Active and Sustainable Tourism: what it is and how to practice it

When you first hear about active and sustainable tourism, your first question automatically is: what does it mean? What kind of tourism is it?

To understand this, it is essential to know that “active tourism” and “sustainable tourism” are not the same thing.

Sustainable tourism takes into account the economic, social and environmental impact that people have moving around the world, trying to be respectful of the environment and the well-being of the host populations.

There are many types of travel and experiences within sustainable tourism. Two examples are:

  • slow tourism, that allows you to discover the world at a more human pace, often far from the beaten track.
  • ecotourism which has as its main value respect for ecosystems and biodiversity, preferring activities within Parks, Nature Reserves and Protected Areas.

canottaggio in Toscana

The focus of active tourism, on the other hand, is above all on outdoor activities that involve physical movement and which often also involve sports: cycling, trekking, sailing, canoeing, climbing, horseback riding, paragliding. Unlike sports tourism, active tourism is suitable for all types of people and all ages (cycling in Italy is practiced above all by over 60s), not only for athletes. In short, trips can be organized to suit everyone’s needs (even families with children!).

Well, now let’s combine these two categories and we will understand once and for all what active and sustainable tourism means. It is tourism that involves physical activity (even moderate) in the open air, which contributes to the improvement of the psycho-physical state of travellers and which pays particular attention to the environment and the well-being of the host populations.

Unlike active tourism which, in itself, also contains activities such as water skiing, heli-sky (some are taken to the top of a mountain by a helicopter!) Or quad biking, active tourism and sustainable only admits activities with low (or zero) CO2 emissions and which do not involve pollution. But not only: the active and sustainable tourist favors local agricultural and handicraft productions, is attentive to biodiversity and goes in search of an authentic exchange with the local population.

We at ActiveItaly really believe in it! For years, as professionals in the sector, we have been practicing it by helping thousands of people to organize their journey to discover the hidden treasures of our peninsula.

If you think it is a great way to travel too, and want to stay informed about our initiatives, sign our Manifesto and become part of our community.

Trekking in alta montagna

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