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melgaço + sustainable

Taking on an increasingly sustainable path for Melgaço is a purpose with enormous impacts on the future of this unique territory and its community. It is in this vision that fits the certification of Melgaço as a sustainable tourism destination by EarthCheck, an accredited entity according to the criteria defined by GSTC.

Strategic SDG’s for Melgaço.

Melgaço is a certified sustainable tourist destination!

We thank our entire local community.


Melgaço is located in the North of Portugal, in the district of Viana do Castelo. Its territory of 232 km2 comprises part of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the only one in Portugal.


With a resident population of around eight thousand people, retail trade, manufacturing industries (especially wine companies associated with the production of Alvarinho wine), construction and tourism are the main pillars of its economy.


Melgaço’s natural heritage – watercourses, mountains, fauna and flora – contributed to its affirmation in tourism as a nature destination. Traditions, local stories, gastronomy and wines also allowed Melgaço to differentiate itself even more in terms of tourism.

By caring for and preserving this heritage, assuming a permanent commitment to safeguarding nature and culture and enhancing – in a sustainable way – its unique characteristics, Melgaço is positioned as the “Most radical nature destination in Portugal” that wants to be increasingy sustainable. 

Link with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

Melgaço’s touristic development has been based on the 10 articles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The campaign to raise awareness among residents about the importance of tourism for the territory, in 2018, for example, was concerned with including the articles of this Code in the various actions.

Get to know the stages of the process.

Melgaço has clearly and continuously invested in the sustainability of the territory and the activities carried out here, preserving and valuing endogenous resources. Also tourism that has been developed in a strategic and coherent way with benefits for residents, investors and visitors, in an approach of cooperation with the private sector.

The certifying entity is EarthCheck and its certification process consists of two phases – Benchmarking and Certification -, divided into six steps.


Constitution of the destination authority(DMO)
02. Policy Definition
03. Benchmarking


04. Legal compliance
05. Planning
06. Engagement, communication and monitoring

What is the Destination Management Organization?

The Melgaço Destination sustainability Management Organization (DMO), created in 2021, is the entity, appointed by the Municipality, with competences to plan, organize, implement, manage and supervise the certification of Melgaço as a Sustainable Tourist Destination, according to the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, on a collaborative basis.

Key Performance Areas.

The certification criteria is organized into 12 Performance Areas (KPA).
Efficiency, conservation and energy management
Emission of greenhouse gases
Air quality protection, noise control and light pollution
Management of drinking water resources
Conservation and management of ecosystems
Planning and development of land use
Wastewater, drainage and stream management
Solid waste management
Management of substances harmful to the environment
Cultural and Social Management
Economic Management

See all documentation associated with the certification process of Melgaço as a sustainable tourist destination.

The Pillars of Sustainability in Melgaço.


Nature is a differentiating element of Melgaço. The protection of water courses, mountains, habitats and fauna and flora, as well as the efficient management of energy, waste and water use are essential aspects in the sustainable development of the territory.


It is important that economic development in Melgaço takes place in an equitable manner, in terms of gender and age, and that it benefits, in the first place, the local community, creating jobs, opportunities and wealth.


The success of tourism depends on the positive relationship between residents and visitors. It also refers to the need to guarantee social protection to all those who need it.


Melgaço’s priority is to value uses, customs and traditions, through tourist activity, involving the local community in the management of cultural heritage. There is also a commitment to the protection, conservation and enhancement of built natural and cultural heritage sites.

Main goals

Actions in Melgaço:

Instalação de painéis fotovoltaicos nos edifícios municipais.

Implementação de sistemas de iluminação com lâmpadas LED.

Implementação de um sistema de recolha seletiva de bioresíduos.

Continuar a implementação ações do Plano Estratégico do Turismo

Capacitação dos profissionais do turismo em sustentabilidade

Continuar a promover os produtos locais endógenos e os eventos que promovem a cultura e a identidade de Melgaço.

Implementação do PDSS e reforço dos apoios sociais à população.

Ações de sensibilização para a sustentabilidade dirigidas à comunidade, visitantes e agentes económicos

Preservação e conservação do património cultural edificado.


Solid waste sent to reuse and recycling


Companies in the tourism value chain integrate the seal “Território Mais Sustentável”


Residents satisfied with tourism activities


GHG emissions

Best sustainability practices in Melgaço.

Get to know the initiatives that are taking place.

Be part of Melgaço’s sustainability process.

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