Towards an “Organised Tourist Product”

Last November, 28th 2021 in order to promote synergies between SusTowns and other parallel important initiatives at National level, ANCI Lazio participated in a public event held in Paganico Sabino with Mayors, Associations of citizens dedicated to the theme of “Destination Management Project Regeneration and Transformation of the Borgo (Village) in Organised Tourist Product.

A comprehensive vision is needed to give value to the territory. For this reason, Barbara Barella, Sustainable Development Expert of the Tourist Destination, introduced the “Progetto Borghi – (Village Project)”. A project active on a national level which intends to involve local actors to make critical mass on an important action related Building services to increase the ability to receive guests even from small villages outside the big tourist circuits, but no less important for the history and traditions they preserve. It is about organizing the territory. Today this new opportunity is even more important in view of the Italian PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). The goal therefore is to know how to implement interventions on tourist itineraries that must be coherent with the sustainability approach. The planned calls of the PNRR will have to see ready the territories in which we operate with our projects to generate a real renewal of the small towns. The great potential of the area is there but the receptivity needs to be strengthened. Hospitality must be ensured. At the moment, the hikers who come to the Turano valley cannot stay because they do not find places where to sleep.

The project conceived by Mr Giancarlo Dell’Orco represents a possible keystone to offer new opportunities to the Turano Valley: https://progettoborghi.host-b2b.com/team-member/giancarlo-dellorco/

 

Giancarlo Dell’Orco, Destination Manager explained that the PNRR is opening a new path for inland areas. Young people are approaching quality production (agri-ecology, traditional crafts). European and national funds must be intercepted to develop a sustainable development process for the small towns.

All this starts with the redevelopment of the houses in order to improve the receptivity. Then, from there a virtuous process begins for other services to spread (catering, food and wine products, services for soft mobility, etc.)

From the mapping of about 80 villages in the province of Grosseto, the goal of recovering homes in each village emerged to respond to the new demand for quality tourism that is growing more and more as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The public sector is important because public financial resources can be intercepted by local authorities.

An example of good practice is that of the Borgo di Caldana, near Follonica, where the Borghi Project for widespread hospitality was implemented. The goal was to "Sell the entire small town", and in which various services are offered (hospitality, catering, tourist visits, crafts, etc.).

Here today they buy the renovated houses to rent them to Northern Europeans who come there for a few months particularly in Winter.

The strategy would be to bring together dozens of Borghi associations that can work together and pursue common interests through the Borghi Project.

While in the case of the “widespread hotel”, an entrepreneur buys, for instance, 30 houses and builds a “widespread hotel” to regenerate the small town, the work of the Borghi Project involves all inhabitants to implement a collective project for the recovery of existing houses.

The project is the one that derives from the approach to the “widespread hotel” developed by the entrepreneur but which is instead developed through a coordination ensured by the Destination Manager involving the inhabitants "When the houses have hospitality, even the small towns become welcoming ... All the necessary services to start a circular economy ". It is also possible to use public / municipal spaces where services are created for tourists: where houses are bought, bikes are rented, real estate agency bulletin boards, services for residents, volunteering for assistance to the elderly is also involved.

Another example of a service is represented by the “Home staging formula”: an inexpensive way to renovate houses and rent them out (e.g. maremma-magazine.it/in-evidenza/prende-forma-linnovativo-progetto-di-accoglienza - tourism-widespread-in-buriano /)

Video (in Italian) by Franco Arminio, poet who talks about the small towns: “young people are invited to come back the small towns” (https://www.facebook.com/ReportRai3/videos/600643864274055/).

The juridical figure of the “cooperative” can play a strategic role: the owners of the house come together for the restructuring interventions and to develop services.

 

Conclusions

Summarizing the interventions mentioned above we have:

A first step characterized by mapping the villages of a specific region.

Second step: check the availability of residents to renovate their homes to transform them into accommodation facilities for seasonally adjusted tourism.

The goal is to promote a sort of widespread hotel in the small town by associating several owners in a cooperative, as well as managers of other services for hospitality and tourism (from catering to soft mobility)

We strongly need a Destination manager/Region organizer with specific skills and experience to be able to animate the territory and local actors by coordinating the activities and the creation of the cooperatives to ensure the urban regeneration of the small towns.

The expected arrival of funds destined for the villages through the Recovery Fund (PNRR) could allow the implementation of these actions.