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Statement on Cultural Sustainable Destinations without Borders

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Preliminary considerations

Mass tourism, the globalisation of resources, lack of interest in real sustainable development and in local cultures and produce are leading travellers to seek alternatives to renew and innovate the way they enjoy tourism.

Traditional resources and qualities in the kinds of tourism of the past such as the integrity and quality of the surroundings, authenticity and local culture, or proximity services are flexing their muscles once again with new forms of tourism in alternative destinations (AD). This is how new alternatives to tourism are presented; alternatives characterised by the involvement of the community and the culture of hospitality.

The emergence of these destinations is accompanied by a need to offer experiences that meet the new needs and expectations of the consumer and of the people, such as the demand for authenticity or the opportunity to take a deep dive into cultures that have not been made uniform or standardised by conventional tourism activity. We are often talking about low-intensity tourism alternatives in villages, hamlets and cultural landscapes that still maintain acceptable levels of authenticity.

In general, these are small-scale, low-intensity destinations that, when considered individually, do not have a significant weight in the tourism market, but considered as a whole, they could signify a major alternative offer marked by quality and authenticity.

These are the destinations that fly the flag of sustainability that are called upon in the future to share to compete, co-operating beyond borders and regions in order to stand out as different on the global stage and to showcase a new way of sustainable development of tourism. Alternative destinations that will make up a network of places where cultural heritage, the landscape, the environment, local populations and visitors and tourists are all players on a level playing field, all with the same rights.