A short guide for eco-tourists – Rights and Duties
Ecotourism is "a way of responsible travel to natural areas, preserving the environment in which the local host community is directly involved in its development and in its management, and in which most of the benefits remain the same communities".
Here are the main Ecotourism activities :
• Trekking into natural protected areas and parks
• Equestrian Trails and cycling routes
• Bird Watching
• wildlife routes into natural parks and protected areas, on land and by the sea.
• Guided Diving in marine protected areas in order to study the wonder of biodiversity
• archaeological routes
• Food and wine tours within protected areas and natural parks.
• Educational activities aimed at the enhancement of the territory and of traditional economy
• ecological, cultural or religious (eg the itineraries of the Via Francigena) Routes for walking or cycling.
Ecotourism wants to preserve the environment and culture of a territory, the development of local economy and tourist satisfaction: a natural environment preservation tool that can permit adequate profitability to local people. A kind of eco-friendly philosophy applied to tourism nd environmental sustainability.
According to the WTO (World Tourism Organization), "sustainable tourism" is a tourism "meeting the needs of travelers and the host region while at the same time protecting and improving the opportunities for the future."
In other words we are talking about responsible tourism. The definition of sustainable tourism is joined with that of Ecotourism: "a travel to natural areas that should contribute to the protection of nature and well-being of local people".
Practicing sustainable tourism means to focus not just on vacation in itself (the liaison between traveler and the host territory), but also on the environment, using means of transport and travel arrangements in order to:
• Respect the enviroment;
• To adopt ethical behavior, avoiding to exploit a territory, a culture or a population;
• To be economically sustainable for local population;
• Affect the socio-cultural aspects of traveling.
Travelling by plane is almost inevitable over long distances, but everytime you can, it’s better to prefer walking, driving a horse or a bike, using public transportation, renting electric or hybrid vehicles.
Always respect and protect the environment
Make sure to prefer those structures implementing environmental protection programs.
Efficient use of natural resources
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: You need to choose with a look on the efficient use of water resources, energy and raw materials, without underestimating the method of disposal of the waste produced during the trip.
Sustainable tourism in Italy
Along with a great historical, artistic and an extraordinary wine and food culture, Italy has a natural heritage of inestimable value, and in such a context, the sustainable tourism culture finds the best ground to grow.
According to the website responsibletravel.com, many Italian tourist resorts among the most popular are implementing concrete reduction of CO2 emissions policies through valid waste recycling activities, energy conservation and use of environmentally friendly materials. In several places, especially in northern Italy, municipalities are using CNG or electrical buses and restaurants are increasingly offering more frequently "km0" menu.
The so-called menu km0 is a tremendous opportunity for the local economy: the facilities offer their customers foods bearing IGP (protected geographical identification mark) and promote local products in order to boost the economy of small local companies . When talking about 'km0' or 'short chain' refers to products, usually food, the sale of which takes place in an area very close to where they are produced. The short chain aims to reduce the gap between the producer and the consumer: it therefore follows a sharp drop of the costs of distribution and transportation. The advantages deriving from the adoption of this system will first show a reduction of pollution factors and global warming, such as carbon dioxide emissions from transportation and the use of containers for distribution. In addition, the consumer has the opportunity to buy local products, very fresh and in season, with all of their organoleptic properties . This alternative form of trading thus allows the consumer to obtain an excellent quality ,at a clear and cheaper price, and certainly a better salary for producers, thus educating the consumer to know of the real value of the traditional products, freshness and seasonality of commodities, often providing the opportunity to see the production process.
Choosing to buy km0 food is a more sustainable option for the environment, it is cheaper and it can enforce local producers.
Sustainable tourism intends to make tourist visit a larger number of locations, and also throughout the whole year, while long time ago tourism was concentrated during summer holidays and in the main cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples etc.
Sustainable tourism in Italy wants to make you discover the traditional rural areas, thus exploring not only , churches, museums and monuments, but also large areas of natural interest in order to support rural economy. In this way, visitors can experience the real italian lifestyle, enforcing the Agriturismo (farmhouses) appeal and promoting the new culture of Albergo Diffuso ( a hotel that is not in a single block, but converted out of various historic buildings in a small community), enjoying the town festivals (sagre) where traditional food, culture and local traditions are at their best.
The UN has proclaimed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. To sensitize and orient towards a responsible tourism, we propose a set of ten useful tips:
1. Search hotel accommodations reducing environmental impact and tour operators aware of the environmental impact of tourism.
2. Remember that tour operators and travel agencies must have, in addition to normal VAT, also the necessary authorization. The travel agencies must also be equipped with a Professional Liability coverage: make sure this requirement is granted.
3. Carefully read terms and conditions, available on paper or on websites (any health precautions and hygiene standards in use in your chosen destination, need to take out health insurance policies for the loss of baggage or for the alleged cancellation of the trip and, generally speaking, all the conditions of sale, payment, services included or excluded from the costs, early termination, etc.);
4. Try to use means of transportation with a low environmental impact to reach the location where you’ll spend your holiday and prefer collective means of transport and / or environmentally friendly .
5. Produce less waste and Compete in separate collection. Reduce energy and water consumption.
6. Buy local crafts and food specialties of the area.
7. Please respect the environment of the places you visit.
8. When you travel abroad, collect information on the country you are going to visit (climate, vaccinations, documents, political conditions, references to embassies and consulates, etc.).
9. Remember that buying individual services (eg. Only transport or hotel stay) legal liabilities for several tour operators will be reduced compared to those resulting from the purchase of a package ricomprendente two or more services. It 'always advisable to request a copy of the contract you will need to better remember your rights and your duties.
10. During the holiday period, in case of outages, you will need to contact the local representative of the tour operator to promptly report any type of problem and / or, in the case of individual services, please contact your travel agency (by e-mail, telephone or fax). Should it be impossible to find a solution, it is important to document the disruption with photos, testimonials and any other useful test, to be attached to a possible subsequent claim: in this respect, in the event of disruptions in the holiday period or during the return trip, remember that you must submit its claim by registered mail a / r organizer or seller within 10 days of return in the starting point, in the case of tour package purchase (Art. 98 of the Consumer Code). Please contact with confidence to our association: we will strive to seek, through the conciliation procedures, an agreement between the parties in order to resolve the dispute out of court.