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Tenerife - a model of sustainability in

                                                                                             Gabriela TIGU

A trip to the beautiful Spanish destination Tenerife can teach you many, whether you

are a professional or just a tourist. I will not speak here about the beauties of the

happy nature, nor about the unmatched hospitality of the inhabitants of the Canary

Islands, but I have chosen to refer to the lessons on sustainability that the island


People seem to have understood here, faster than in many other famous

destinations, that environmental protection primarily helps them. And, obviously,

tourists and the local economy.

Small communities are competing to promote sustainability projects, to develop

environmentally responsible tourism programs and with great local benefits. And

they do this, I would say, without importing "resonant" models, but by bringing to

light simple activities and values, own traditions and economic activities with local


Concerns for sustainable development have also penetrated the big hotel companies

on the island, and their experiences have already become models for other

international hotel chains.

The "GF Victoria" hotel in Santa Cruz is one of the models to be followed in terms of

promoting hotel sustainability. The "GF Hotels" chain has obtained ISO 9001, ISO

14001 and EMAS certifications.

Moreover, the GF hotel chain is the first in the Canary Islands to join the "United

Nations Global Impact", the most important initiative in the world on corporate

sustainability - in fact a call for companies to align their strategies and operations

with the universal principles of. Human  rights, labor, environment and anti-

corruption and take measures that promote the goals of society. Thus, the company

"GF Hoteles" assumes its involvement in promoting responsible, sustainable and

ecological tourism and has adopted in this regard a number of concrete objectives

related to the environment, employees and organization.

These include the following measures:

- supporting local economic growth; data from the company's procurement

department certifies that over 90% of invoices for all product and service

procurement are made to local suppliers;

- reducing CO2 emissions throughout the logistics chain;

- reducing the use of disposable plastic packaging, for example, the gradual

replacement of plastic bottles used by guests and attached with aluminium bottles;

- optimization of paper consumption in the company;

- the use of a system of intelligent irrigation and of vegetal layers including on the

roofs, for the increase of the absorption of CO2, scientifically controlled;

- efficient waste management, permanent control, in accordance with the

requirements of ISO 14001 and the European EMAS Regulation;

- the use of condensing boilers and biomass boilers, which contributes to a 33%

reduction in smoke emissions and elimination of heat losses, as well as a 20%

savings in fuel consumption for energy production;

ü utilizareapanourilorsolarepentruproducereaenergieielectricesitermice;

energy efficiency of the laundry service serving the four hotels on the Costa Adeje


- switching to ecological technologies, which involves more measures, from the use of

new fuels with lower CO2 emissions, to the commitment to buy electricity of certified

origin, 100% renewable.

Within the framework of the hotel chain, the hotel "GF Victoria" stands out by the

fact that it is the first hotel in the Canary Islands that obtained the energy

treatment Class "A", certifying the maximum energy efficiency of the building; in

short, this means: reducing energy consumption / reducing CO2 emissions; cost

savings; reducing the consumption of other natural resources.

The hotel states that 90% of the energy consumption is made by using renewable

energy sources. This is possible through the implementation of facilities and

management systems such as:

- solar thermal collectors (high efficiency plates or panels);

- biomass boiler;

-  cooling system with energy recovery;

- 100% LED lighting;

- intelligent systems for energy control;

- only the use of plant species specific to the local ecosystem in the roof garden,

which is the largest in the Canary Islands and allows perfect drainage;

- roofs and exterior walls with thermal and acoustic insulators that prevent the

transmission of temperature in the building;

- orientation of the building, which facilitates the renovation and ventilation in a

natural way;

- selective waste collection through a modern management system, which allows this

in both the spaces intended for guests and employees.

All these measures come to support not only economic efficiency, but also a unique

experience for tourists, given the ambience created through luxurious but not

ostentatious spaces, through excellent services, especially for families with children,

but also for couples coming to this wonderful destination. of tourism in Tenerife -

Costa Adeje.



Tenerife - more than just
a holiday destination

Tenerife, a land that seems to be taken from fairy tales:

extraordinary flora and fauna, breathtaking relief, exotic beaches,

an impressive volcano and impressive wines, the responsibility of

tourism, renewable energy, gastronomy at the highest level.

Those are just a few attributes to describe one of the most

beautiful places on Earth.

At the end of 2019, a delegation of journalists from FIJET

Romania honored the invitation received from the colleagues of

FIJET Spain, a federation chaired by President Miguel Angel

González Suárez, thus visiting one of the most exotic and

important destinations in the world - Tenerife.

This program is part of the tourism strategy of Spain to promote

the most important destinations from their country through the

Federation of Tourism Journalists Spain to the other tourism

federation in the world.

The main host of this event was the GF Victoria Hotel, part of the

hotel chain in Tenerife, GF Hotels, which hosted the members of

FIJET Romania throughout the visit. GF Victoria is a 5 * luxury

hotel located in the Adeje area. The hotel has 242 apartments

designed to meet the needs of the most demanding clients, SPA,

water park, surf pool and for couples looking for intimacy there

are swimming pools separated from  the 'adventure' area, among

which we mention the swimming pool on the last floor of the hotel

, an infinity pool, partially suspended in the air. The hotel has

three bars and three restaurants where the local gastronomy

obtains art valences. GF Victoria is an international example of

sustainability, fighting against global warming. The site has

reduced its energy consumption and CO2 emissions to a

minimum, activating 90% on renewable energy and being the only

hotel in Europe and the third in the world certified with ISO

21401 certification - a certification in the tourism area granted

for a system of sustainable management in accommodation units.

The program included the visit to the Bodega Comarcal del Valle

de Güímar winery, in the presence of the mayor of the Arafo area,

Juan Ramón Martín, winery where since 1992 D.O.C. wines have

been produced. The winery is owned by several small producers of

grapes in the area. Located at 700m altitude, the area is

privileged with grapes of a high quality. The activity of the winery

started with 72 producers and at the present moment there are

150 associated families producing one million kg of grapes. Most

grapes are white and the predominant variety is Muscat.

The wine bottled goes from dry white wine to sweet wine, as well

as red wine. The Malvacia wine producers in the area are the

ones who supplied the royal house of Great Britain with wine. In

Tenerife there is a small amount of wine that’s why a very small

quantity reaches export, in the United States, for example the

canary wine is considered exotic wine. The local grape species

take their properties directly from the soil, from the volcanic rock.

The peculiarity of the Canary Islands is that they were not

affected by phylloxera. The Bodega Comarcal del Valle de Güímar

is known for it’s sparkling wine but also for Brumas Dayosa, a

distinguished wine with the title of the best wine in 2019, from

the Canary Islands.

Tenerife, also known as the 'Island of eternal spring', fills us with

temperatures of approximately 25 degrees Celsius throughout the

year, so the island is associated with the exotic beaches,

relaxation and fun on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Siam Park,

one of the most spectacular water parks in the world, comes

therefore to complement the leisure offer.

Luxurious hotels such as 'Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque Resort',

'Coral Suites' or 'La Casona del Patio', 4 * or 5 * hotels, with

average prices of around 500 Euros / night, convinced us that this

lush island can meet not only the criteria of the most demanding

tourists but also the dreams of the wealthiest travelers. The

accommodation units in Tenerife are full almost all year round, at

the middle of December 2019 they were at 80% occupancy.

From the visit program we mention 'Casa de los Balcones', a

reference building in the Canary Islands. In the presence of the

construction director, Fernando Schonfeld, the one whose

ancestors lived in this house, we found out about typical Canary

customs and traditions, as well as gastronomy and a certain

ingredient called 'gofio', a combination of several types of cereals,

which is used both in desserts and in main dishes. Casa de los

Balocnes dates back to the 15th century, it is entirely made of

wood, and the wood has not been treated with any substance,

being impeccable for over 500 years.

Dracaena draco or the Drago is a species of tree, typical of the

subtropical climate, but being found mainly in Morocco. In

Tenerife, in the municipality of Icod de los Vinos, there is such an

impressive tree, 16 meters high, whose age is somewhere around

800 years old.

The Los Gigantes rocks on the border of the ocean with the shore

of the village bearing their name, are one of the most interesting

tourist attractions. 'Giants' are rock formations with a height

between 500 and 800 meters. In the 'Giants' village, the AQUA

restaurant presents special culinary preparations, served in the

most extravagant ways by an educated staff inspired by the

concept 'pleasure to serve'. Here, the waiter is the culinary and

oenological guide who presents with high professionalism the

dishes served and how those can be paired with wines.

The presence of the local authorities, the mayors Juan Ramón

Martín, Francisco Javier González and Emilio Navarro, led the

expedition to a point where one could notice the involvement,

seriousness and dedication with which the various tourism

projects in Tenerife are conceptualized and carried out.

El Teide, perhaps the most valuable asset of the island, the

volcano towering over beaches, hotels and lush restaurants,

included in the UNESCO Heritage, proves once again how

majestic nature is, especially in this area where there are so

many reliefs and microclimates brought together.

Tenerife is therefore defined as a corner of heaven, one of the

most complex and sumptuous, where there’s eternal spring and

the wines are so, so good...

by Diana DUMITRU