Walking tourism is a very popular tourism activity and can be enjoyed almost anywhere in the world. Walking is suitable for different levels of ability and is a low impact, sustainable activity that everyone can feel good about taking part in.

Post-COVID, walking tourism offers local tour operators around the world good opportunities to enter the market for relatively little investment. As tourists begin to travel internationally once more, they will seek destinations with good outdoor opportunities so they can immerse themselves in authentic local culture and enjoy stunning views while staying safe. Walking tourism also provides a direct match with the current consumer trend to stay active and healthy whilst on holiday.

Unique geographical characteristics and terrain that is suitable for promotion as a walking destination is the major consideration and the choice is vast. Flat or hilly countryside, coastal regions that have ocean, sea, lakes or rivers, hills, valleys and mountainous regions, forests, woodlands and deserts are all highly sought-after destinations for walking holidays.

Naturally, there is a significant difference between easy walking over gentle gradients and more challenging hikes or treks over rocky, hilly terrain and ensuring participants’ safety is an important requirement. But for those operators looking for opportunities to attract a new audience, the benefits are clear:

  • They are relatively easy to implement and require modest investment, particularly if a specific facility is not required
  • They usually attract lower maintenance costs
  • There is high market potential from a global market
  • They can complement other tourism products and/or be combined with other experiences, such as cultural and heritage activities, and culinary experiences
  • There is an opportunity to encourage tourism in lesser-visited areas
  • If developed and managed properly, walking tourism is a sustainable, non-consumptive form of tourism
  • There is a high potential to create local economic benefits through community involvement
  • They can be a year-round travel product
  • Walking tourism can encourage longer stays

Acorn Tourism has been at the forefront of supporting destinations’ development of sustainable tourism strategies for more than 20 years. We have helped a number of destinations to develop appealing walking itineraries and trails for visitors, including numerous Country Break itineraries across the South East of England and Sustainable Tourism Itineraries for the Protected Areas in the East of England for Natural England.

For more information about how we can help develop your walking tourism business or destination, please do contact us




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