Turismo sostenibile | R3UNITE

Although you’ve surely already heard of sustainable tourism, today we want to shed some light on this term and let you discover the startups that will help you be a green tourist. The desire to unplug and escape from the routine is always great. Whether your destination is a paradisiacal beach, a historical city or the highest mountains, it doesn’t matter. The enthusiasm for the departure should not make you forget that the planet never goes on vacation.


In recent years, our travel planning has increasingly focused on a fundamental element: the well-being of the planet. However, it’s easy to get lost among the many terms that are associated with this new way of traveling. Raise your hand if you can tell us the difference between sustainable tourism, responsible tourism and ecotourism. Don’t worry, we’ll help you find out.

Sustainable and responsible tourism, synonyms?

Let’s start by revealing that, in common language, the terms sustainable tourism and responsible tourism have become virtually synonymous. Originally, however, the two terms indicated different aspects.
So let’s try to understand what sustainable tourism is. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, explains it to us directly. Sustainable tourism is that form of:

“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”

Sustainable tourism was created, therefore, to meet the needs of the traveler while bringing benefit to the host country.

As for responsible tourism instead, the most complete definition is given to us by the Italian Association of Responsible Tourism:

“Responsible tourism is tourism implemented according to principles of social and economic justice and in full respect of the environment and cultures. Responsible tourism recognizes the centrality of the local host community and its right to be the protagonist in the sustainable and socially responsible tourism development of its territory. It works by fostering positive interaction between the tourism industry, local communities and travellers.”

If responsible tourism originally valued more the ethical impact of tourism on the local population and its economic and social development, sustainable tourism was more focused on its consequences on the environment. Today, this distinction is no longer so clear-cut. Speaking of sustainable or responsible tourism implies in both cases, in fact, an interest in both nature and local populations.

Ecotourism, a different story

Ecotourism, on the other hand, is a different matter. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) explains that responsible tourism is:

“Travelling responsibly in natural areas while conserving the environment, supporting the well-being of local people, and involving interpretation and education.”

Here we are talking about environmentally and socially responsible environments and nature travel. So is ecotourism synonymous with sustainable tourism? No, and we’ll tell you why right now. Sustainable tourism is a broader concept. You can do, in fact, sustainable tourism even in a city. Ecotourism, however, is nature tourism practised according to the principles of sustainable tourism.


We are pleased to note that tourism models have recently begun to be increasingly rethought from a sustainable perspective. So we asked ourselves: how can we travel while reducing our environmental impact? Doing a bit of research, here are the startups that intrigued us the most (and that we will soon try) 😉

Make your tourism business sustainable with UP2YOU

The people behind Up2You don’t call themselves a dream team, but a Green team. The brainchild of three guys from Milan, Up2you is a green startup operating in the field of sustainable tourism. How? By offering digital services to hotels and accommodation facilities that want to save resources and protect the environment.

We share their starting point: the future of tourism is sustainable. We are happy and encouraged to believe this also thanks to the data found on their website and which we share with you here. 46% of travellers would be willing to spend more to make a choice for the environment while 72% think it’s time to travel sustainable.

So we went to take a peek at the travel section to find out about the many solutions offered to accommodation providers. Those who choose up2you transform their guests’ stay into a sustainable holiday. For example, the “do not disturb” service: if the guest does not want to make up the room, they can plant a tree, contributing to reforestation projects in Italy and abroad.

We are ready to make the bed even every day, and you? 🙂

Go to their website to discover all their other services.

Choose Green Tickets and plan your trip

We all love to travel, but Green Tickets makes us think about something that is often overlooked: how does our way of discovering the world affect the environment? Founded by Jeppe Bijker, a 26-year-old who wants to help travellers plan their adventure in an environmentally friendly way, Green Tickets shares our belief that it is time for a change.

What are we talking about? Simple, a digital platform that will allow you to easily find all the information you need to plan your next trip to Europe in a sustainable way. Thanks to them you will be able to see all the existing options to reach your destination, showing you for each of them the price, the duration and the climate impact.
Curious about the most sustainable way to reach your next destination? Visit their app.

Climb the mountains with the Mapo Tapo community

“Climb, have fun and make an impact” is the slogan of Mapo Tapo. Don’t think there are any professional climbers among our R3UNITE team, but mountain lovers do! That’s why we want to tell you about Mapo Tapo. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional climber or just a fan (like us) of the climbing world, the Mapo Tapo community is waiting for you. The only requirement? Be ready to see some incredible places and meet lots of great people.

What caught our attention was the fact that Mapo Tapo was as committed as we are to supporting environmental sustainability projects in the interest of local communities. Developing extreme sports tourism in remote locations is a way for them to help these people. Part of the proceeds from each trip goes to them.

Ready for your next adventure? Mapo Tapo is waiting for you.