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Walking tourism now one of the most popular ways to experience destinations

February 24, 2019 GMT

Whether it’s tied to the penchant for experiencing destinations like a local or the increasing popularity of sustainable travel, the reality is that walking tourism is now one of the most popular ways to experience a destination.

A newly released report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) provides examples of walking tourism that can serve as practical references for destinations that want to develop such offerings.

According to the report “increasing consumer demand for experiencing a destination in an authentic way and the growing popularity of active tourism make walking tourism more and more relevant beyond walking activities, showcasing a destination as a whole including its local culture and nature.”

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Walking tourism also allows travelers to better engage with local populations, nature and culture while meeting the growing demand for outdoor activities in general, continues the UNWTO report.

Walking tourism can be developed anywhere as part of a sustainable tourism agenda and requires a relatively small investment, yet provides high social and economic returns for residents and tourists alike if properly developed and managed.

Creating partnerships and soliciting the support of local stakeholders when developing walking tourism offerings is also critical, according to the UNWTO report, as residents and tourists end up sharing common goods.

“This might give ground for potential conflicts,” adds the report. “Therefore, access to training and inclusion of the local population in the tourism value chain is needed in order to seize new business opportunities for regional development.”

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