Aldeias do Xisto renew the 'Starlight Tourist Destination' certification

04 apr 2024
Aldeias do Xisto renew the 'Starlight Tourist Destination' certification
The project brings together tourism, territorial development, science, and pedagogy.

The Starlight Foundation has renewed, for another four years, the Starlight Tourist Destination certification for the Aldeias do Xisto. This renewal recognizes the work carried out by all partners in promoting, defending, and enjoying dark skies, combining tourism, territorial development, science, and education.

"We congratulate the Schist Villages for the demanding and rigorous work carried out and for all the progress made over the past four years, managing to maintain their position in the astrotourism segment", said the Starlight Foundation.

For Paulo Fernandes, president of ADXTUR - the Tourism Development Agency of the Schist Villages, this recognition is an incentive to "continue the path we have been following, focusing on sustainability, returning an important part of Nature to society, and meeting the demands of a discerning audience that views the dark sky as an experience of enjoyment, introspection, and knowledge."

The work carried out over the past years and the level of commitment assumed by all entities involved have once again earned the trust of the Starlight Foundation, which reinforces its support for a project that, through sky observation, serves as a driver of territorial development, promoting moments of immersion and communion with nature and the cosmos.

The excellent visibility conditions, transparency, and darkness of the sky, the commitment between public, private, and scientific entities, the promptness and quality of tourist services, and the genuine interest of the resident community justify the renewal of this certification, first awarded in 2019.

The Starlight Tourist Destination certification is awarded to destinations that not only have excellent conditions for observing the night sky but are also prepared to meet the resulting tourist demand.

This project is led by ADXTUR, in partnership with the Intermunicipal Community of the Coimbra Region, the Institute of Telecommunications of the University of Aveiro, and the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto.

The La Palma Declaration was signed there 17 years ago

This April marks the 17th anniversary of the "Declaration for the Defense of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight," signed in 2007 at the First International Starlight Conference held on the Canary Island of La Palma (Spain).

This declaration classifies the night sky as a heritage of humanity and was drafted by various international institutions and organizations such as UNESCO, the International Astronomical Union, the European Southern Observatory, the International Dark-Sky Association, and the World Tourism Organization.