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Tourism for All: Economic Opportunities and Territorial Constraints for Sustainable Development

Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea

ISBN: 978-1-80043-901-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-900-9

Publication date: 1 March 2021


‘Tourism for all’ is a way to consider tourism activities and services inclusive, involving all people, guests and residents, in the same activities and creating the dialogue, peace and human development.

This tourism is able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in two ways: first, it implements human rights, respecting the possibilities of everyone and second, it activates the process of development from the local to global impacts for sustainable development, thus eradicating the poor in the local level.

These are ambitious goals; on the one hand they are certainly difficult to achieve, but on the other hand they are necessary to implement in order to make tourism a more and more sustainable economic activity, given its international spread. Certain sustainable development is ambiguous ground but in the tourism activities it is very pressing for the negative impacts of the classical tourism model.

These assumptions are useful to analyze the costs and benefits of inclusive tourism, thanks to the pyramid of accessibility. This study will in fact make it possible to determine, on the basis of the resources present in the territory, the opportunities and limits of this type of tourism.

In European destinations, above all, in Italy, the openness to inclusive tourism can constitute a new cycle of tourism product such as to activate that interest and curiosity that drives tourists to visit the destination. This chapter describes at first the criteria for the planning of tourism for all, and finally, in the second part, it will deal with the international policies for the realization of tourism for all.

The traditional model of tourist destination is characterized by tourist attractions and related infrastructure, often avoiding the local people. The resort or tourist villages are born to entertain tourists, but they did not involve local people. Nowadays the tourism and the resorts are changing, and so a lot of destinations are involving a new idea of tourism with the accomplishment of the local people that can support the persons with specials needs to live an independent travel as inhabitans.

It is therefore necessary to look for new models in tourism that can create a dialogue, peace and fruitful encounter between guests and the local community. This involvement, in fact, can be activated directly or indirectly – with or without the presence of the local community in all activities of tours – but always in accordance with the need of each other. Tourism for all is a new idea but is the future of tourism for different reasons: the first is that the needs of people, especially those with differences or disabilities, are increased in all parts of the world and they required the solution immediately and tailor-made; the second consists in the hypothesis that if guests can have more economic and especially technological potential, they can support and transfer their know-how to all those who suffer from that particular disorder, providing this benefit; and the third gives sustainability using the appropriate resources to enhance tourist activities.

In this new vision, the World Tourism Organization has attributed to tourism for all a broader vision than accessible tourism alone, combining sustainable and social tourism in a single form of tourism, including every person regardless of gender or other forms of diversity.

In the innovative strategy of inclusive tourism, it should be pointed out that destinations will have to develop plans and appropriate policies for sustainability and accessibility. This form of tourism, which certainly has social aims, could also be conflicting if, for example, accessibility makes use of very invasive technologies or not too much in line with the efficiency and protection of the environment. Tourism for all, therefore, becomes an ambitious project to be implemented at the local level to create a model, so valid to the global level.



Bizzarri, C. (2021), "Tourism for All: Economic Opportunities and Territorial Constraints for Sustainable Development", Grasso, F. and Sergi, B.S. (Ed.) Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-15.



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