A Seminar on "Tourism in the Search for Sustainability and Innovation in Rural Spaces" took place on 27 September at the Douro Museum in Peso da Régua.
Aimed at celebrating World Tourism Day, the multidisciplinary event brought together specialists, academics and professionals from the sector to share knowledge, experiences and ideas related to rural tourism and how it can be promoted in a sustainable and innovative way.
Topics such as the role of rail transport in promoting sustainable tourism, innovative practices to boost this activity in rural communities, the valorisation of local culture as a key component of sustainability in rural areas and the future of sustainable tourism products in these areas were all discussed.
During the closing session, the Chairman of CP stressed that "rail transport, with its energy efficiency and low ecological footprint, represents one of the most sustainable ways of travelling". "It promotes sustainable development, minimising environmental impact and helping to reduce pollution and carbon emissions," Pedro Moreira tols the audience, adding that trains play a key role when it comes to green mobility. "Knowing that each car carries an average of 1.5 passengers, a single Alfa Pendular train has the capacity to remove around 200 cars from the Porto-Lisbon motorway, that's more like 4,000 cars or 110 buses a day. Using a Lisbon urban train during rush hour as a reference, the impact is even more significant. A single train can carry almost 2,000 passengers, which takes around 1,300 cars or 35 buses off the road. This is a transformation that not only significantly relieves traffic congestion, but also results in a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," he said, also pointing out the advantages of a safe, quiet and comfortable journey.
At the end of his speech, Pedro Moreira gave the assurance that "CP is firmly committed to promoting sustainable tourism and constantly innovating its products and services". "Rail tourism is a powerful vehicle for sustainability, representing a delicate balance between environmental preservation, cultural appreciation and economic development," he emphasised.
The seminar was organised by the University of Porto, the Centre for Geography and Spatial Planning Studies, ESCAD - the School of Administration Sciences and the Municipality of Peso da Régua, and had the institutional support of the Douro Museum, the Vale D'Ouro Association and Rural Move - the Association for the Promotion of Investment in Low Density Territories.