The Maestrazgo region obtained the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS) in 2018 thanks to its four areas declared Natural Monuments: the Source of the Pitarque River, the Organs of Montoro, the Crystal Caves and the natural bridge of Fonseca. This accreditation is only obtained by those territories that have Protected Natural Spaces and are committed to sustainable tourism.
El Maestrazgo applied for this distinction with the aim of making the region known as a sustainable and quality tourist destination, thereby increasing the flow of visitors who share these values and favoring the local economy. But not at any price. We are committed to a conscious and responsible tourist rather than a mass tourism that does not appreciate and respect the environment. The focus is on quality rather than quantity. It is committed to the discovery and visibility of the rich natural and cultural heritage of Maestrazgo, but trying to minimize the impact and human footprint as much as possible. The aim is to raise awareness from within in order to transmit respect for the environment to visitors.
In this context, the Government of Aragon, the Maestrazgo Tourism Association, the Maestrazgo Region, the Association for the Development of Maestrazgo and the Maestrazgo Cultural Park are working together to implement a tourism strategy and an action plan to promote this type of tourism.
To this end, these institutions set out a series of objectives to promote the conservation and enhancement of natural and cultural heritage The aim is to improve the management of tourism activities, thereby increasing demand and improving the living conditions of the local population; and, furthermore, to ensure that all entities involved in the development of sustainable tourism coordinate and cooperate with each other.
The action plan had a total of 63 actions to be developed in the territory between 2018 and 2022. Some of them had an impact on the conservation of the natural environmentthe improvement of the energy efficiencythe distribution of informative material about the Natural Monuments of the Maestrazgo region, the development of a continuing education program for entrepreneurs and personnel linked to tourism or the implementation of off-season activities and events.
Maestrazgo is currently awaiting the revalidation of its commitment, for which it has presented a new strategy and action plan for the years 2023 – 2027 which includes 62 new actions through which it expects to continue to consolidate its position as a leading sustainable and quality destination to protect natural areas and raise awareness among tourists and the local population of the importance of the the need to take care of the natural environment in which they are located.
It should be noted that in this second phase, the companies in the territory are invited to participate by signing a commitment to comply with various requirements. The recognition achieved by each company will be more than just another new quality mark, as it guarantees a genuine partnership between the company and the protected area to advance the development of sustainable tourism. Likewise, the adhesion of companies to the Charter offers them greater visibility or the possibility of participating in sustainable tourism packages, among others.