Circular Tourist Communities (CTC) is a project promoted by Ashotel and Asaga Canarias whose objective is to minimize food waste and maximize selective collection at origin of the hotels participating in the initiative, something that values a more sustainable tourism. The experience began six weeks ago with the participation of six Hotels located in Adeje, which produced 90,211 kilos of biowaste from hotel kitchen preparation and pruning. Transferred to the Serviagroc agroecological farm, in Guía de Isora, they will produce up to 14,000 kilos of A+ compost (high quality) to nourish the soil of the farms of local agricultural producers, who mainly grow fruits and vegetables that are supplied to tourism.
Bahía del Duque, GF Gran Costa Adeje, Bahía Príncipe Sunlinght Costa Adeje, RIU Palace Tenerife, Iberostar Bouganville Playa and Hovima Costa Adeje, which have almost 5,000 accommodation beds, are the hotels that started this pilot experience and generated 90 tons of biowaste and pruning that in a few weeks will be 14 tons of compost. This organic matter is enough to fertilize up to 2,000 banana plants, 20,000 square meters of potato cultivation or 14,000 dedicated to fruit and vegetable plantations, as stated by Juan Pablo González, manager of Ashotel.
In the collection of these biowaste 3,228 compostable bags and containers of different sizes were used that allow a selection at source. The initiative is part of Ashotel’s Tourism Digitalization and Sustainability Strategy 2030, adds the fourth R to the reduce, recycle and reuse rule, since it involves soil regeneration. It is an example of public-private collaboration, with the participation of the aforementioned six hotels associated with Ashotel, Cabildo, Adeje City Council, Serviagroc, Transportes Noda and the Ashotel-CajaCanarias Tourism Chair.UL. It is part of the Covenant of Mayors, a European movement that pursues the municipal commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030, and achieve a common approach to mitigate climate change.
Ashotel and Asaga emphasize that “it is not a waste management project, but one for the generation of synergies between agriculture and tourism”, which is why both business organizations lead it. Its ultimate goal is to “give back to the earth what it gives.” It seeks to increase the consumption of local products in hotels, while working on the union of two sectors as important in the Canary Islands as tourism and agriculture.
Given the close relationship of the Circular Tourist Communities with the promotion of the consumption of local and quality products, elaborated in an ecological way, fifty professionals from the agricultural, tourist and public sectors yesterday visited the agroecological farm in which these biowaste are recycled for promote an example of real circular economy. Visit also framed in the Encounters with the local product initiative, developed by the public company Gestión del Medio Rural (GMR) and Ashotel and which puts managers of accommodation establishments in contact with local producers.
To find out details of the project and the Serviagroc agroecological farm, in Playa San Juan, a visit of fifty professionals from the agricultural, hotel, logistics and public sectors, as well as institutional managers of the areas related to this pilot project.
The president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, stressed that “with projects like this we contribute to policies of sustainability and self-sufficiency of local products.” Leo Álvarez de Buergo, from Asaga, trusted that the good results “allow the expansion of the production of healthier and higher quality food, in addition to promoting the consumption of local products in tourism.” Catalina Alemany, from RIU Hotels and on behalf of the participants, valued the fact that “this territory is a pioneer in launching a food circularity project”.
Manuel Luis Méndez, councilor for Ecological Transition of Adeje, pointed out that the project is “a magnificent example of circular economy”, while Josefa Mesa, mayor of Guía de Isora, highlighted the “courage” of the farmers for believing in a change of model «so linked to the new tourist, who is more demanding». The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the canarian governmentAlicia Vanoostende, advocated betting on local products.
Jacobo Rodríguez, manager of Serviagroc, explained the compost process and Pablo Zurita, CEO of the public company GMR, stressed the “connection” between the primary and tourism sectors.