Sustainable tourism

Redesigning the journey for a sustainable future

Sustainable Tourism is associated both with environmental protection and with the development and safeguarding of local cultures and traditions, so the term 'Sustainable' is also generally used for a conscious socio-economic development of the territory and not only for environmental protection: The fundamental characteristic of this form of tourism is, in fact, to value the local management of services and the active participation of indigenous communities, with consequent beneficial effects on the resident population.

From a functional point of view, the exemplary model of sustainable development is linked to tourism that is coordinated by small and medium-sized enterprises and practised, preferably in protected areas, on an individual or family basis or in small groups, which, in this way, results in low ecological and social impacts on the territory.

The 5 primary characteristics of Sustainable Tourism

1) tourists experience a quality holiday

2) local communities benefit from this type of tourism, both in economic terms and in terms of quality of life and, at the same time, are committed to protecting environmental and landscape resources

3) tourism activities develop in such a way that they remain viable for an unlimited time, do not alter the environment (natural, social and artistic) and do not hinder or inhibit the development of other social and economic activities

4) satisfies the present needs of tourists without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their own, integrating the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be met while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and living systems;

5) recognises the contribution to the tourist experience of both the customs and lifestyles of the local host populations and, furthermore, lasts over time by maintaining its qualitative and quantitative values and by matching, in the short and long term, the expectations of residents with those of tourists without diminishing the quality level of the tourist experience and without damaging the environmental values of the area concerned.

The Responsible Tourist (individual and group)

Before departure

- They ask themselves about their expectations and motivations for their holiday in order to make conscious and coherent choices. In any case, whether it is a holiday for leisure, rest, knowledge or to satisfy needs for escapism, the holiday will take place with respect for nature and the people encountered;

- Asking and seeking information not only on the logistical aspects of the holiday (meals, hotels, transfers), but also on the context, history, the local community, nature, human energies, the peculiarities, lifestyle and spirit of the place they intend to visit. By consulting texts and guides, also on the Internet, he also inquires about the possible existence of tourism certification systems/processes, environmental quality marks, parks, etc;

- Chooses accommodation facilities managed by locals from whom they also ask for guarantees on the quality of the holiday, understood as ecological sustainability, social equity and transparency;

- They plan their holiday by choosing accommodation facilities, means of transport, dates, so as to minimise the impact of the trip, preferring accommodations that are well integrated into the landscape and respect the environment, opting for low or mid-season periods (if possible) and moving around during the holiday, when possible, on foot, by bicycle and/or with collective means of transport;

During the trip

- He/she shares the various aspects of the local community's daily life and does not engage in behaviour that is offensive to local customs and traditions;

- Asks for the consent of the people he/she intends to portray before taking photos or videos;

- Respects the historical-monumental and natural heritage;

- Use resources (water, energy) responsibly by avoiding waste, limit waste production and do not leave them lying around;

- Seeks out typical and traditional local products that are an authentic expression of the culture of the place visited (handicrafts, food and wine, art, etc.);

- Whenever possible, expresses its approval of situations or events that correspond to the principles of "good Tourism" and mutual respect.

After the trip

- Questions and verifies whether he/she was able to establish a satisfactory relationship with the people and place visited;

- Evaluates how to follow up on the interpersonal relationships established during the trip;

- Tries to maintain contact with local people and tourists met during the holiday;

- He/she spreads information among friends and acquaintances about the places he/she visited, trying to influence the choices of his/her social network towards the principles and benefits of sustainable and responsible tourism;

- He/she will point out to the host structure any situations, not only of disservice, but of ecological or socio-cultural "unsustainability" encountered during the holiday.

Do you need help?

We at ElbaMare are always at your disposal, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
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