DEFINITION

THE ASTROTOURISM BY THE STARLIGHT FOUNDATION

ASTROTOURISM

Astrotourism is a sustainable and responsible form of tourism that combines night sky observation, outreach and leisure activities related to astronomy. But it is also a resource to promote territories with fewer possibilities that find in star tourism an excellent opportunity to increase quality visitors.

Starlight Destinations are not only places with excellent sky quality, but must also have the means to guarantee its protection, and must also be places that can be visited, that is, they must have adequate infrastructure and activities related to tourism and their integration into the nighttime natural environment.

The average profile of the astro-tourist who visits us is culturally and economically medium-high. They have an acute environmental sensitivity, enjoy the experience before and after, and return to enjoy the cultural and natural wealth of the territory, the heritage that we bring to them and put in value (archeology, paleontology, geology,...with stars), in a pleasant and didactic way, benefiting from these experiences.

BENEFITS: LOCAL SUSTAINABLE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Starlight tourism according to Starlight criteria is a responsible, sustainable and innovative form of tourism, which promotes the creation of quality employment and the diversification of the current offer of companies and agencies dedicated to the tourism industry.
  • The tourism we promote is a powerful tool to disseminate astronomy.
  • The astrotourism continues to expand the overnight stay, the deseasonalization (sky 24 hours x 365 days/year) and the decentralization of supply.
  • Starlight astrotourism is a powerful tool against depopulation, offering young people an alternative with technical-scientific connotations that make it very attractive to them.
  • Starlight training is the only training in the world in this category in which the Starlight Foundation is a pioneer.
    It involves the creation of new spaces (recovering some abandoned ones such as churches, lighthouses, nature rangers' houses, etc.) for the dissemination of astronomy.
  • It is a revaluation of the cultural, historical, environmental, biodiversity, ethnographic, etc. heritage of the territory, since all activities are aimed at its preservation, empowering local communities.
  • The Starlight Foundation promotes inclusive astrotourism initiatives, encourages tourism as an instrument of peace in conflict and impoverished areas, and promotes sustainable development and education in disadvantaged rural environments.
  • The Starlight Foundation promotes the role of women and girls in science and astronomy, awakening scientific vocations among young girls and promoting the training of women as Starlight monitors.

BENEFICIARIES


The main beneficiaries are the local communities, especially in rural areas that, due to their lower population density and low light pollution, have better skies. It also revalues the cultural, scientific, environmental, biodiversity and ethnographic heritage of the territory, which we combine with the sky.

GROUNDS FOR A NEW SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MODEL 2030

The Starlight Strategy proposes a tourism growth model for the coming years based on the following principles that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations:

  • Socio-economic growth, for which it will have to work in favor of the competitiveness and profitability of the sector, betting on quality and accelerating the digital transformation process. STARLIGHT DECLARATION ARTICLES #4 AND 9 
  • Preservation of natural and cultural values, based on the premise that the conservation of our extensive cultural and natural heritage is a priority objective. STARLIGHT DECLARATION ARTICLES #1,2,3,5,6,7,8,10
  • Social benefit, to achieve a distribution of the benefits of the sector, and to face challenges such as the depopulation of rural areas. STARLIGHT DECLARATION ARTICLES #9 AND 10
  • Participation and governance, structuring participatory governance mechanisms between the State and the competent Administrations at all levels. STARLIGHT DECLARATION ARTICLES #9 AND 10
  • Permanent adaptation, given that it is not only a matter of seeking quality and improvement, but also of enabling the sector to have the capacity to respond to the new environment of constant change. STARLIGHT STATEMENT ARTICLES #4, 9 AND 10
  • Leadership, which seeks to consolidate Starlight territories's role as  world leaders in the sector. STARLIGHT DECLARATION ARTICLE #9
                 
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"Among others, tourism can become a major instrument for a new alliance in defence of the quality of the nocturnal skyscape. Responsible tourism can and should take on board the night sky as a resource to protect and value in all destinations. Generating new tourist products based on the observation of the firmament and the phenomena of the night, opens up unsuspected possibilities for cooperation among tourism stakeholders, local communities, and scientific institutions". Article 9, Starlight or La Palma Declaration (2007).

Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias
Coorporación 5