Sustainable tourism is back at the top of the agenda for destinations as the sector continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
The crisis has forced the industry to re-evaluate the drivers that will encourage people to resume traveling, and sustainable tourism is “1 million percent one of the biggest driving forces,” according to Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT) marketing manager Francesco Brazzini.
Brazzini, who was taking part at Routes Americas to represent World Routes 2021 host Milan, said the industry has had “a lot of time to reflect” during the pandemic.
“You start thinking what you can do to stay relevant in a time where you know people won’t travel,” he said. “So you do a lot of soul searching and try to find out things that make you a really competitive, unique destination.”
Tourism has become “driven by experiences,” he said.
“People really want to connect with things they usually don’t get to experience when they are in their own home, and once they travel, they allow themselves to experience them.”
Citing the examples of local craftspeople and cultural traditions, Brazzini said that travelers will be keen to seek out authentic experiences once they begin to take vacations again.
“Tell the story of the guy that comes from the little place,” he said. “Expand from his experiences and tell people why it’s worth going to his village, meet him, see what he does and to learn more about the type of culture.”
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