The world’s first “Starlight tourism destination” which is Portugal’s Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve has been selected for the World Travel Awards in the category of Europe’s leading tourist attraction. The reserve is supposed to be the only “astrotourism” nominee in the category. The world travel awards are being categorized as the “Oscars of Tourism.” They recognize every sector of the tourism. As per the latest reports voting for 2018, world travel awards will end on May 20.
Dark Sky Alqueva is a non-governmental as well as a non-profit organization and at the same time a first-time nominee. The star-studded destinations, which showcases some of the most astonishing and mind-blowing darkest and clearest skies on Earth, thanks to a lack of light pollution, will surely give a fierce competition to the destinations of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome, the Acropolis in Athens, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and last but not the least The Buckingham Palace in London.
Even if a tourist has not visited Dark Sky Alqueva, they can still have a feel of the zone by taking a virtual tour of the area in the latest video that they have released. You will witness that how stars, meteors, Milky Way light up the skyscrapers and the serene landscapes.
Dark Sky Alqueva was believed to be the foremost Starlight Tourism Destination in the entire world which obtained certification from the Starlight Foundation in the year of 2011. The region covers an area of 10,000 square kilometers around the lake of Alqueva. It involves both sides of the border for Spain as well as Portugal. This location has made it the first cross-border destination in the world also.
The official Dark Sky Observatory in Cumeada which is the headquarters of the reserve is said to be located in a small village of Reguengos de Monsaraz. The recovery building is supposed to be an old primary school rehabilitated by the local Municipal Office to make a home for the observatory. Some other socially responsible activities were also carried out whereby the LED lights replaced all the public lights in the entire village. This activity was done in the year of 2016. The rays were directed towards the ground thereby reducing light pollution to a great extent.
This noble effort to reduce the light pollution was a partnership among the local municipality, the primary power supplier in Portugal as well as the Dark Sky Alqueva.