2023 / 11 / 27
The Biosphere Reserve of Os Ancares Lucenses and Montes de Cervantes, Navia and Becerrea has obtained the Starlight Tourist Destination Certification, awarded by the Starlight Foundation to those places that have very good qualities for the contemplation of the starry sky and that, being protected from light pollution, are particularly suitable for the development of astrotourism or star tourism.
"This government believes in a tourism based on experiences, quality, sustainable, that generates wealth and employment and that takes advantage of the potential of our province, such as our rich natural, cultural and scenic heritage. This award will help us to continue on this path; in a territory also, A Montaña, where this type of initiative is essential to help fix the population", celebrated the Provincial Deputy of Internal Regime, Promotion of Territory and Tourism, Pilar García Porto.
On the other hand, Antonia Varela, director of the Starlight Foundation, pointed out that "the certification obtained by the Ancares Biosphere Reserve will make it possible, on the one hand, to guarantee the quality of the skies with which they already exist, thus preserving the survival of many species that need the existence of a dark sky to subsist, and on the other hand, to promote the sustainable economic development of the area, thanks to the promotion of astro-tourism".
Once the Starlight designation has been obtained, which will be valid for four years, the next step for the Diputación de Lugo will be to create a working group to address the astronomical and astro-tourism actions necessary to adapt light sources to stargazing and to promote specialized tourist services and resources.
Among the lighting conditions required by the Starlight Foundation to maintain this recognition, outdoor light sources must have a reduced emission in the blue part of the visible and ultraviolet spectrum, always with a wavelength below 500 nanometers; avoid over-illumination, adjusting the levels according to the needs of use and the characteristics of the road; or the installation of lighting regulation and control systems after certain hours when activity decreases.
Other types of actions are also recommended, such as the installation of signs and indicators, the installation of stargazing points in the darkest areas, but accessible and with the capacity to carry out astronomical tourism activities in an ideal way; and also the organization of conferences, campaigns and activities in schools.
Finally, other recommendations made by the Starlight Foundation in order for Os Ancares Lucenses to develop its full potential for astrotourism include the attraction of new businesses in the area that offer catering services; the development of tourism products such as astronomical observations, or new proposals from and for Os Ancares.
The processing of this distinction is one of the actions promoted by the Diputación de Lugo thanks to the investment of 1 million euros of European funds obtained for the biosphere reserves that it manages. Specifically, this protected area of the mountain receives about 430,000 euros to develop different actions, among which the achievement of the Starlight certification meant an investment of over 15,000 euros.
Spain currently has more than 60 Starlight Tourist Destinations of this type, seven of them located in Galicia and the Ancares is the second in the province of Lugo, since the town of Muras is a Starlight Tourist Destination since the end of 2020. Other places certified for Starlight Tourism in Galicia are Trevinca, the Illas Atlánticas National Park, Costa da Morte, Lalín and the Mariñas Coruñesas.