Alternative tourism – what is and gives this new concept to the industry?
by PhD Florentina Popescu
Most researchers would agree that the alternative tourism is the alternative for mass or conventional tourism. As far back as the ‘80s, in Europe, the most intensely visited part of the world in the last century, the need was felt for a change into what the conventional tourism was at that time. It so emerged the term of sanfter tourismus which has mostly found adepts in the south mountainous region of Germany, Bavaria, but also in Austria and Switzerland. On the other hand in the Third World Countries, the new form of tourism – alternative tourism – has mostly migrated towards the notion of community based tourism (CBT) as opposed to the all-inclusive developments of former colonial leaders or of simply foreign investors whose sole purpose was the benefit of economic revenues.
The above mentioned are the baseline of what has become today the multi-concept and multi-branch form of tourism with as distant notions as volunteer tourism or justice tourism. Most of these will be presented and discussed with all those interested in the added value of what alternative tourism promises. Nonetheless it is important to acknowledge that its main purpose is to ameliorate what went wrong in the conventional tourism rather than to do away with it, for this perspective is not possible from any point of view: economical, land management, social, demographical or even political.