“Can a post-vaccine return to travel be smarter and greener than it was before March 2020?” asks The New York Times in a recent article titled “Move Over, Sustainable Travel. Regenerative Travel Has Arrived.”
But what is regenerative travel?
To summarize the concept in a just a few words, regenerative travel means “leaving a place better than you found it.” It goes further than sustainable travel (if travel can be sustainable at all, especially when you consider how much tourism contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions: 8% according to a 2018 study), which is about being aware of your impact on local people, economy and native cultures when you visit a place, and acting in a way that tries to lessen this impact by supporting the local economy, exploring less touristy areas, staying several nights, etc.
Regenerative travel places the emphasis on value-driven experiences, eco-friendly stays, community engagement, resource management, environmental initiatives, and more. The idea is to benefit a place and its people, rather than exploiting it. It aims to apply the concept of a circular economy to tourism: “[…] design waste out of the system, keep materials in use through reuse, repair and upcycling, and regenerate natural systems.”
At ITALY Magazine, we strongly believe in being as sustainable as possible, and that’s why we strive to promote all of Italy, not just the most famous destinations, in a way that helps connect travelers to the places they visit in a deeper way.
We’re also happy to work with some great companies that share this philosophy, such as Italia Sweet Italia, KM Zero Tours, and more. You can search them here.
Fun, creative ways you can contribute to the local economy while immersing yourself in the Italian way of life include adopting an olive tree, help with the harvest, visit and buy from artisans, stay at eco-conscious hotels and resorts (preferably family-owned rather than big conglomerates).
We’d like to feature more Italy-based stories around the concept of sustainable and regenerative travel. If you have a story to share that helps/helped make Italy better than how you found it, we’d love to hear it. If you know of great tour operators and travel businesses that share this philosophy, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story may be featured in the magazine.