What is astro-tourism?
Nowadays and in accordance with new trends, in the tourism sector there is a segment focused on sidereal observation, scientific dissemination of astronomical events and knowledge about the universe, which we call astrotourism.
The astronomical events that are generally observed are planetary conjunctions, solstices and equinoxes, moon observation, space launches, northern lights, lunar and solar eclipses, meteor showers. There are also camps, workshops, conferences and courses in which astronomy is the main theme, which can be aimed at the general public, amateurs or professionals.
Therefore, we can define astrotourism as a sustainable tourism segment, focused on astronomical activities, whether for leisure, scientific dissemination or knowledge.
Astrotourism is constantly growing, which is why there are more and more frequent questions related to the subject on Internet search engines.
Characteristics of the destinations for astro-tourism
The destinations belonging to this segment are characterised by having completely clear skies, no or little light pollution, in order to be able to appreciate celestial bodies and astronomical phenomena; telescopes, binoculars or cameras can be used. It is generally practised in natural environments and in a rural setting. Observations are mostly made during the course of the night. Even when there is an outstanding astronomical event, live broadcasts are made through social networks, so that the followers of the pages can watch it. Scientific disseminators participate, making contributions in a clear and simple way, thus bringing knowledge closer to the followers.
Astrotourism is a segment in which other tourist activities can be carried out, such as nature appreciation, skiing (in destinations such as Iceland, Canada or Norway), interpretative photography, hiking, walking, tasting local gastronomy, visits to planetariums or museums with an astronomical theme (in some destinations there are archaeological sites), workshops and guided tours in which you can have a cultural and historical approach to the host community.
Here are some recommended destinations for astro-tourism:
Yosemite National Park, United States of America.
Atacama Desert, Chile.
Canary Islands, Spain.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland.
Aconcagua Valley, Chile.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, USA.
Recommendations for astro-tourism
Wear warm clothing (in autumn and winter seasons) and comfortable shoes.
Respect the host community and the natural environment.
Pay attention to the indications of the tour guides.
Do not separate yourself from the group you are with.
Do not litter.
Astrotourism is one of the segments that allows you to look at the night sky and connect to the past through stargazing. It brings you closer to the knowledge and understanding of the universe.
Author: Alin Fuentes. Entorno Turístico