New UNWTO report on Walking Tourism
A new report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) provides a range of information on advice on how destinations can make the most of walking tourism.
‘Walking Tourism – Promoting Regional Development’ showcases examples of walking tourism that can serve as a practical reference for destinations looking into the role of walking tourism for their own regional development.
Walking tourism is now one of the most popular ways to experience a destination, enabling tourists to better engage with the local population, nature and culture. It also meets the growing demand for outdoor activities in general.
Walking tourism can be developed anywhere as an offer of sustainable tourism with a relatively small investment yet high social and economic returns for residents and tourists alike, if properly developed and managed.
The UNWTO report underscores the role of partnerships and the involvement and support of local stakeholders in the development and maintenance of walking tourism for regional development, considering that residents and tourists end up sharing common goods and this might give ground for potential conflicts.
The report argues that access to training and inclusion of the local population in the tourism value chain is needed in order to seize new business opportunities for regional development.
Increasing consumer demand for ‘experiencing’ a destination in an authentic way and the growing popularity of active tourism make walking tourism more and more relevant beyond walking activities, showcasing a destination as a whole including its local culture and nature.