Want another great reason to visit Siena?
Siena is the first art city in Italy recognized internationally as sustainable in tourism.
If you have ever wondered whether it’s possible to reconcile tourism with sustainability, according to the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council), the answer is that not only is it possible, but it’s even desirable and can be calculated exactly.
The non-profit organization emerged from the United Nations Environment Program and United Nations World Tourism and is committed to promoting a responsible vision of tourism in the age of large-scale flows. They recently declared Siena the first Italian city of art to be internationally recognized as meeting the requirements for sustainable tourism.
A very important milestone for the entire city, sanctioned by the official delivery of the certificate into the hands of the first citizen, who called it ‘our heritage for the future’.
On top of the attractive streets, palaces and monuments, Siena wanted to offer an additional opportunity (perceived as an experience) to tourist, in which their visit becomes sustainable through good practices and care for the environment.
The path to obtain the certificate began in late 2021, with advice from the university spin-off Etifor. The target was reached in February 2023.
The GSTC standard is recognized globally, and the certification will place Siena in a network of prime tourist destinations.
The collaborative process involved representatives from the public and private sectors, associations, and Contrade to understand the strengths and weaknesses of Siena as a destination and then plan targeted interventions.
Vireo, a third-party certification body accredited by GSTC, conducted the official audit in January after which the certificate was issued to the city.
The over 150-page dossier analyses ‘good sustainability practices’ in Siena,including the following: the enhancement of local food and wine and craftsmanship in the city’s offerings; special attention to accessibility; the preservation of artistic works, architectural and landscape assets, the UNESCO recognition contribution; the presence of the Contrade as guarantors of an ancient intangible heritage; the preservation of the green valleys around the old town so loved by the Sienese and tourists alike; and much more… everything you can experience, taste and breathe while in Siena.