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Monte Alpi Cresta Sud (foto Francesco Bevilacqua)
Carta europea del turismo sostenibile

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS) is a certification awarded to Protected Areas by the Europarc Federation, the organization of European Protected Areas that brings together national parks, regional parks, nature parks and biosphere reserves in 38 nations, with the common goal of protecting Europe's unique variety of flora, fauna, habitats and landscapes.

CETS represents a participatory governance method whose goal is to promote sustainable tourism in Protected Areas, taking into account all aspects of environmental, social and economic impact, involving in partnership all stakeholders, including local tourism operators, to elaborate a tourism offer compatible with the needs of biodiversity protection in Protected Areas that become, therefore, 'laboratories of good practices' of sustainability, ideal models in which to test innovative projects.

In order to obtain CETS, which in Italy is promoted by Federparchi a the Italian section of Europarc Federation, Europarc verifies and certifies that the Protected Areas have effectively implemented all processes. Having obtained recognition from the Protected Area with Phase I, the Charter is developed with Phase II addressed to tourism businesses in the area certified by the Protected Area, which is followed by Phase III where it is Tour Operators who can join the Charter.
Pollino National Park is in CETS Phase II.

The commitment of local tourism businesses is crucial to the development and effective management of sustainable tourism. They should be represented in the CETS Forum and be involved in the preparation and implementation of the overall Strategy and Action Plan.

A desirable development of the Charter is to allow some tourism enterprises working in cooperation with the Protected Area to receive specific recognition, provided for in CETS Phase II. It is, therefore, a recognition that is given to those economic operators who enter into an even more active synergy with the Park, defining a specific agreement and a customized Action Plan.

Phase II of CETS, therefore, consists of a collaborative program, a mutual, recognized, public and certified commitment between Protected Area managers and local tourism business operators. The goal of this phase of the charter is to strengthen the bond and expand mutual understanding between Protected Area managers and tourism-related businesses. An enterprise wishing to join CETS Phase II decides to make a series of commitments, through the submission of a special PROGRAM OF ACTIONS, aimed at improving the quality and sustainability of its tourism offerings.

These commitments can be traced to three specific macro areas:

1. improve its offer and relationship with the Protected Area;
2. improve its environmental behavior;
3. support local development and heritage conservation.

In order to join CETS Phase II, the company will have to select a set of actions for each of the macro-areas listed above and commit to a three-year Action Plan aimed at achieving the sustainability goals agreed with the Park Authority.
In this perspective, the Pollino National Park Authority intends to support tourism operators in its territory who wish to increase their commitment to sustainable tourism.
The Accession System intends, therefore, to provide guidance regarding the process that tourism businesses will have to follow in order to obtain CETS Phase II.

As far as this process is concerned, we consider tourism enterprises that can be ascribed to the category of "Receptive Facilities," i.e., hotel and complementary facilities (camping, B&B, hostels, room rentals, agritourism, etc.), and "Tourism Professions" (tour guide, environmental nature guide, territory guide).

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