Nature tourism in Lousã: a glimpse into the past
Benefiting from the idyllic scenery of the Lousã saw, nature tourism is highly popular, having experienced a post-pandemic boost. Mainly found in the area surrounding the Schist Villages, this category of tourism is characterized by responsible traveling that aims to conserve the environment, involving activities in the countryside and the improvement of local welfare.
According to tourist guide José Gaspar, there was a post-pandemic increase in demand for nature tourism stating that the Schist Villages were so crowded during this time period that people were unable to move freely.
Unlike many other kinds of tourism, this one doesn´t generate as much carbon emissions, promotes the safe-guarding of wildlife and also educates people.
Manuel Carvalho, a property owner in Casal Novo, said he rents the houses to increase the monthly budget. He saw some changes in the saw since he first came in 1997, specially the disappearing of many native plants and also in the variety.
Carvalho thinks that life in these villages depends on the village’s revival, despite reservations some locals have regarding this refurbishment, opposing it, fueled by nostalgia and fearful of an identity loss. The actor is however an avid defender of the phenomenon arguing that if it stops, the municipality will die a slow death.
In Lousã mountain ranges, there is a lot of concern and investment in order to keep the best possible conditions to attract tourists. These activities play a big economic role in this region despite the difficult balance between tourism and sustainability.
Gustavo Santos, Inês Amaral, Roze Aleksa Bogdane, Sara Mifsud, Tjaša Marolt
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