Criteria of responsible tourism, a tool for growing
14 Jul 2023

Criteria of responsible tourism, a tool for growing.

AITR, the Italian Association of Responsible Tourism, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has developed and adopted a system of criteria and rules for organizing travel inspired by the principles of responsible tourism.

The internal discussion lasted quite some time and started from the analysis made on a similar document at the time adopted by the French association ATES. All AITR member tour operators were involved and participated in the discussion.

The adoption of this document was indispensable, both as an internal tool for sharing and constant verification, and in relations with the outside world. Previously, when tour operators sought to join AITR and questioned the requirements for recognizing their trips as responsible tourism, the association would refer to its Charter of Principles, a broad and general document written 25 years ago. Today AITR can show the system of criteria adopted and everyone can understand whether or not they recognize themselves in these criteria.

The document divides the criteria into several thematic areas: relations with the local community, local partners and the local territory; relations with travelers and travel arrangements; the workplace and employees; commitment to spreading the principles of responsible tourism and communication.

The document underscores a holistic approach to sustainability, with a particular focus on social sustainability, which is intrinsically linked to responsible tourism practices.

This document, together with similar documents drawn up by organizations in other countries, deserves to be discussed, compared, evaluated collectively as tourism is a phenomenon in continuous evolution together with the evolution of the entire society, and therefore frequent updates and revisions, even in a self-critical sense, are needed.

The International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO) provides an ideal platform for collective reflection and collaboration, fostering meaningful exchanges on responsible tourism practices.