Slow tourism: 3 reasons to experience authentic travel
With the ecological urgency, new modes of consumption are emerging and the travel sector is more than ever impacted. Mass tourism is now being countered by the slower pace of "slow tourism", a trend that aims to experience a more authentic trip, respectful of the environment, of one's well-being and of local inhabitants.
“What to do in Rome in three days” is a question that comes up regularly because the city and the discoveries on site are so attractive. However, in such a short time, let's be frank, visiting a place, whatever it is, often requires condensing and linking a maximum of activities. It's difficult to get a feel for a city if you're running around it. It is (partly) in reaction to this frantic pace that slow tourism was born. This new trend is not just about travelling, but about taking time to live, contemplate and connect.
Slow tourism is not consumed, it is lived. It asks those who practice it to take the time to appropriate the place visited to better meet its inhabitants. In a way, this way of travelling is an excellent way of taking care of oneself, of settling into a rhythm apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
This is one of the many reasons why more and more people are opting for slow tourism. The environmental issue is at the centre of concerns, including in the context of travel. Nearly 44% of French people are prepared to pay a higher price to travel respectfully, according to a survey conducted by Ifop as part of the Sustainable Tourism Meetings in April 2021. However, travelling in this way does not mean a lack of comfort. Over the years, the way of understanding comfort has evolved to gradually move away from the cliché of the over-equipped hotel room.
Taking the slow tourism route also means choosing an environmentally friendly means of travel. This is known as “soft mobility” and is embodied by trains, bicycles, and even boats, to name but a few examples. More than alternatives, those who adopt them even feel pride, as in the case of “train-bragging”, which is mainly adopted by young people.
A change of scenery close to home
What if disconnection did not only mean travelling to the other side of the world, but also getting away from it all within two hours of home? Whether in the middle of nature or in a charming town/village, slow tourism is not limited to off-the-beaten-track experiences, it can be experienced anywhere.
However, being surrounded by nature remains a preferred choice for many. It is a real moment of reconnection with what is essential, and it also allows the local area to become solid and attractive again. New experiences and encounters are thus offered to tourists, without having to go very far!