Recently, the Municipality of Florence and popular accommodation booking site Booking.com established a partnership to encourage responsible tourism. This will promote sustainable tourism and best practices in Florence, as well as incentivize tour operators to avoid mass tourism.
Mass Tourism Versus Responsible Tourism
In many cities in Italy and southern Europe in general, mass tourism starts to cause major problems for the locals and tourists alike. Places like Dubrovnik in Croatia, Barcelona in Spain, and Venice, Florence and Rome in Italy suffer from overtourism, which is essentially a number of visitors that’s too high for a city to handle.
This results in nuisances that range from littered streets and issues with waste removal to long lines at attractions. Overall, overtourism causes a less than favorable experience for visitors, making it virtually impossible to enjoy a destination in the way people actually wanted to. Mass tourism and the consequences thereof are pretty much the opposite of responsible tourism.
If there is any positive outcome from mass tourism, it’s the fact that responsible tourism is on the rise. Many travelers realize the problem and now look for experiential tourism in off-the-beaten-path destinations. This is beneficial in more ways than one: it takes pressure off of the over-visited destinations, gives an economic boost to under-visited places, and makes for a generally more laidback, stress-free, and authentic experience.
However, in a major city like Florence, things are different now, too. This is thanks to a brand new partnership between the Municipality of Florence and Booking.com. Companies like Artes also contribute greatly to the experiential tourism trend in Italy.
Florence and Booking.com Partner to Promote Responsible Tourism
Since March 20, people who book their accommodation through the Booking.com portal will receive a confirmation email that contains a handbook outlining how to respectfully explore Florence and how to correctly dispose of waste.
This unique and potentially groundbreaking collaboration was created by the Italian regional manager of Booking.com Alberto Yates, Florence Tourism Councilor Cecilia Del Re, and Councilor for the Environment Alessia Bettini. The city has been focused on sustainable and responsible tourism for a while now, but this will only improve by this agreement.
Specifically, Booking.com users will receive two types of communications in their confirmation email. First, the handbook of best practices, which relates to the EnjoyRespect campaign, features a set of rules to follow in order to both and enjoy and respect Florence. Second, there’s a multilingual guide that explains the proper disposal of waste, indicating all stations where visitors can discard and sort any litter they have.
Alessia Bettini says that “tourists who come to Florence are welcome, but they must also respect the city. Making these behavioral guidelines available to visitors is an important tool to avoid the undesirable effects of mass tourism”. It’s a huge step in the direction of responsible tourism in a massively popular destination like Florence.
Artes As The Ideal Experiential Tourism Partner
Additionally, as briefly touched upon above, experiential tourism also contributes to responsible travel. If you’re organizing tours to some of Italy’s most popular destinations, we can help you to do that responsibly. Lowering your clients’ travel footprint, choosing local experiences over mass tourism attractions, providing food and wine tours,… Locally based and specialized, we can offer high-quality experiences in Italian destinations, such as Rome, Naples, Venice, and Tuscany.