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Tenerife: a sustainable and digital destination

The island advances as a prime European destination in its environmental, social and economic commitment, as well as in new technologies applied to tourism.
Tenerife Sustainable

Tenerife is a destination that looks to the future, seeking the growth of all people equally and looking to future generations. Committed to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and with innovation and technology hand in hand to be a more efficient, accessible and inclusive island, it reinforces its charms by developing actions that generate a 360º commitment to the tourism sector in its economic, social and environmental aspects, while also becoming a benchmark destination in the digital sphere.

Tenerife’s commitment as a destination to its environment includes having the most visited National Park in Spain, the Teide National Park, the protection of the cleanest sky in Europe and the optimal use of natural and environmental resources to preserve the island’s biological diversity, an imperative when almost half of the island’s territory is protected.

Milestones of this commitment include, for example, the Charter for the Sustainability of Whale Watching, adopted in 2018. A voluntary commitment of the companies that carry out this activity with respect for the animals and the environment while offering a meaningful and transformative tourist experience for the customer. Its primary objective is to safeguard the habitat of the colony of cetaceans that permanently inhabits the southwest of the island, promoting sustainable and responsible tourism in a marine area of particular sensitivity, the Teno-Rasca strip, due to the species that inhabit it and the habitat itself: only 26 of the 79 species of cetaceans that inhabit the planet have been seen there. In addition, this charter also encourages responsible use by tourists who enjoy the activity by raising awareness among all the agents involved: companies, tourists, local people and public administrations. 

Two years later, in 2020, the Sustainability Charter for Nature Activities was presented: a participatory project with the business sector and other areas of the Cabildo with competencies in the territory and whose main objective is to increase and improve the quality and sustainability of the activities carried out in nature, maximising the balance between the tourist experience and the conservation of natural resources. 

Tenerife Sustainable

Biosphere certification

As a result of a clear, compelling and cross-cutting work methodology in terms of sustainability, and in line with its commitment, Tenerife obtained Biosphere certification in April 2021. The seal, issued by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an entity endorsed by UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization, committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, aims to promote sustainable development actions and programmes.

To breathe life into a paradise like this, Tenerife continues to grow and aspires to become the first island in which all its hotels are self-sufficient in clean energy: Tenerife is a pioneer in sustainability. 

The golf courses on the island are constantly improving their sustainability, as they all cover a large area of natural grass and a vast vegetation landscape. All of them comply with the mandatory regulation to rinse all the golf playing areas with regenerated or desalinated water so that the island’s water resources are optimised, and in no case do the golf courses use water destined for agricultural or human use. All the golf courses have become an oasis for many wild animals, creating new natural ecosystems.

In addition, all the golf courses are planted with grass species that require 30% less water and are resistant to water with a high saline index, which is often the case with reclaimed water.

Some courses already incorporate solar panels in different parts of the course to use more renewable and clean energy for irrigation and pumping. In this case, Buenavista Golf is a pioneer on the island, where they have already placed many panels in the areas near the desalination plant and in the club’s car park.

Tenerife obtained Biosphere certification in April 2021. The seal, issued by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an entity endorsed by UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization, committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, aims to promote sustainable development actions and programmes.

At the forefront of digitalisation

In addition to sustainability, Tenerife is a pioneer in strategies that rely on digitalisation and advanced innovation to improve the destination experience for travellers. Thus, after years of work, the island is the first place in Spain to renew its certification as a Smart Tourism Destination (DTI), awarded by the State Company for the Management of Innovation and Tourism Technologies (SEGITTUR), which depends on the Secretary of State for Tourism (Government of Spain). This certification accredits it as an innovative tourist destination, consolidated on a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, which guarantees the sustainable development of the tourist territory, improving its accessibility and increasing the quality of the visitor’s experience through interaction with the resident.

Tenerife is also the first destination to have an Artificial Intelligence Tourism Master Plan, intending to provide the traveller and the island’s citizens with a unique multi-channel experience (offline and online), the result of innovation and technology focused on the needs of each type of traveller. 

Continuing to be a benchmark tourist destination means being prepared for the future and being able to adapt to apply and extract all the positive aspects of digitalisation, with the security of travellers’ data as a significant challenge. For this reason, it has also carried out a Tourism Master Plan for Cybersecurity and another for Blockchain. In addition, the Smart Office of Tenerife has been set up to manage all the island’s projects related to digitalisation.

Precisely, the golf product on the island is also making progress in digitisation. Among the most critical projects is creating a booking centre where customers can purchase their green fees for the golf courses and choose their preferred hotel or car hire in a single web portal and a single reservation.