Sustainable tourism in Italy did well so far because of the need and inspiration to preserve the environment. The trend is continuing with Italy’s travel and tourism sector integrating the Eco-friendly practices. However, sustainable tourism in Italy is not made to boost the economy only but it is also aiming at benefiting local communities.
Ecotourism is the tourism industry’s response to being responsible for the planet with live on and the communities we live with. According to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the definition of ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the local people” and this branch of tourism has hopes of “mainstreaming sustainability”.
Umbria is a region with a lot of potential to grow in the tourism sector. The beautiful landscape and the breathtaking medieval towns with ancient traditions are definitely an attraction for tourists – whether Italians or strangers.
But mass tourism and overtourism are a danger. A danger for the country, the region, the environment. A danger to lose quality of life in that region, especially for the locals.
Yet Umbria is depending on the tourism market, many Italians earn their living with tourists.
(Read here the article about mass tourism and COVID-19 and how ecotourism can be a solution.)
So, we should not condemn tourism in general – but we must learn from former mistakes and switch to “slow tourism”, eco-friendly, sustainable, together with the nature and the culture of the region. Together with and not against the locals of that region.
To save the beauty of Italy and yet to provide work for Italians. And still be able to let the region flourish and grow – also financially.
Ecotourism is the answer.
Ecotourism aims to create positive changes in the world, especially those based around contributing to environmental, social, cultural and economic aspects of destinations and local communities. It further aims to protect the natural and cultural heritage of locations. Considering that, Italy has 54 UNESCO heritage sites, the most in the world, from which 7 are in Umbria, it seems as if ecotourism is needed in the country to preserve these locations for future generations.
There will be huge and long-lasting positive effects on:
1. Employment of local people
2. Preservation of local customs and traditions
3. Contribution to growth of Umbria’s economy
4. Preservation of “Italian’s green heart”
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