The sustainable tourism organization of rural spaces. The island of Sardinia in the era of "staycation"
- Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari, Italy
Keywords: COVID-19, sustainable tourism, agrotourism, GIS, Sardinia
Abstract. What future for tourism in the COVID-19 era? This is a question that has become part of the daily life of many tourist destinations. The pandemic has affected all economic sectors and tourism is one of the sectors most suffered. According to data from the World Tourism Organization (2021) due to the health emergency 100% of countries have introduced restrictions in the travel sector and for this reason international tourist arrivals dropping by 74% in 2020. Future projections indicate 2023 as the year when a the "regular" flow of tourists can be recorded globally. However, in the meantime, there is a need to improve this sector by implementing strategies to promote and enhance the places to motivate sustainable tourism. The insecurity of travel and of some destinations, due to the many emergency restrictions, pushes tourists to live an outdoor vacation in contact with nature and host community. Thus, the search for authentic places moves minds more consciously towards sustainable tourism practices showing a greater interest in some forms of tourism such as rural and cultural.
The aim of this work is to understand how to deal with the "new" needs of the demand, bringing out the rural realities through the creation of an organized sustainable offer that revolves around existing accommodation facilities such as farmhouses. In particular, the case of Sardinia will be analyzed, an island that has long been known for its seaside tourism, but whose rural and internal areas are still not much used touristically. The study intends, after a short review of the literature on the sustainability of rural tourism, highlight the possibility to create rural tourist itineraries capable of enhancing the territory's peculiarities by combining the different landscape assets. The exemplification of the creation of these routes will be realized in GIS field through the creation of a model of accessibility to the Sardinian rural space. This model will be based on the use of isochronous curves obtained from the analysis of travel times both to move towards and from the agritourism that offer accommodation and within their landscape offer.