Eco-label for the Region Seefeld
A milestone in sustainability: As of now, the Region Seefeld has been awarded the Austrian Eco-label for Tourism Destinations.
The Region Seefeld – Tirols Hochplateau was the first region ever to be awarded this label. The official award is presented by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK). The Austrian Eco-label is a recognised certificate for making sustainable action tangible and measurable and for creating sustainable awareness.
„The award of the Austrian Eco-label is an important milestone in our already multi-year journey to offer future-oriented tourism,“ says Alois Seyrling, chairman of the Seefeld Tourism Association. All involved stakeholders from the tourism association (TVB) as well as local politics to local businesses and the Karwendel Nature Park are very proud of this milestone, but at the same time see it as just another step towards the sustainable, environmentally conscious future of the region.
„We are proud to be the first and to be able to take on a pioneering role here,“ says TVB Managing Director Elias Walser. Christoph Schaffenrath from the environmental office in Telfs also attributes this role to the TVB: „The TVB Seefeld has taken on an absolute pioneering role. And with it, the entire region now acknowledges its ecological responsibility for the preservation of an intact environment as the basis of life for our society and future generations.“ The environmental expert sees the strength of the region in the fact that the municipalities can actively exchange information and thus benefit from each other.
This close cooperation was the basic requirement for applying for the Austrian Eco-label for Tourism Destinations. „You can’t get the Eco-label for Destinations on your own, neither as a municipality nor as a tourism association. It is awarded to the region as a whole and only if all stakeholders work together,“ explains Walser, who is glad that all stakeholders are so united behind the concept of sustainability.
In addition to local politics and the TVB, they also include the Regional Management Innsbruck Land with Albuin Neuner at the lead, which is an important partner, especially in energy and climate protection issues, as major supra-regional concepts are needed here. „We are already very well on the way here,“ says Neuner. „The certification of the Seefeld region with the eco-label, which has now taken place, is very valuable both for raising awareness and for setting an example to the outside world.“ The local businesses also want to be role models and raise awareness – first and foremost the Plateau Pioneers: the tourism association, the Karwendel Nature Park and six hotel businesses belong to this group and exemplify how sustainability can work. Two of them, the Naturhotel aufatmen and the Biohotel Leutascherhof, have also just been awarded the eco-label and the EU Ecolabel. The other hotels (Alpenhotel Karwendel, Lärchenhof Natur, Hotel Bergland, Hotel Klosterbräu) are in the application process.
Environmental awareness, nature conservation and tourism in the Region Seefeld already go hand in hand in many places. Anton Heufelder, Managing Director of the Karwendel Nature Park, is also noticing this more and more: „The certification of the Region Seefeld with the eco-label fits extremely well with the partnership with the Nature Park. We can be really proud that we have achieved a lockstep between Nature Park and tourism.„
The joy of being the first joint holder of the eco-label for tourism destinations can be felt all over the plateau. But none of the participants wants to rest on their laurels. The focus is on the future: „Of course I am particularly proud to be the first region to receive this award,“ says Georgios Chrysochoidis, mayor of the municipality of Leutasch. „But I hope that many other destinations will follow this path with us.“ His colleague from Scharnitz, Christian Ihrenberger, is aware of the role model effect: „For our region, carrying the eco-label means above all living responsibility.“ An attitude shared by Raphael Chrysochoidis, habitat and sustainability coordinator at the TVB, who co-initiated and accompanied the eco-label process and repeatedly brought all partners to the table: „Today’s award is a milestone, yes, but by no means the end. On the contrary, it motivates and obliges us to consistently pursue our path in the future.„