Since its creation, the Roteiros de Charme Hotel Association seeks to develop hotel activity in such a way as to minimize environmental impacts. Accompanying the evolution of sustainability of tourism concepts and models, the Association has the firm purpose of getting its Associated Hotels to act as protagonists in their regions by encouraging, supporting, promoting actions that go beyond the simple offer of quality accommodations. Every associated hotel is committed to developing their activities with high levels of social and environmental responsibility towards their respective tourism destinations, and in doing so they seek to achieve tourism’s ideal model known as geotourism.
The concept of geotourism was conceived by National Geographic Traveller as “tourism that sustains and enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place – its environment, landscape, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents”. This concept, used informally since 1997, made its definite entry on the international tourism scene in 2002 by way of a study sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
The attributes of flora, fauna, landscape, architecture, dance, music, gastronomy, arts and how these are experienced by the local population are what, in a broad sense, confer on a tourism destination its geographical character, its “geographical identity”. Tourist activity that is capable of sustaining and increasing the geographic character of a place should therefore encourage the growth of the local economy in such a way as to improve the well-being of the resident population without degrading its identity, its cultural diversity.
The Roteiros de Charme’s Sustainability Program, born of its Ethics and Environmental Code of Conduct, is aligned with the efforts required to carry the ideals of Geotourism to every tourism destination. Besides good practices in respect to energy and water conservation, reducing and recycling solid waste, effluent and emissions management, Associated Hotels are committed to interacting with their host communities through countless forms of engagement, supporting the initiatives of local people that strengthen all aspects their “geographic identity”.
Beyond the charm that is inherent to their hospitality proposals, Roteiros de Charme Associated Hotels are protagonists in the creation of their tourism destinations’ sustainability.