.4. Greenhouse gas emissions
  • D.5. Energy conservation
  • D.9. Wastewater
  • A4 Enterprise engagement and sustainability standards
  • B8 Access for all
  • A10 Climate change adaptation
Type Best Practice Destination (Best Practice Destination)
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# File name Contributor Release date Uploaded by Upload date Size Content type
Good Practice Innovation Sheet
Items Description
1. WHO
Key people and organisations (initiator, leader, partners)  Portugal National Tourism; Algarve Tourism Association
 Coastal and Marine Union EUCC and Lagos City Hall (Câmara Municipal de Lagos)
Key Figures Surface Inhabitants Tourism arrivals Tourism nights
213 km²  31,048 148,949   644,370
2. WHY
Reason for taking the good practice action  Lagos is one of the most visited tourist centres in the region of the Algarve and Portugal, and tourism represents the main economic activity in the municipality. The hotel industry, as an important component of the tourism sector, involves many activities that have adverse effects on the environment. The high level of resource utilization (energy, water, consumables) in hotel facilities required to meet the need of hotel guests, and the pollution generated (waste water, solid waste, air pollution, etc. ) by this sector, highlight the importance of hotels’ participation in environmental sustainable practices. Besides this, green consciousness has grown among tourists, who have a better appreciation for practices implemented in hotels. Therefore, in order to reduce the environmental impacts and respond to the recent increase in environmental awareness among tourists, several hotels in Lagos have demonstrated their corporate commitment to sustainability.
Issues and challenge   Implementing environmental sustainable practices in the hospitality sector presents several barriers such as the implementation costs and the labour-intensity of the process to become certified. In fact, the main challenge to implement this principles of sustainable tourism are the prevailing socio-economic and political conditions, which make it hard to find and develop a long term strategy. In addition, the introduction of such practices in tourist accommodations is sometimes seen a deterrent for guests by hotel owners, because they associate eco-friendly hotels to a detriment in the quality of services and products offered. Beside this, many business are unaware that by implementing an environmental strategy they not only make an important contribution to minimize negative impacts on the environment, but also obtain long term financial benefits.
3. HOW
Methods /steps / tools used (to develop the good practice) In order to improve its environmental behavior, various hotels, hostels camping sites and golf courses in the municipality of Lagos have implemented voluntary environmental initiatives. Such initiatives are mainly focused on reducing water and energy consumption and waste generation. A good example is the Tivoli Hotel, which has been awarded with 100R® - Recycling 100% Guaranteed certification for its efforts in separating all the residues produced by the hotel for recycling. By introducing LED technology into the system, the 5-stars Hotel Cascade Resort aims to reduce its energy consumption by up to 9 times. There are also tourist accommodations adopting good environmental measures in terms of water saving such as the Golf Resort Boavista, which uses re-used water for golf course irrigation, and the hotel Vila Gale, which irrigate its gardens with re-used water from the pools and rainwater harvesting systems. The latter got a certificate of excellence given by the Tripadvisor site and it is working towards achieving the Green Key certification in the near future, as other hotels of the chain have received.
Specific/measurable results, benefits  Investing in energy and water saving systems and in recycling programmes not only help hotels to reduce their operational cost and harmful environmental impacts, in terms of lower air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, reduced volumes of waste and decreased use of natural resources and lower impacts on ecosystems, but also to increase the environmental awareness among travellers, thus helping to create more responsible tourists. It has also been demonstrated that environmental programs help to create motivating staff to work as a team to achieve a common goal.1 Furthermore, due to the voluntary character of adopting green practices, hotels get benefits from a definite marketing and competitive advantage over the other accommodation establishments. Sustainable Tourism minimizes damages to the environment, given the lower impact on natural resources, creating better quality service and commodities for tourists and generating equitable income and well-being for local communities and as many other stakeholders as possible (It benefits owners, employees and neighbours), raising also local awareness to environmental conservation, protecting local resources, and encouraging an appreciation of traditions and cultural heritage.
Recognitions (e.g. awards)  QualityCoast Gold Award 2012-‘13
Lessons learned  
Challenges met  There are, at state level, fiscal benefits to increase the use of equipment and devices that save energy. The municipality provide services of recollection of garbage, waste that are placed at a regional centre and, if possible, to a reutilization process. The waste and dirty waters, are also, submitted to a cleaning process.
Critical success factors   It is not the power of the municipal authorities to provide financial support to hotels and small tourist accommodations, but they gave them technical advice and information and enforce building and energy laws and regulations.
6. MORE 
web-references, documents