Sustainable tourism in Trentino
Sustainability and biodiversity are strategic assets in Trentino. So it’s no wonder that the “environment-friendly” approach is taken so seriously. New types of high-quality hospitality are the result: rooted in tradition, yet open to green technologies and fresh ideas.
30% of Trentino is under environmental protection, thanks to our three natural parks, and a widespread network of other conservation areas, both large and small. Together, they shelter an enormous wealth of biodiversity. Recognised by Unesco, these riches are key part of Trentino’s appeal, and offer visitors the chance to experience unique landscapes, and learn about rare plant and animal species – from brown bears to delicate Alpine flowers such as Carex Baldensis, (“snow sedge”).
The need to safeguard these treasures has been a powerful stimulus to the development of eco-tourism in our province. New forms of hospitality, which combine innovation with environmental sustainability, are one of the most important results.
Sustainable accommodation in natural parks
Since the summer of 2015, 21 hotels, B&Bs and campsites in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park have joined the certified companies network of the ECST – the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. Supported by Federparchi and the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, the 21 operators followed this new course by adopting a range of rigorous procedures. In the process, they’ve deepened their appeal to foreign customers, who are increasingly concerned by the issue of sustainability, and fascinated by new green technologies.
The same certification process has been introduced in the other large nature park in Trentino, the Paneveggio–Pale di San Martino park - which is set in one of the most sustainable regions of the Alps, the Valle di Primiero. Here, thanks to a project called Greenway Primiero, the energy needs of the entire valley are supplied by completely renewable sources - thanks to seven hydropower plants and two biomass heating plants.
21 accommodation facilities in the park are involved in the ECST project – each one aiming to satisfy its environmental, social and economic quality requirements. Furthermore, thanks to the initiative “Le Dolomiti ti riCaricano” (The Dolomites reCharge You), guests driving electric or hybrid cars have free use of the 16 public recharging columns in the area.
Green building techniques and technologies
Hotels, B&Bs and campsites have been the first tourist facilities to have benefited from the Trentino’s growing expertise in the field of green technologies, sustainable construction and wood building. This can be seen in the large number of “Ecolabel” certificates assigned here - the highest number in Italy.
Accommodation belonging to the Club Trentino Charme is a great example of this movement towards sustainability. Each is a family hotel, country inn or farmhouse B&B - built in harmony with its surroundings, or the result of careful restoration work. Along with eye-catching design, chemical-free materials and certified wood feature have featured heavily in each project.
It’s an approach which is embodied throughout these beautiful properties. For example, many of their spa products are rooted in the local environment, such as hay cut at dawn in Trentino meadows, Ribes nigrum berries bursting with Vitamin C, and the flower of the Nigritella plant, which has anti-oxidising properties. Meanwhile, their menus and wine lists are bursting with delicious things to eat that have been locally sourced.
Now mountain refuges are green, too
Eco-sustainable solutions are being applied in an ever greater number of accommodation facilities, including our mountain refuges. The objective is to reduce to a minimum the impact of these structures on the delicate ecological systems that exist at high altitude.
For example, many of the highest refuges, such as the Antermoia and Roda di Vaèl huts on the Rosengarten, as well as the Viòz-Mantova hut (at 3,531m the highest in the Eastern Alps), use photovoltaic panels equipped with co-generators to heat their water systems. By contrast, on the 2,125m peak of the Paganella, the mountain refuge La Roda uses a geothermal system as its primary power source; whereas the Mandròn hut in the upper Val Genova relies exclusively on a hydropower control unit. Technology, sustainability and innovation have been the guiding principles during the renovation of the Baita Tonda hut too. Set on the Dosso della Martinella above Serrada, it’s an excellent example of a high-altitude, energy-saving structure.