What is it?
2017 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The international year aims to raise awareness among decision makers, and the public, of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together to make tourism a catalyst for positive change.
There is a historical distance between tourism and the primary sector in the Canary Islands. Both economic subsectors coexist in parallel, hardly influencing each other.
For a while now, the arrival of Internet and the emergence of low-cost lines have broken, in some way, the model of “vacation package”. This has allowed a certain development of other tourism models, somewhat more linked to the landscape, to the rural area and to the discovery of other realities of the islands linked to environmental, cultural or traditional aspects. Nevertheless, the prevailing model is still sun and beach (surveys say that tourists value the Canary Islands for its climate and its beaches, considering it a relaxing destination at an affordable price. Landscape and cultural aspects weigh relatively little in the decision to go to the Canary Islands).
This has meant that the rural and tourism areas coexisted, historically, “without touching each other”, except in some cases already mentioned, mvoiding the possibility of generating a positive influence between both elements of our economy, which added value to the Canary Islands brand.
In this context, the Government of the Canary Islands launches the “Grow Together” strategy, which includes the VOLCANIC Xperience project.
“With more than one billion international tourists travelling around the world every year, tourism has become a powerful transforming force that has a decisive influence on the lives of millions of people. The possibilities of tourism to influence sustainable development are considerable. As one of the main employment generating sectors in the world, tourism offers important opportunities for subsistence, contributing to alleviate poverty and promote inclusive development
– Secretary General of the UN, Banki-moon
World Tourism Day, 2015