ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF FLUVIAL TOURISM

The activities around the fluvial tourism have great potential to attract visitors and to generate wealth in the destinations where they thrive. The increase in demand for this type of activity has led to an increase in investments and further development of certain infrastructure, boats, and other actions that have not always been taken from a sustainable perspective. At the same time, visitors appreciate and perform in ever greater extent, respectful behaviour in the natural areas they visit, highlighting the need of preservation and protection.

Protective measures not only include immediate actions in these places such as efficient waste management or responsible use of resources or fuels, but also those other initiatives to generate awareness among all actors involved in river and fluvial tourism activities (SMEs, managers and owners of river ports, professionals, local community, visitors, etc) as well as those that help to improve their training in this field, providing user-friendly tools and training materials, to help them increase their knowledge, as well as share best practices and sustainable solutions.

By giving to the target group a self-assessment tool which measures their environmental footprint, EFF TOURISM aims to encourage those people who a have a low footprint to share their good practices with the rest of the community and, on the other hand, it is a warning signal for those who have a high footprint, encouraging them to carry out responsible and green actions.

It will help users improve their professional profiles and be more competitive, enhancing their employability. Moreover, these measures lay the foundations for new business opportunities, innovative professional initiatives, cooperation between entrepreneurs... It will also help users reduce activity’s costs by being environmentally responsible and more efficient.

One clear conclusion can be drawn at this point: it is necessary to innovate in fluvial tourism sector from the environmental point of view, and this need cannot be undertaken without giving the suitable training and knowledge to all the stakeholders involved.

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