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What is Biosphere certification?

Written by ShBarcelona

Undoubtedly, the importance of sustainability has become fundamental in all areas, and a clear example of this is the tourism sector.

As new generations advance in the different productive sectors, there is greater concern for tourism and favoring options that benefit the health of the planet, local development and the well-being of the people involved.

More and more travelers are considering Biosphere certification when choosing their destination. From this we ask ourselves: What is this certification and what is the reason for this trend? In this context, we explain in detail what it entails and what benefits it entails.

What is Biosphere Certification?

It is a certification that stands out for its focus on promoting sustainable tourism both in the present and in the future. This certification is based on the principles of sustainability and continuous improvement, all framed within the Biosphere methodology.

Its purpose is to encourage tourism companies to develop their products and services following a responsible tourism approach. In this way, we seek to ensure a long-term balance between the economic, socio-cultural and environmental aspects of a destination.

All of this, with the aim of guaranteeing that the municipality reduces the carbon footprint derived from its visitors to a minimum.

Find tourist accommodations in Barcelona

How is it obtained?

Obtaining this certification is favored by the advice of specialized experts, who facilitate and optimize the selection and implementation process of more than 400 sustainable activities and actions proposed by the Institute of Responsible Tourism (ITR).

These activities are distributed in 5 evaluation areas: climate change, environment, society, economy and culture.

ODS Barcelona

17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Why is it important?

Biosphere is part of the movement towards sustainable tourism, which seems to be an unstoppable trend in the next three decades. Through this certification, not only is the environment protected, but a product is created that aligns with new consumer trends.

Additionally, studies suggest that the wellness economy could reach $3.4 billion dollars globally. This fact is based on the idea that tourists will value companies and establishments that offer healthy experiences that promote beneficial lifestyle habits.

What requirements are nedeed to fulfill?

This certification evaluate different points that establish concrete, identifiable and measurable objectives. Its purpose is to function as a tool for continuous improvement of tourism.

The objective of the Institute of Responsible Tourism (ITR), through certification, is to approach sustainability in a comprehensive manner and in relation to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined by the UN, demonstrating that the entity contributes to their fulfillment. This is mainly based on 5 groups of objectives:

It is linked to the social economy, such as social integration and local economic activity.

Promote the participation of people in the tourism industry, which guarantees them decent employment and thus reduces inequalities in local communities.

If the local architectural environment is respected.

The aim is to optimize the use of natural resources, protect the environment and contribute to reducing climate change through sustainable practices in tourism.

Promote intercultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual respect between different communities and cultures, thus contributing to peace and security in tourist destinations.

How is the certification process like?

Destination certification

Diagnostic phase that begins with a comprehensive evaluation, followed by an action plan and an audit. These tools allow you to evaluate the initial state of the destination and provide specific guidelines to improve it.

Subsequently, through audits, the level of compliance and commitment to grant certification is evaluated.

Diagnosis and proposal for improvement

The ITR can offer a detailed evaluation and improvement plan for the tourist destination. This proposal includes a guide prepared by experts, adapted to particular needs that will help to objectively identify the best strategies to promote tourism in the region.

Montserrat Monastery

Tourism in Barcelona and surroundings

Destination accession

The simplest option of all offered: Before starting the certification process, a Responsible Destination Manifesto delivered by the ITR is signed. So, the destination is integrated into the Biosphere Community with the initial category and is included on the website.

This step serves as prior preparation to obtain full certification.

Benefits of Biosphere Certification

Having the Biosphere Certification represents important advantages for the tourist destinations that have it:

  • Improves the quality and image of the tourist destination
  • Promotes sustainable policies that benefit the community
  • Contributes to the promotion of local commerce and economy
  • Create jobs and reactivate the economy
  • Greater visibility of the tourist destination worldwide
  • Greater commitment to public opinion concerns

Destination Barcelona

The city of Barcelona has received the new Biosphere certifications, which recognize good practices in sustainable management of tourism and service companies.

A total of 487 entities in the city of Barcelona have obtained the diploma with the seal that accredits their commitment to respectful management of the environment, culture and the social and economic environment.

The Destination Barcelona is the one with the most tourist accommodations with sustainable certification within the European Union (more than 1,000). This is reflected in the Environmental Labels and Schemes indicator, created by the EU itself.

Related article: How to travel in Barcelona: Your city travel guide

Traveling to a destination with the Biosphere certificate from the Responsible Tourism Institute is a guarantee at an environmental level. It is granted by an organization that is responsible for ensuring that the city meets the Sustainable Development Goals and fights climate change, through its tourism policies.

These are key aspects to guarantee that, in the future, we will be able to continue traveling and enjoying the most beautiful natural places in the world.

About the author


ShBarcelona is a real estate agency located in the city of Barcelona that offers apartments for rent and sale. In our blog we tell you everything related with real estate, administrative procedures, events and plans in Barcelona.

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