Darkish Sky Alqueva permits visitors to stare deep into the cosmos and has been recognised as a worldwide hospitality chief by the World Journey Awards.
Right here Breaking Journey Information chats with Apolónia Rodrigues, president of the Darkish Sky Affiliation, to seek out out extra concerning the venture
Apolónia Rodrigues: It’s a nice honour to obtain such a recognition, it makes us really feel that we’re transferring in the precise route – however with that comes a fantastic sense of duty.
After I began to develop Darkish Sky Alqueva it was essential to beat many obstacles – some had been because of the lack of awareness concerning the significance of the evening sky, whereas others meant it was not recognised as a tourism product.
However not solely that, we additionally needed to overcome the lack of awareness about what gentle air pollution is and the damaging impacts it has on the environment.
So, to obtain this recognition from the World Journey Awards – which showcases our vacation spot and mission to implement sustainable growth utilizing astrotourism because the catalyst to guard the evening sky – is solely magical.
BTN: Are you able to inform our readers a little bit concerning the Darkish Sky Challenge and what it brings to international tourism?
AR: Darkish Sky is an idea and a model.
As an idea, it implements a mannequin of built-in sustainable growth in our vacation spot, which suggests the institution of a connection between the territory and the ambiance above it, turning the sky and earth into one.
With this can be a mission to guard the evening sky.
Darkish Sky as model is meant to deliver added worth to the territories the place this may be applied and the Darkish Sky Alqueva is the primary vacation spot in our community.
Darkish Sky Alqueva is a stargazing vacation spot with a transparent mission and with a short-, medium- and long-term technique.
Darkish Sky Alqueva is a area which covers an in depth space of just about ten thousand sq. kilometres across the Alqueva lake, together with Portuguese and Spanish territory.
Created in 2007 and owing to the standard of its evening sky, this space was licensed as a Starlight Tourism Vacation spot in 2011, the primary place on the planet to acquire this certification.
The Darkish Sky route affords a variety of night-time actions for astronomical commentary, with the bare eye or utilizing telescopes.
Along with these actions, complementary experiences could be loved each at evening and by day.
Astrotourism is usually a nice journey and that’s being demonstrated in Darkish Sky Alqueva by our initiatives and enthusiastic actions.
Below a protected evening sky many actions could be organised like stargazing classes, blind wine tastings, evening canoeing, yoga classes, walks, hen watching, wildlife watching, Darkish Sky Events, astrophotography workshops and extra.
BTN: How helpful are the World Journey Awards in relation to selling the venture to a worldwide hospitality market?
AR: The World Journey Awards brings popularity and top-level recognition – and that helps us to go additional when it comes to visibility and capability to achieve worldwide markets.
However this recognition additionally helps to attain our targets as Darkish Sky idea, when it comes to defending the evening sky and the implementation of built-in sustainable growth in our locations.
BTN: This has been a tricky 12 months for hospitality companies of every kind – what toll has Covid-19 taken in your operations? Can we anticipate a change in route as we enter 2021?
AR: Sure, certainly tourism is being hit in a tough method however with resilience and imaginative and prescient some locations will be capable to rise and reinforce their strengths.
The locations which are much less crowded and are in reference to nature, like ours, will are usually the primary to recuperate – so governments, in addition to the nationwide and regional tourism organisations, should provide particular consideration and extra assist to those.
However, above all, we should take note the significance of sustaining our identification and the concentrate on sustainable growth.
Since 2018, we had been seeing a rise within the seek for tourism merchandise that would provide extra significant experiences – not solely when it comes to information but in addition associated with the inside self.
It’s why we have now seen an enormous improve within the demand for our vacation spot.
This summer time, through the pandemic, we had an enormous improve in our stargazing classes that helped us to recuperate the time we had been closed through the first state of emergency.
But in addition in different actions like evening canoeing and within the workshops of astrophotography with Miguel Claro.
These actions are nature primarily based and accomplished in small teams or individually.
Such improve, was additionally observed within the actions of our community of companions from lodging to gastronomy.
However the winter and early spring will probably be our take a look at
Darkish Sky Alqueva is the primary Starlight Tourism Vacation spot on the planet and the primary cross border.
It covers an space of round ten thousand sq. kilometres round Lake Alqueva, together with Portuguese and Spanish council areas.
Along with the licensed high quality of the sky, Darkish Sky Alqueva additionally affords a variety of daytime and night-time actions, and Darkish Sky Alqueva works onerous to guard this pure and humankind heritage – our evening sky filled with stars.
Discover out extra on the official website.
Pictures: Miguel Claro and Darkish Sky Alqueva