“Our attraction is the landscape, the gastronomy, the tranquility, the water sports activities. Time is our potential! People come from all over Spain. They want to be ‘al fresco’,” says José Picallo, owner of Casa do Morcego, in Vilarrube (Valdoviño), and a member of Slow Tourism, an initiative in which public institutions and private establishments collaborate and which covers a territory from Ribadeo to the Costa Artabra. It brings together a total of 45 accommodations (22 in the Xeodestino Rías Altas and 23 in the A Mariña Lucense) and there are more requests for membership. They prioritize quality over quantity and supervise with audits that the requirements are met. “Short-term economic profitability would not be compatible with environmental profitability. We are looking for a tourist interested in knowing and interacting with the local culture, the conservation of the environment and the quality local product, hence the need for strategic coherence in our positioning,” recalls Verónica Rodríguez, one of the coordinators of Slow Northern Tourism in Galicia.
Commitment to diversification and non-invasive tourism
In the same vein, the agency Tee Travel, specializing in the Camino, promotes the initiative “Camino Clean” with various proposals such as hiking, ecotourism, enogastronomy, etc.. They want the route to be done calmly and diversifying both the accommodation and the places. “Locations such as Melide or Arzúa are already emblematic for their octopus. And there is not only the French Way. There are alternatives like the English, or the route of the lighthouses by the Costa da Morte. We recommend, for example, the stretch that separates the beach from the Rostro de Lires” they point out from the promoter.
Since 2001, 13,000 travellers have already committed themselves to them, transmitting their tourism philosophy: “You have to travel in a non-invasive way. Visiting implies taking into consideration the people who live there. That’s what’s enriching. It’s no longer just keeping the Camino clean.”