Responsible tourism is an increasingly discussed and important topic. But what exactly does “travel responsibly” mean? How to be a tourist respectful of the environment, places and local communities? Which principles should be followed? The festival of responsible tourism “IT.A.CÀ, migrants and travelers” has answered these questions with a new interesting Manifesto (in Italian). It is a document that in 8 points clearly illustrates what “responsible tourism” means. But what are those 8 points? Let’s see them together!
1. Looking Ahead, Staying Home
That is: looking far away (to the future of our planet and of coming generations) by choosing nearby destinations. Responsible travelers try not to take the plane and do not choose destinations on the other side of the world. Rather, responsible travel means discovering places in our own region, living the journey as a real experience, in which it does not matter the destination, but the way we set out.
This first point of the Manifesto of responsible tourism underlines the importance of developing a slower and nearby tourism. “Looking ahead”, in fact, means thinking about future generations and, why not, also caring about the development of our own territory.
2. Tourist, (Con)Temporary Citizen
Tourists become in all respects temporary citizens of the places they visit. This is why responsible tourism does not involve a passive relationship between tourist and territory, but rather a real exchange between guest and resident. True wealth is created with the desire to know and respect new places and to discover different cultures.
3. Caring about the Journey to Develop the Human Being
The journey has to be a means to grow as human beings, and everyone should be free to move. However, in order to develop the communities, it is not enough to just move, because only a sustainable travel from the environmental, economic, cultural and social point of view can really value a territory.
4. There is no Sustainability without Responsibility
Responsible tourism is a slow tourism, thanks to which visitors live and respect the environment, the territory and local communities. The responsible tourist, in fact, must possess the instruments to recognize and support the environmental, economic, cultural and social sustainability of the territory in which they are hosted.
5. Co-designing Collectively, Acting Locally
Responsible tourism has to be based also on a network of collaborations between tourist activities of various locations. This network, based on common values, will allow the territories to develop thanks to co-designing initiatives, started directly from the entities involved.
6. Right to Hospitality for New Forms of Communities
Other topics to bring the attentions to are those of hospitality, remaining, migrations, global citizenship and inequalities. Everyone should have the right to decide whether to stay where they are or to leave. And as a consequence, No one should be forced to stay in the place where they are or to have to leave.
7. Tourism Instrument of Co-habitation
Responsible tourism promotes the respect and the co-habitation between different cultures. That is why it is important to create democratic environments with shared values and common projects.
8. Becoming as overcoming of Incoming
Responsible tourism also focuses on the wellbeing of residents and on their active contribution to the development of their territory. Incoming, which is the continuous flow of arriving tourists, must leave room for becoming: the development of territories, a path in the making that involves local communities.
The Manifesto of IT.A.CÀ describes a responsible tourism, which cares about each aspect of sustainable development. Visitors and resident communities have to play an active role in the promotion of an environmental, economic, cultural and social sustainability.
And what do you think? Which point of the Manifesto has impressed you the most?