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What is ecotourism?

creato da Elena Guarneri ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:14

As you make the final plans for your holidays here are a few ideas for those of you who think nature needs a break, too!

Ecotourism, sustainable tourism and green tourismEcotourism, sustainable tourism and green tourism are the new buzz words and, in such, risk dying of a bad dose of media overkill. For a definition we turn to the World Tourism Organisation in Madrid (a UN agency) which states that sustainable tourism should protect natural resources, generate a reliable income for the local community, guarantee the quality of life in the local community and offer tourists a quality experience. But, you may ask, what exactly is a quality experience? Vademecums for the well-intentioned traveller abound, but, in Italy anyway, the guide produced by AITR (The Italian Association of Responsible Tourism) is perhaps the most authoritative. The Association, which works along with the WWF and Legambiente (an important Italian environmental organisation) has drawn up an ID card of sustainable travel which includes a series of hints and suggestions for tourists, tour operators and tourist facilities alike for all stages of the holiday. (Both the ID card and the AITR sites are in Italian only. You will find similar information on the International Ecotourism Site.)

Convinced? Want to be an ecotourist?
No problem! Here are ItaliaPlease's top eco-tours …

Ecoturismo-Italia.it - : The Italian ecotourism portal
Ecotourism.org - : The official website of the International Ecotourism Society
Friends of the Earth - : The official website of the ground-breaking British environmental organisation.
Viaggiemiraggi.com - : An agency which organises sustainable travel (Italian only)
Homoturisticus.com - : The travelling "species" since from a new viewpoint.
Toinitiative.org - : The Tour Operators Initiative for sustainable tourism development
Glossary - : A glossary of ecotourism terms
EC policy - : What is laid down in the Maastricht Treaty about sustainable tourism
Centre for Responsible Tourism - : A selection of guidelines and links from the British-based Centre for Responsible Tourism

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