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Slow Tourism

Support the Sustainable Tourism in Portugal

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and is a major source of income for many countries. Being a people-oriented industry, tourism also provides many jobs which have helped revitalise local economies.

However, like other forms of development, tourism can also cause its share of problems, such as social dislocation, loss of cultural heritage, economic dependence and ecological degradation. Learning about the impacts of tourism has led many people to seek more responsible holidays. These include various forms of alternative or sustainable tourism such as: ‘nature-based tourism’, ‘ecotourism’ and ‘cultural tourism’. Sustainable tourism is becoming so popular that some say that what we presently call ‘alternative’ will be the ‘mainstream’ in a decade.

All tourism activities of whatever motivation – holidays, business travel, conferences, adventure travel and ecotourism – need to be sustainable. Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment”. It seeks to provide people with an exciting and educational holiday that is also of benefit to the people of the host country.

This module explores the characteristics and objectives of sustainable tourism through a series of case studies. It also helps identify ways in which sustainable tourism can be introduced to students.


Portugal Farm experiences

Sustainable objectives:

  • To appreciate the benefits and problems arising from various forms of tourism, especially in terms of social equity and the environment;
  • To develop a critical awareness of the ways in which tourism can enhance the welfare of people and protect our natural and cultural heritage;
  • To promote a personal commitment to forms of tourism that maximise rather than detract from sustainable human development and environmental quality; and
  • To plan ways of teaching about sustainable tourism.

In 2017 we won the Honorable Mention in the Green Project Awards – Category of Sustainable Tourism!

Slow, a new concept of Tourism

Slow Tourism contradicts the style of tourism that was affirmed in the last century, that is, the tourist charters, the all-inclusive ones, the planned and planned excursions, the imposed schedules, etc.

“The concept of” Slow Travel “is a growing trend. The second half of the twentieth century can be defined as the period of affirmation of tourism, but also the stage in which the process of massification of destinations began and the loss of originality of the territories. Rampant construction, excessive tourist burdens, overburdening of natural and cultural resources have all been possible in the name of rapid development and greed for consumption. As a result, we are now faced with uncharacterized territories where local culture has disappeared or has been profoundly altered, spaces where local populations have been defrauded of their expectations and instead of the supposed structuring development, the destinations have seen all their opportunities for sustainability committed. Mass tourism is impersonal, where the tourist is a number and does not experience the destination but rather a folklore “account”.

The twenty-first century is associated with the affirmation of a new concept of development, the sustainable, associated with a development capable of responding to the needs of the present without compromising the satisfaction of the needs of future generations. “.

Slow Travel can be defined as the visitor’s opportunity to become an integral part of the destination by contacting the population and the territory at a pace appropriate to the apprehension of the local culture. This silent movement contradicts the style of tourism that was affirmed in the last century, that is, the tourist charters, the all-inclusive, the planned and planned excursions, the schedules, etc. “Slow Travel” values ??the extended stay, with enough time to go beyond the “must see”. Contact with small local spaces, with producers, with markets, with the populations, to visit that small church or restaurant that are not included in the guides, that is, to explore, to discover, to enjoy, are the principles of “Slow Travel” . “Slow Travel” is a “way of living” that appears as a counter-cycle to what is stipulated by the big tour operators.

Become part of the place that you visit, enjoy the esplanades, talk with those who live there, try to understand the people, the ways of living, the spaces. Choose the places we most identify with and spend there hours. Get to know on foot, by bicycle, by train. Participate in local activities, contribute to their development.

Slow Travel is not only geared to rural areas, although these have specific characteristics for their practice. Urban spaces can and should be interpreted according to Slow Travel standards, enhancing sustainability, local economies and a real new visitor experience. And according to the Global Trends Report, published in the World Travel Market of 2008, this will be a movement that will assert itself in the coming years. The current economic climate and the debate on climate change have reinforced the growth potential of this market, suggesting that destinations should focus on products that value them. Since it is assumed to be an alternative to current tourist patterns, “Slow Travel” is not a fashion, but a lifestyle based on the new behavioral patterns assumed by a responsible society.