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What is sustainable tourism: there is onedefinition of sustainable tourism? Yes, according to the WTO (World Tourism Organization), the sustainable tourismcan be defined as that form of tourism that "Meets the needs of travelers and host regions and at the same time protects and improves opportunities for the future".
In other words we speak of a responsible tourism, a form of tourism that supports the traveler and the territory by building opportunities for the future. There definition of sustainable tourism can walk arm in arm with that ofEcotourism, for the WTO, it defines itselfecotourism“tourism in natural areas that must contribute to the protection of nature and the well-being of local populations”.
For a good environmentalist, the definition of sustainable tourism is even broader. While the WTO focuses on the needs of the tourist and the host region, a good environmentalist places emphasis on what may be the needs of the territory and the environment. From an environmental point of view thesustainable tourismit is not just the holiday itself (relationship between the tourist and the host region), but also everything around it: means of transport and travel practices.
What is sustainable tourism?
The termsustainable tourismis very generic and is used to describe responsible travel practices that are, in particular:
- Respectful for the environment
- Ethical and virtuous, therefore they do not exploit a territory, a culture or a population
- Economically sustainable for the host people
- Characterized by a socio-cultural interest, that is, that the entire trip takes place not only in respect but also in the interest of the population hosting the tourist
Once we have seen the theoretical definition and the basic concepts, we also see that what is sustainable tourism in practical terms. The practice focuses on six main factors that can serve as food for thought for those who want to practice sustainable tourism.
Mode of transport
To cover long distances, traveling by air is an almost obligatory choice, however, when it comes to covering short distances it is possible to consider traveling on foot or by bicycle, using public transport, rental of electric or hybrid vehicles or, again, the travel by train.
Money well spent
The "all inclusive packages" are incompatible with thesustainable tourismbecause it is not possible to verify that the local population derives a real benefit from the money invested by the traveler. The tourist who goes to a place must prefer accommodation facilities that use local staff who are not underpaid and, in general, spend their money at local companies so as to improve the local economy by making a real contribution.
You have to choose a journey with awareness, preferring those structures that implement eco-friendly policies or with environmental protection programs. Not only are the tourist realities working to improve indigenous natural integrity and to protect local habitats and biodiversity.
Respect for the local culture
The tourist is not intended as a detached spectator who goes to a place to enjoy the latest trendy attraction! The sustainable tourist should immerse themselves in the local culture and accept the differences with their own. Knowing different customs but also trying to speak a different language could be a starting point.
Rational use of natural resources
Reduce, reuse and recycle. It is necessary to take into consideration the efficient use of water, energy and raw materials without underestimating the method of disposal of waste produced during the trip. It is possible to inquire with your tour operator about the behavior of the hotel in which you intend to stay.
CO2 balance and environmental awareness
If it is really not possible to do without the plane, the tourist could calculate the CO2 emissions produced by their vacation and compensate them with good environmental practices not necessarily related to the trip.
Practical tips are contained in the article dedicated to Ecological Tourism.
- Insights:sustainable tourism in italy
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