The role of long-distance walking routes in fostering post-experience Environmentally Responsible Behaviours

  • Giulia Melilli


A pervasive narrative about long-distance walking routes focuses on the transformative potential that this simple yet powerful experience has for many. It is no longer considered an activity of leisure tourism but rather an inner walk that deeply influences a person. In this optic, tourism has the opportunity to play a positive role in helping to solve global environmental problems by providing experiences that promote a fundamental change in people’s everyday behaviour and lifestyle.
On these premises, this research aims to investigate the potential of Walking Tourism (WT) in fostering post-experience Environmentally Responsible Behaviours (ERBs). Firstly, a multidisciplinary research framework was composed to describe an outdoor recreation experience and its behavioural influence. The case study of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe “Via Francigena” in Italy was analysed through the quantitative and qualitative data from 140 online surveys.
Then, three hypotheses were tested using Spearman's partial correlation analysis, excluding the influence of the variables of age, gender and importance of contact with nature. The results showed that satisfaction, measured by the intention to repeat the experience, is the only variable with significant influence on ERBs. Instead, the length of the experience, in Kilometres, and companionship have no significant correlation with them.
The research concludes by providing suggestions for public administrations, associations, tourism providers, academia etc., to increase tourists’ perceived value and satisfaction. This would allow them to exploit the transformative potential of experiences on long-distance walking routes and create positive feedback between tourism and nature conservation.

How to Cite
MELILLI, Giulia. The role of long-distance walking routes in fostering post-experience Environmentally Responsible Behaviours. Plurimondi, [S.l.], n. 20, dec. 2023. ISSN 2420-921X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 30 may 2024.