Save Water, be a Futurist

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“Protecting and preserving this precious resource for future generations depends on partnerships. The smart management and conservation of the world’s water resources means bringing together governments, businesses, scientists, civil society and communities – including indigenous communities – to design and deliver concrete solutions.”

 António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Tourism’s role in mitigating water scarcity: a collaborative approach

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, endorsed by all UN Member States in 2015, underscores the global need for sustainable development and offers a collective roadmap towards prosperity and peace.

VisitPortugal integrates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its Tourism Strategy 2017–2027, prioritizing sustainability (ecological, social, and economic) within its framework.

Addressing water scarcity, as outlined in SDG 6, is a pressing global issue. We stress the importance of sustainable tourism practices and responsible tourist behaviour in effective water management.

#It’s not tourism. It’s futourism marks Visit Portugal’s campaign, presenting 12 resolutions for future tourists to engage in transformative travel experiences, in line with the 2027 Tourism Strategy’s vision for sustainable and inclusive tourism.

Visit Portugal’s #Futourism movement encourages travellers to embrace authentic and sustainable experiences, benefiting local communities and the environment.

Throughout the first twelve days of 2024, VisitPortugal unveiled short videos illustrating 12 resolutions for a more committed, local, unique, humble, and conscientious approach to tourism.

Cooperation is the key for a Futourism present

We need to accelerate these efforts to be increasingly efficient and mindful, fulfilling our part of the collective effort to make the best possible water management in the sector.

The Tourism Strategy 2017 – 2027 drives VisitPortugal to lead the tourism of the future, setting us purposefully in the path of a better tourism, for a better planet.

The commitment to inspire, to mobilize and to act is materialized in the #Futourist campaign but also permeates every aspect of the strategy and operational day-to-day of VisitPortugal. Through the industry, the locals and the tourist we will be able to take an active role in the changes that are required in tourism, in Portugal and the world.

Discussion Points

Sustainable Practices in the Tourism Industry

Water-Efficient Infrastructure

  • Discuss the measures taken by hotels, resorts, and other tourism-related infrastructure to adopt water-efficient technologies (examples may include the use of low-flow faucets, water recycling systems, and drought-resistant landscaping).
  • Link the efforts of the tourism industry to adopt water-efficient technologies with SDG 6’s target of ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, emphasizing how these initiatives contribute to the broader global agenda.
  • Give examples of best in class companies and programs for the Portuguese Tourism Board to support businesses in growing in the doble transition (digital and sustainable).

Community Engagement

  • Highlight how tourism businesses collaborate with local communities to implement water-saving initiatives.
  • Showcase successful partnerships that have led to improved water infrastructure and / or conservation programs.

Upscaling the industry

  • Reference the Empresas 360 program, a program that aims to help tourism businesses in Portugal to be more responsible and aware of their impact and efforts towards sustainability.
  • Explore how the industry educates staff and guests about water conservation.
  • Discuss initiatives such as informational signage, employee training programs, and guest awareness campaigns. For example the launch of the SAVE WATER Seal in partnership with ADENE and the Tourism Region of the Algarve.

Section 2: Responsible Tourism and Tourist Behavior

Education and Awareness

  • Emphasize the importance of educating tourists about the destination’s water situation.
  • Discuss the role of tourism boards, as brands and platforms for communication in disseminating information on responsible water use. You may use various campaigns and brand activation examples such as FutourismCantSkipTomorrow or Ocean’s Wall.

Water-Saving Practices for Tourists

  • Provide practical tips for tourists to reduce water consumption during their stay (e.g., shorter showers, reusing towels, not wasting water in recreational activities). A social media content campaign is being developed to help respond to this need. Details will be shared when it is live.
  • Reference the effort of encouraging the reduction of plastic use in all promotional activities, namely brand activations and press trips.

Additional Information:

Government Measures to Tackle Water Scarcity (link tbs)

Tourism Strategy 2017 – 2027

Futourism Campaign