Via Francigena

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The Via Francigena receives the European sustainability award

Only a few days after being granted the ‘Destinations of Sustainable Cultural Tourism 2023’ award by the European Cultural Tourism Network, the Via Francigena and the Horizon2020 project rurAllure have won another important international recognition: the Skål Europe Sustainable Tourism Award 2023.

The award ceremony, held in Malaga on 5 November on the occasion of 2023 Skål International World Congress, was attended by Martin Lopez Nores from the University of Vigo, rurAllure project coordinator.

The initiative, held in parallel at European and global level, awards best examples of sustainability in the international tourism scene. Participation is open to all public and private sector companies, educational institutions, NGOs and government agencies related to tourism in Europe.

Endorsed by Skål Roma, the EAVF nominated the rurAllure project in the category ‘Major Tourist Attractions’, presenting the network of more than 11,000 km formed by the pilgrimage routes united by the project as a mega-destination for sustainable tourism that transcends national borders, promoting European heritage and diversity as an opportunity for enrichment and cooperation.

The EAVF is a partner in the rurAllure project and manages its frontline communication through social channels and the website, as well as promoting the project at European level through collaborations with journalists, bloggers and international organisations. The EAVF is also responsible for researching and mapping heritage sites along the Via Francigena for the Ways to Rome pilot project.

The ‘Skål Europe Sustainable Tourism Awards’ are an initiative by Skål Europe – which is part of Skål International – an associative organisation of international importance recognised by the World Tourism Organisation. Since 1934 Skål has been bringing together more than 12,500 members from the world of tourism professions, promoting networking and cooperation. Projects must have a clear sustainability focus following the lines of the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Paolo Bartolozzi, International Councillor for Skål in Italy, commented on the award underlining that “projects such as the Via Francigena and rurAllure are extremely significant for their ability to transmit a rich historical memory. This historical memory is linked to the role of the walking routes as a crossroads of peoples, cultures and ideas, which endures also in the present. Skål Awards aims at encouraging these projects to continue promoting social, economic and environmental sustainability. By ensuring the existence of tourist destinations that avoid environmentally negative processes and dilute the flow of tourists over long distances and different times of the year, pilgrimage routes premise a unique tourist experience.”

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