Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

CETS, European Certification of Sustainable Tourism

CETS, European Certification of Sustainable Tourism

The Po Delta Park was awarded the European Certification of Sustainable Tourism on 13 January 2021

Europarc, logo
Project launch

In July 2019, at the Castle of Mesola, the Po Delta Park submitted its application dossier for the European Charter of Sustainable Tourism.
Among the public and private bodies who took part, the Municipality of Cervia presented six projects.

The projects

  • Flamingos in the salt panADRIADAPT

Goal of the project: resilience of the Adriatic regions with the development of the knowledge to identify actions to adapt to climate changes, so that local bodies put in action activities to raise the resilience in urban and coastline contexts.

  • The new Promenade of Milano Marittima

A cycle-pedestrian route in the area behind the lidos that starts from the Northern port canal to the tributary canal of the Saltpans. The section also involves historical-cultural components and testimonies of the Second World War.

  • The new cycle path of the Saltpans

The route is located between the district canal of the Saltpans and the Pineta Formica Lake. It is a route immersed in the nature reserve of the Saltpan of Cervia, an area with a high landscape, cultural and natural value.

  • The Eco museum of the Salt and the Sea

Launched in 2013, the Eco museum is a constantly evolving project with a precise goal: recover and protect the environmental and landscape heritage of the town, whilst promoting the local products, craftwork, architecture and ancient trades and traditions connected to Cervia.

  • Canal Harbour and historic sails - Ph. Angela RaggiABCD Cervia

An innovative re-functionalization project for the Darsena Salt Warehouse. Through various activities carried out in separate areas the concept of well-being will be expressed in the connotations of local products, place of socialization, spa and sensory paths in salt for physical wellbeing and cultural spaces dedicated to design and music for the wellbeing “of the soul”.

  • Via dei Romei and the Salt of the Pope

The Italian association of the Via Romea Germanica manages the pilgrim route that goes from Stade (Germany) to Rome in the Italian section that starts from the Brennero. The goal of the project is to stimulate the discovery of the areas of Forese and the insertion of the location in the slow and sustainable tourism circuit.

The projects, inserted into the Action Plan of C.E.T.S., are geared to steer tourism in the area of the Po Delta towards sustainability.

Goals of the projects:

  • Reduce carbon dioxide emission and pollution
  • improve the wellbeing of the local community
  • guarantee safe access to all visitors to the protected areas, with high quality services

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism

13 January 2021

The Po Delta Biosphere Reserve and the two Regional Parks of the Po Delta (Veneto and Emiliano –Romagnolo) were awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism on 13 January 2021, an important recognition that EUROPARC (European Association of Protected Areas) confers on territories which dedicate themselves the most to reducing environmental impacts connected with tourism and in pursuing sustainable development. This recognition is issued through a process of verification and has international value. It is not simply a commitment to improve sustainable tourism but also the implementation of tangible actions by public and private bodies.

Pista ciclabile in Salina - Ph. Maurizio DolciThe basic goal is to protect the natural and cultural heritage and the continuous improvement of managing tourism in the protected area in favour of the environment, local population, companies and visitors.

The actions carried out bring economic, social and environmental benefits that can be measured thanks to well-managed sustainable tourism, strengthen relations with local tourism operators and with the tourism industry at large, provide access and inclusion within an extended and dynamic European network.

Tourism is a growing sector and is one of the key factors of development for rural economies in Europe. To promote Sustainable Tourism means visiting a specific place as tourists with the commitment of having a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.

CETS becomes a participatory governance tool to promote sustainable tourism and structure the activities of the protected areas in the field of tourism and to favour, through greater integration and collaboration with all the subjects involved, the development of a tourism offer compatible with the needs to safeguard biodiversity in the protected Areas.

In Italy, the CETS method is promoted by Federparchi that tries to involve management Bodies in acquiring, monitoring and maintaining this prestigious recognition.
Europarc Federation verifies and certifies that the protected areas that aspire to this recognition have effectively implemented participatory inclusive and transparent processes and that they have shared an action plan for sustainable tourism with the different actors in addition to the relevant park (local institutions, operators of the sector, trade associations).

After the protected areas have achieved Phase 1, the Charter develops with Phase 2, geared to local stakeholders, and Phase 3 for tour operators.

Promenade "I pionieri del Turismo" - Ph. Dany FontanaWith CETS, the parks become “laboratories of good practices” connected to sustainability, places in which to experiment innovative projects that can be a model even outside the perimeter of the protected territory.

CETS takes its cue from the recommendations made in the study of EUROPARC of 1993 entitled “Loving them to Death? Sustainable Tourism in Europe’s Nature and National Parks”, and reflects the global and European priorities expressed by the recommendations of Agenda 21, adopted during the Earth Summit of Rio in 1992 and by the 6th community programme of actions for sustainable development. The Charter is one of the priorities for the European parks defined in the programme of action of UICN Parks for Life (1994).

Furthermore, the growing importance of sustainable tourism development, as an international theme of interest, has been highlighted by the “Guidelines for International Sustainable Tourism” of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Charter tackles directly the principles of these guidelines and provides a practical tool for their implementation in the protected areas at local level.

The principles of the charter

The promotion and management of Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas must be inspired by the following principles:

The territory covered by the award

The territory covered by the CETS award belongs to the municipalities that make up:

  • the Po Delta Biosphere Reserve
  • the Po Delta Regional Park of Emilia-Romagna
  • the Po Delta Regional Park of Veneto

Sonus Salis, Magazzino Darsena  - Ph. Istvan BikfalviCETS strategy

The Po Delta

The three pillars of the CETS Po Delta strategy are:

  • Expansion of the tourist season
  • Greater territorial distribution of tourist flows
  • Collaboration and coordination

More specifically:
1. Expansion of the tourist season

  • Strengthen the connection between the functions and activities of environmental education and sustainable tourist development.
  • Promote the consumption and enhancement of zero-mile agri-food products and zero-mile fish.
  • Develop cycle tourism
  • Promote and strengthen tourism connected with birdwatching

2. Greater territorial distribution of tourist flows

  • Strengthen the network of cycle, equestrian, river and lagoon routes implementing the signage and information points along these routes.
  • Encourage eco-tourism experiences and slow offers of the territory.
  • Implement "tourism accessible to all"
  • Enhance and strengthen the services (environmental guides, itineraries, equipment, educational workshops,…) and infrastructure (cycle paths, bird hides, network of small ports and mooring points)
  • Promote tourists’ knowledge in respect of local specialties

3. Collaboration and coordination

  • Improve accessibility to the Po Delta and its internal mobility using public transport
  • Develop an online and offline communication strategy
  • Improve the incisiveness of the brand "Biosfera Delta del Po"
  • Promote the coordination of existing events
  • Promote the companies that intend to invest to innovate and qualify their products creating the conditions to market them.

Specific transverse goals

  • Reduce the overall environmental pressure which tourism generates on the territory
  • Protect and enhance the widespread presence of water, in different environments (rivers, lagoons and sea)
  • Encourage and promote the requalification of the building stock
  • Make tour operators and the local community fully aware of the value of the territory
  • Monitor the impacts of tourism in particular in the most sensitive and most popular areas
  • Monitor how the effects of climate change can impact the Po Delta

The 15.02.2021 Conference Proceedings

For further information on the Conference Proceedings, you can refer to the dedicated page (only Italian version) in the website of the Po Delta Park.

Un abbraccio verde smeraldo, capanni da pesca sul canalino della pineta - Ph. Gruppo fotografico cervese

For more information:

Chiudi menu
Tourist Information - #VisitCervia - - +39 0544 974400