Slow Tourism: The new frontier of the conscious traveller

Luna Carpinelli, Travel Editor Ester Ippolito, and Austrian Tourist Board representative Brigitte Wilhelmer
ROME - “Slow tourism” is an increasingly popular way of travelling with attention to detail, and the relationship between this type of tourism and psychological and physical welfare was recently reviewed at a panel discussion in Rome.
 
The panel discussion focused on the scientific study "Travelling slowly to experience the environment" by Luna Carpinelli. It featured Dr Carpinelli, along with representatives from the Austrian National Tourism Board, Rome-based tour operator Four Seasons Nature and Culture, and paginemediche.it, exploring the dynamics of slow tourism” and its correlation to the physical and psychological welfare of “slow travellers”. The meeting was also live-tweeted by many bloggers who voiced their comments on the topic.
 
“Slow tourism” is the way of travelling with attention to detail, that is, travelling through the less-frequented routes, along which the soul of places and cultures emerge in an authentic away - felt and not rushed - without compromising the standardisation of tourism offers.
 
Being a “slow traveller” means to support and give value to the surrounding environment. “Slow tourism” is becoming even more widespread, with many seeking relaxation, contact with nature, and a style of life that transcends the hectic way of everyday life. Acquiring wealth through a journey of emotions can become really addictive and rewarding.
 
This is the kind of tourism that provides real and meaningful connections with people, places, culture, food, heritage, and the environment. Dr Carpinelli’s study highlights the “Ten Commandments of Slow Tourists”:
 
1. Select the destination with full knowledge and become informed about the place you are about to visit.
2. Design your holiday with tour operators who care about the host community and the environment.
3. Be open to an experience offered by a site that hosts curiosity with the desire to learn and be surprised.
4. Get out of the traditional circuits of the destination. Take the freedom to make stops and detours and to support your own pace.
5. Establish an authentic contact with people with whom you share the journey and the people who live in the places of your destination.
6. Get adapted to local habits and customs and abide by the rules of the place.
7. Comply with the standards of conduct that regulate the activity and that respect the natural and cultural history.
8. Be careful not to leave marks of your passage and be aware of the eco-friendly commitment of the facilities and services you use.
9. Buy souvenirs and products that enhance the territorial identities.
10. On the way back, use spare time to reflect on the experience, the people met, and the things seen.
 
More sensitive tour operators, with the Four Seasons at the forefront, prepare proposals that fit into this philosophy of travel by making usable life experiences while offering economical attractiveness. Nunzio Malzone, business development manager of paginemediche.it, presented the initiative at the discussion. Afterwards, Brigitte Wilhelmer, Head of Centre and South Italy Austrian National Tourist Board, screened the video Austria
 
Later on, Andrea Giorgi, Head of Four Seasons Nature and Culture, commented on the video, The slow tourism, with information on the specific nature of this constantly growing segment of tourism, for which his company annually provides a wide range of offers in its catalogue. After Dr Carpinelli illustrated her research, the participants concluded with a discussion on all of the presentations.
 
The study will be disseminated by Paginemediche.it. Those visiting the campaign's website will be given the option to download a coupon for a special offer: a trip to Austria. Austria has been a country at the forefront of services and infrastructure for affordable tourism, and since 2008, Vienna ranks amongs the top cities with the best quality of life in the world, according to Quality of Life Survey / Mercer Consulting Group.