CROSSDEV - Culture and sustainability for Local Action Plans
MiBACT, partner of CROSSDEV, coordinates one of the project’s work packages: “Sustainable Tourism Strategies, Local Action Plans and Cross Border meetings”. The aim of this activity is to develop common local and cross-borders strategies, methods and tools to create innovative and diversified touristic products, according to the principles of Cultural and Sustainable Tourism and referring to the concept of Cultural Routes.
AN EXAMPLE: THE ITALIAN STRATEGY
Following the path of The Strategic Plan for Tourism developed in Italy at national level, MiBACT will suggest project’s partners to build a community-based tourism system, putting local amenities and sustainability at the base of their competitiveness and, most of all, the communities living the places at the core of the process.
An example of this strategy are the several Italian trails collected in the “Atlante dei Cammini” (Trails Atlas), created to offer tourists a slow connection to culture, food, landscape and tangible and intangible heritage of the places, for a unique experience with the local communities. Through this publication, MiBACT promoted a new slow-mobility network for tourists interested in the experience dimension of their travels.
A BOTTOM-UP APPROACH: THE ROLE OF THE LOCALS
This kind of tourist offer also supports sustainability as a strategic approach for local tourism development, promoting growth in the long term and, at the same time, maintaining a balanced use of resources, safeguarding and preserving the natural heritage of the places.
To be included in the “Atlante” and promoted to tourists, a trail is subjected to a collaborative process through a bottom-up approach. Local communities have a strategic role in welcoming tourists and letting them discover the unknown territories of their region. This helps overcoming mass tourism.
Such bottom-up approach allows communities to reflect upon themselves and their development and creates new kinds of economies: circular, cultural, civic. The engagement of local actors helps enhancing the creation of new shared ideas of sustainable development and creates participation and consensus around new projects. It is a sort of new storytelling of the territories and their communities.
Eleven criteria have to be met for a trail to be included in the “Atlante”. Among the others, the trail’s availability, its safety and maintenance, the presence of services for tourists, a managing authority.
So far, there are 42 trails approved which respond to all 11 criteria.
Gentle mobility - on foot, by bike, on horseback, on sailing boat or in other natural ways - allows tourists to deeply experience a place whilst leaving almost no trace behind. It has no negative impacts and encourages people to get in touch with local communities, their traditions and customs. Some of the best assets are intangible: landscapes and people.
Santa Maria della Pietà, Calascio (Abruzzo, Italy)
Culture and sustainability become the drivers for growth at local level, considering local cultural and natural assets as an opportunity for the promotion of tourism linked to a strong brand of the local area.
Each territory has its own heritage, knowledge, and willingness to invite tourists to discover and appreciate such assets, which are unique and impossible to delocalise.
CROSSDEV takes all those aspects into account and aims to build a new shared model of local development between partners and countries of the Mediterranean area, respecting each culture and each natural environment in order to make territories more competitive in the global market.