Italy’s tourism forum at Expo Dubai explores sustainable mountain tourism


"For tourism in mountains to be sustainable, we need training and responsible investments and to strengthen public-private partnerships," said Rosalaura Romeo, Mountain Partnership Secretariat, at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Hosted by the Italian Pavilion, the event “New frontiers of sustainable tourism” on 10 January 2022 was dedicated to identifying a new, increasingly sustainable approach to tourism. The event offered a platform to convene policy solutions and broker partnerships for the future of sustainable travel. Speakers considered innovation in environmental and sustainable models of travel as well as the exploration of new destinations.

High-level speakers include Massimo Garavaglia, Italian Minister for Tourism; Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, United Arab Emirates; Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing; and Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Tourism in mountains

Tourism represents a source of income and economic opportunities for remote rural mountain communities. It can also help to revitalize local traditions and food systems. Yet when not effectively managed, tourism is also associated with potentially negative impacts on ecosystems, such as pollution and biodiversity loss, as well as on the social and cultural fabric of mountain communities. The sustainability of mountain tourism is closely linked to the protection of the environmental and cultural uniqueness that make mountain destinations attractive.

The post-COVID-19 era may bring new opportunities to mountain areas, as demand grows for less crowded destinations and the need to reconnect with open spaces and nature increases.

"Sustainable tourism in mountains can be a catalyst for development and resilience." added Rosalaura Romeo. In developing mountain tourism, it is critical to generate income diversification and revitalize products and services, with a shift from high-impact tourism products and activities to low-impact, climate-sensitive ones. The potential of sustainable mountain tourism lies in year-round tourism activities that make best use of new technology and innovations and that value local biodiversity, foods, cultures and traditions.

Watch the event recording in English and Italian
Read more
Download the publication Mountain tourism – Towards a more sustainable path


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