WHAT IS BITAS?
The Regional Department of Tourism, Crafts and Commerce is organizing the 2nd edition of the Stati Generali del Turismo Attivo in Sardegna (General Assembly of Active Tourism in Sardinia) and the 6th edition of BITAS, Borsa Internazionale del Turismo Attivo in Sardegna (International Exchange of Active Tourism in Sardinia). The overall aim is help improve and boost the competitiveness of ‘Destination Sardinia’ in order to cement a partnership approach on the issues of active tourism, local promotion and environmental sustainability, reinforcing the exchange of best practices and comparison of views at the international level with the various stakeholders.
Sustainable consumption, low environmental impact, competitiveness: Active tourism has all the requirements highlighted by the regional development and research programs, structured according to the indications laid down in the Communication from the European Commission entitled ‘Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism’ (COM (2007)0621 – 19-10-2007) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, signed in 2015 by the UN Member States. The main goal is to ensure that the entire world embarks upon a road towards sustainability on a social, environmental and economic level, including fostering “sustainable tourism, that creates jobs and promotes the culture and local products”, which are backed by the concrete actions of the Regional Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Region of Sardinia – approved by DGR no. 39/56 of 08.10.2021. In fact, the Regional Strategy for Sustainable Development “(…) identifies planning goals and decision-making mechanisms to reconcile prosperity and welfare, to integrate environmental protection, social inclusion, health, and personal and collective growth, and to lay the foundations for economic development that brings widespread welfare”. In particular, for the strategic topic of ‘Sardinia + Green’, it identifies strategic goal no. 7 ‘Achieving sustainable tourism for socio-economic development and the protection of culture and biodiversity’ – and line of action 7.5 ‘Promoting Sardinia as a destination for national and international sustainable tourism and ecotourism’.
Active Tourism implies active participation by the visitor and not merely observation of the local area. It includes cycling, hiking, golf, day trips, canoeing, sailing, climbing, diving, horse riding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking, etc. Compared to more traditional forms of tourism, it has two important aspects: A greater propensity to delocalize tourist flows (with greater involvement of traditionally less-visited locations), and a higher rate of seasonal adjustment, thus contributing to environmental protection and qualifying as a type of sustainable, low-impact tourist experience.
Active Tourism globally is also one of the fastest growing segments, becoming, in some cases, the driver behind the development for the economy of less-visited areas but whose charm has remained intact.
BITAS fits perfectly into the policies of seasonal adjustment, delocalization, internationalization and diversification of the tourist offer in Sardinia, whose main aim is to promote and strengthen Active Tourism – particularly in countries that account for a large share of the demand for this segment, i.e. Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Italy.
The goal of BITAS is to create a network among tour operators, by promoting all the aspects of the area and providing visitors of different ages, passions and interests with all the activities related to their motivation to travel. This leads to the creation of a unique and sustainable offer, capable of attracting large flows of visitors even in shoulder periods, and encourages the development and consolidation of the so-called ‘other season’, promoting a culture of safety as a lever of attraction.
To this end, the Regional Department of Tourism, Craft and Commerce is organizing BITAS, in Alghero, from March 23 to 26. The Department is inviting guests to take part (in-person or remotely) in the 2nd edition of the General Assembly of Active Tourism, in thematic seminars, and in the 6th edition of the International Active Tourism Exchange, the trade fair reserved to tourism supply and demand operators and sector-based press.