Visa and Turisme de Barcelona team up to promote sustainability in Barcelona's restaurants
Visa has announced an agreement with Turisme de Barcelona, to encourage the restaurant industry in the city to apply more sustainable measures within their businesses. As one of the most popular gastronomic destinations in the world, Barcelona’s restaurants are filled with millions of tourists a year, and this partnership will help meet the demands of visitors.
The agreement was announced at FITUR, a meeting that brought together the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council, Jordi Valls; the General Manager of Tourism of Barcelona, Mateu Hernández; the Head of Merchants and Acceptance for Visa in Southern Europe, Roble Dorronsoro, together with the President of the Barcelona Restaurant Guild, Salvador Vendrell, and the Secretary General of ITR, Patricio Azcárate. During the meeting, their commitment to the need of advancing sustainable practices in restaurants was reiterated through an initiative that identifies excellence according to the standards defined in the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
According to Visa's Global Travel Intentions Study 20231, 87% of tourists who intend to visit Spain in the coming months see sustainable tourism options as attractive. In addition the Barcelona Turisme observatory found that 33% of tourists would be willing to pay an additional 10% for more sustainable services. In this initial phase, a pilot project will be carried out with 30 restaurants in the capital who will be offered recommendations adapted to their businesses so that they can adopt more sustainable practices. Key to the development of the project has been the collaboration of the Institute of Responsible Tourism (ITR) by developing the methodology and the 12 sustainability attributes for the sector, being the evaluators for the pilot phase, as well as the result and compliance with the attributes. These attributes, proposed by ITR and in accordance with its BIOSPHERE tourism sustainability certification model, are designed to help establishments comply with international sustainability requirements. They are based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 169 targets agreed by the United Nations and will be aimed at facilitating changes, efforts and improvements in their operations and processes that have a positive impact on their business. people and the planet.
According to Roble Dorronsoro, Head of Merchants and Acceptance at Visa in Southern Europe: "Tourists are increasingly conscious of sustainability factors when choosing the destination they will visit or where they will choose to have dinner, so it is essential that local businesses are prepared to offer sustainable and optimal experiences. In this context, we are working to drive sustainable commerce with our clients and partners and supporting SMEs in their digitalisation, where Visa has helped more than 50 million SMEs worldwide, 8 million across Europe, since 2020."
On behalf of Turismo de Barcelona, Josep Maria Gómez, director of the sustainability area, confirms the commitment to promoting more sustainable tourism and to this end "we have launched a project supported by Visa, for the creation of the guide to Sustainable Restaurants in Barcelona, Barcelona Sustainable Gastronomy. This guide will be the international benchmark for identifying and supporting, with a campaign abroad, those restaurants that stand out as sustainable consumption options in Barcelona". Barcelona's gastronomic offer stands out for its quality worldwide, so "with this project we want to recognise this reality and promote the adoption of good practices in the restaurant sector that improve the positive impact on society and the environment, improving competitiveness, profitability and positioning and communicating the efforts made to customers around the world".
In the words of the President of the Institute for Responsible Tourism, Dr. Tomás de Azcárate Bang, "the support of the destination of Barcelona to promote more sustainable tourism models continues to be at the forefront. From the ITR, we are confident in the positive projection of this project, and all the efforts carried out in the Biosphere methodology, will be approached from a global vision for its international translation, in search of more sustainable cuisines of the world. Undoubtedly, betting on locating the pilot of this new formula of more responsible gastronomic tourism in Barcelona is a success, given the involvement of restaurants and the value of gastronomy for the destination sector."
Gastronomy and sustainability, key ingredients of tourism
The Global Travel Intentions Study 2023 carried out by Visa1 , which analyses the preferences of international tourists who intend to visit our country in the next 12 months, showing that one of the great attractions for 88% is the enjoyment of gastronomy, with the most common dining options being daily food and restaurants and cafes (66%) and haute cuisine restaurants (31%). In fact, the data extracted from the Visa network (VisaNet) highlights the relevance of restaurants for international tourists, since those who have visited Barcelona in the last 12 months have allocated 27%2 of their total expenditure to restaurants, this being the category in which they spent the highest volume of spending.
Likewise, the aforementioned study shows a growing environmental awareness when traveling, where 87% of respondents say that affordable eco-sustainable tourism would be attractive to them and they would choose it if it is available at similar or even more affordable price levels than other alternatives.
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1 Global Travel Intentions Survey Visa
2 VisaNet November 2022-November 2023.