The Starlight Foundation has been awarded in FiturNext 2020 Challenge, for initiatives that show how tourism can contribute to local development. These awards are presented after the analysis of more than 250 innovative sustainable tourism projects carried out worldwide, made by the FiturNext Observatory, the Fitur platform sponsored by Bankia.
The FITURNext Observatory has selected the 12 initiatives with highest potential. An Advisory Committee, made up of 7 experts with great experience in the field of tourism and innovation, voted for three winning initiatives of the FITURNext 2020 challenge: “How can tourism contribute to local economic development”. For this, hundreds of practices have been analyzed assessing their level of impact and replicability. The Starlight Foundation has received today, together with Sponsor an Olive Tree and Soap for Hope initiatives, the FituNext 2020 Challenge prize, presented at the International Tourism Fair, Fitur 2020.
The award was collected by Antonia Varela, director of the Starlight Foundation. She has highlighted in her speech the importance that the dark sky has taken in the 40th edition of this Fair, that brings together the main tourist destinations around the world. Which leaves its mark on the increasing number of territories, both national and international, that have shown their the dark sky in Fitur 2020.
Antonia Varela collects the FiturNext 2020 Challenge Award / Credit: Ad Astra Hervás
Astrotourism, the work of Starlight Foundation, is a sustainable tourism modality that combines the observation of the night sky, the dissemination and leisure activities related to astronomy. But it is also a resource to enhance territories with fewer possibilities that see star tourism as an excellent opportunity to increase quality visitors.
That is why there are more and more territories, initiatives or accommodations that seek to certify the quality of their dark sky and be part of the Starlight family, involving more than 120 certified members in January 2020, without more than 700 professionals of the Star tourism formed by the Starlight Foundation. And the area of territories adhered to the Starlight Declaration for the Defense of the Dark Sky exceeds 75,000 km2.
In addition, the demand has skyrocketed inside and outside Spain and about a hundred open applications are currently underway. Thus, 13 villages have requested Starlight certification, new files have been opened in more than 35 Spanish territories, and international demand has grown by 300%, reaching fifteen countries.