The Catalan Tourism Agency (ACT) will subsidize with a maximum of up to 16,000 euros the creation of half a dozen tourism products that respond to the philosophy of slow tourism, according to sources from the Generalitat.
"Catalonia wants to become a benchmark in slow tourism, a type of responsible and sustainable tourism that emphasizes the promotion and involvement of local economies to promote cultural and natural tourism experiences, respecting the places visited," explain sources of the Department of Enterprise and Labor of the Generalitat.
The promotion of this type of tourism is also part of the European project Med Pearls, which states that the products should be developed in areas of "low tourist density" but with great potential for slow tourism.
"Under these criteria, the Catalan Tourism Agency has chosen the areas of Anoia (in collaboration with the Barcelona Provincial Council), Garrigues (in collaboration with the Lleida Provincial Council), and Ribera d'Ebre (in collaboration with the Patronat de Turisme de Terras de l'Ebre), to be part of the pilot plans of the project," reports the Department of Enterprises.
For each pilot area chosen, two slow tourism products will be created, making a total of six in Catalonia.
According to Marta Domènech, director general of Tourism of Catalonia, "slow tourism offers the opportunity to explore little-known destinations in natural environments and to explore places in an immersive way and at a slow pace".
"Catalonia must position itself in this segment, as it has areas that offer many possibilities for tourists to get to know their particularities, heritage and local traditions in a leisurely way and thus generate a meaningful experience of enjoying the environment and nature," adds Domènech.
A Travel Philosophy
Slow tourism evolved from movements such as slow food and is closely related to sustainability, responsible and ecotourism recalls the Department of Enterprise.
It is, therefore "a travel philosophy from the point of view of both supply and demand that encompasses six dimensions: time, slowness, otherness, authenticity, sustainability and emotion."
"A tourism product can be considered slow if it meets certain requirements such as being conducted in small groups or individually, the packages are guided or self-guided, or the travel agent who organizes it develops relationships with local tourism agents," states ACT.
In addition, with respect to accommodation, activities, food and transportation, there are also other important features to take into account, according to ACT:
- Accommodation: Packages should offer local or family-owned (family business) tourist services. They can also be farmhouses or rural houses, and it is recommended that they work with local suppliers of the territory.
- Activities: The activities of the tourism package must ensure the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the territory, allow for a better understanding of local identities, and promote responsible tourism.
- Food: Meals included in the packages must promote local and indigenous products of the territory, as well as its gastronomic culture.
- Transportation: The packages must promote the use of sustainable mobility systems (bicycles, hiking, horseback riding, etc.), less crowded routes, and public transportation in the territory.