Tenerife - a model of sustainability in
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;
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
- 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 -
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