The twenty-first Europarc-Spain Conference selected Teleférico del Teide’s Masca Gorge Trail Capacity Management System as a best practice case study in the implementation of tools for the management of visitors to natural attractions.
ESPARC 2022: “For living, protected natural spaces”
This event, held for the twenty-first time between 18 and 24 May at various locations in the Sierra de las Nieves (Málaga), is considered the benchmark in Spain in terms of the planning and management of protected areas, and is attended by all authorities with responsibilities in this field.
The event is a forum where professionals exchange and disseminate information; it promotes an appreciation of the social and environmental benefits that protected areas bring to society as a whole.
Organised by the Andalusia Autonomous Region’s Council for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, in partnership with EUROPARC-Spain, the 2022 ESPARC Conference took place under the banner “For living, protected natural spaces”. The event drew planners and managers of protected areas, along with a range of organisations and other professionals involved in the management of protected areas’ natural and cultural heritage.
The conference will contribute towards the implementation of the Society and Protected Areas Programme, driven by EUROPARC-Spain. It addressed various issues, including the conservation of biodiversity in relation to the exodus from rural areas; ecological connectivity and green infrastructure; methods promoted by protected areas for adapting to, and mitigating, climate change; partnerships aimed at bringing the benefits of protected areas to the local population, and tools for managing visitors to natural spaces.
It is in relation to precisely this final issue that ESPARC 2022 selected Teleférico del Teide’s initiative as a concrete example of good practice successfully implemented in managing visitor capacity at natural attractions.
The Masca Gorge Trail booking engine, an example of best practice in the management of natural spaces
The tool, developed by the Teleférico del Teide’s technical team, provides a system of online sales as the exclusive channel both for the public and for partner organisations. The system imposes quotas and limits on sessions, and also makes the booking conditional on the acceptance of safety measures to visit the attraction, in this case the Masca Gorge Trail.
The Masca Gorge Trail booking engine is a reservation system for direct online users and for tour operators and excursion wholesalers. The system was introduced in 2016 for the management of bookings for the cable car service, and has been further developed and adapted so that it can be used for other natural attractions—including the Masca Gorge Trail, thanks to an agreement negotiated via the Tragsa company with the Tenerife Island Council’s Environment Authority.
This digital tool also enables the company to adjust the flow of visitors to its Mount Teide by the cable car service, thereby helping to regulate the load capacity of the Teide National Park, preventing queues, reducing waiting times, and raising the satisfaction levels of visitors to Tenerife’s most popular tourist attraction.
The booking engine developed by Teleférico del Teide won a recent competition in Sustainable Tourism Practices, organised by the Tenerife Tourism Authority, in the Best Innovative Practice in Sustainable Tourism category—testament to both its
To quote Joan Rodríguez de la Sierra, Teleférico del Teide’s Digital Projects manager and the person responsible for the company’s Business Intelligence System:
“We need a new model of public-private partnership, in which companies can contribute to transforming the problems of visitor load capacity into opportunities to generate socio-economic wealth and to improve visitor experience. Part of the profits generated must be reinvested for the conservation of the natural space.”
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