CMAT participates in the Principality of Asturias in a Day of exchange of Good Practices in Rural Tourism, Astrotourism and Tourism Quality to improve competitiveness.


CMAT participates in the Principality of Asturias in a Day of exchange of Good Practices in Rural Tourism, Astrotourism and Tourism Quality to improve competitiveness.

A delegation of the Costa da Morte Tourist Association learns about the experience of the Asturian Rural Tourism associations, the projects around astro-tourism and the model developed by Gijón around the Tourist Quality.

Representatives of the Costa da Morte Tourism Association (CMAT), participated last week (28 and 29/09/2023) in the Conference of Exchange of Good Practices in Rural Tourism, Astrotourism and Tourism Quality between destinations, an activity co-financed by the Provincial Council of A Coruña, within the aids to tourism management bodies in the province granted to the CMAT for this year.

The CMAT delegation was composed of its vice-president and councillor for Tourism in Dumbría, María Lema Santabaya; the treasurer and councillor of Cabana de Bergantiños, José Muíño Domínguez; the secretary of the Association of Tourism Professionals of the Costa da Morte (APTCM) and member of the CMAT, Damián Álvarez; and Catherine García, from the Technical Secretariat of the CMAT.

"This meeting served for the exchange of ideas and to collect good practices applicable to the Costa da Morte, adapting them to our territory and idiosyncrasy", highlights María Lema, vice president of the Association, who details that "the experience of knowing other management models and tourism projects on the ground was very enriching for all parties involved and allowed them not only to learn from them, but also to spread the name and the Costa da Morte brand beyond our borders".

The visit began in Luarca, where they held a meeting with the president of the Más Luarca Valdés association, Delfina Pérez, the geologist and promoter of the Pizarras de Luarca xeopark, Alberto Urrusuno, the doctor in Astronomy and initiator of the Allande Stars project, Lucía González Cuesta, and Faustino García, from the Rural and Astronomical Tourism accommodation "L'Observatoriu". With this group, they exchanged experiences, successes and lessons learned in the management and planning of nature tourism in the territory, as well as entrepreneurship linked to astronomical, rural, geological and ecotourism tourism. José Muíño considers that "this type of activity enriches all parties, as we had the opportunity to explain how we work from Costa da Morte in the field of astro-tourism, how we achieved the Starlight Tourist Destination distinction and the steps we are taking both in the field of intelligent public lighting and in the creation of tourist activities and products based on the sky and the stars".

Associationism through Rural Tourism

Afterwards, a meeting was held with part of the Board of Directors of the Regional Association of Village Houses (ARCA), integrated in OTEA Hostelry and Tourism in Asturias, to learn first-hand about their experience in associationism. Jaime García, president of ARCA, Sandra Núñez, secretary of the association and other representatives from the fields of agrotourism, forestry, rural flats and village houses participated in this meeting.

Through their explanations, it was possible to better understand what their objectives are as an association, how they work in coordination with the rest of the sector and what types of activities they develop for their members, as well as to generate an impact on rural areas through tourism. Damián Álvarez assures that "it was very enriching to learn about the beginnings of an association as consolidated as ARCA, and we were able to establish connections with the important moment we are currently living in APTCM, where it is crucial to continue growing to gain representation and be able to achieve more advantages for our members and for the development of tourism in the Costa da Morte".

SICTED Tourist Quality

Afterwards, they met in Gijón with Daniel Martínez, Director of "Visita Gijón"; María Ángeles Alonso, from the area of Business Development; and Carmen Río, from the area of Visita Gijón Profesional.

The municipal company of Business and Tourism Promotion of Gijón is a national reference in terms of the implementation of the Integrated Tourism Quality System, SICTED, to which Costa da Morte has just joined this year, so the CMAT was able to learn about how the project was born in Gijón, how it evolved, grew and transformed, until it became what today is Visita Gijón Profesional. Interesting conclusions and advice were also drawn when it comes to tackling the first phases of implementing a quality system in a destination. Likewise, the performance and benefits that the city's tourism business sector derives from membership and the projects that are being carried out both at present and in the future were discussed.

Digital Transformation

To end the day, the CMAT delegation had a relaxed meeting with Vanina Y. Posada, an Asturian tourism consultant with extensive experience in training and advice on digitalisation processes in the tourism sector, from whom CMAT was able to gather information on the needs and trends in this line.


The meeting with Santiago Izquierdo, President of the Asturian Astronomical Society OMEGA, was the closing event of this Best Practices Exchange Day. The motivations and needs of this type of entities and astronomy enthusiasts when travelling to contemplate the sky and other astronomical events were discussed in depth. This information is very relevant for the CMAT after the Costa da Morte was certified as a Starlight Tourist Destination in January 2023.

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