No. 3 (2016)
"Cultural Routes of Europe" between market and institutions
Launched by the Council of Europe in 1987, the Cultural Routes demonstrate, how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe contributes to a shared and living cultural heritage. The Routes promote the principles which underlie all the work and values of the Council of Europe: human rights, cultural democracy, cultural diversity, mutual understanding and exchanges across boundaries. They also act as channels for intercultural dialogue. In this paper we examine how the 32 routes across 53 countries involved: run through all the 27 States of the European Union plus 26 others including some African and Asian ones. A route is a complex activity with great potential to be enhanced even more because the proposed paths are little known compared to what they deserve. The main and best known paths are the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (by far the most popular one) and the Via Francigena. 22 of the 32 paths promoted by the Council of Europe, an organization born before and not to be confused with the Council of the European Union, pass through Italy The Council of Europe is not part of the European Union, but it is an autonomous international organization based in Strasbourg. The routes are at different stages of their evolution, also depending on the territories; as to the Via Francigena, its crossing of Tuscany is a case of excellence and best practices.
Euroméditerranée project and the great 'European Capital of Culture' event. Marseille and the induced effects
Rosalina Grumo, Tiziana Crovella
The city of Marseille is an example of planning referred to the Mediterranean area, involving the Agglomeration Community and the Provence Region. The investments for the 2013 great event “Marseilles, European Capital of Culture” are analyzed, along with the impact on the urban, social, economic and tourist planning. Marseilles has many trump cards that enhance the relations between the coast and the interior, on which a successful project was built. Among the strong points we highlight: the geographical position of the city and its accessibility represented by the port of Marseille; the Euro-Mediterranean dimension, the foundation for the Euroméditerranée project in the 1990s, that was an engine of cultural development, along with the beauty of the city’s architecture and its art, and its creative unconventional cultural vitality. The paper aims to evaluate critically, a priori and ex post, the local government’s strategy in promoting a positive image of the area, and the effects induced also on tourism by the project policies and the great event, in the light of the direct experience of the authors.
The museum as a place for intercultural dialogue: a reality in the historical centre of Etna
Giuseppe Avena, Santina Pilato
The museum is an ancient institution and place of learning and intercultural dialogue, subject to changes in order to adapt to visitors’ expectations as well as to requirements from the outside. Studies in this field aim at improving the quality of the service and at identifying the most effective ways to optimise the offer, to value it, introduce it and make it readily understandable, and to enhance its attractiveness to different groups of visitors. Knowledge of the users can help the museum management from the point of view of the strategies and mid-long-term decisions, as well as with regard to the operational side. It is all about encouraging the organization to share the existing information, opportunities, limits or restrictions. The aim is to establish the approval rate of the end-users, in order to assess the weaknesses and the strengths that may have an impact on the customers’ satisfaction for the service offered. A specific study was carried out and the results were treated with statistic methods using SWOT analysis and a logistic regression model. The main feature is that knowing the visitors allows to enhance customer satisfaction and to improve the general quality of his experience.
A statistical model on factors influencing the maintenance of environmental certification of tourism enterprises
Giuseppe Avena, Angela Alibrandi
This work, which is set up as a continuation of a previous research, focuses on tourist businesses holding ISO 14001, EMAS and Ecolabel as environmental certifications. In particular, it aims to identify factors that impact on the intention, on the part of tourist businesses, to maintain the already acquired environmental certification. The explanatory power of several variables was rated. Among the main targets achieved by the companies following the certification, we tested the image enhancement, the increased customer satisfaction and the increased competitiveness. Among the benefits observed, cost reduction, acquisition of new customers and the increased involvement of employees were considered; finally, the study assessed the influence of the benefits achieved by the institutions and, as potential deterrents, the types of obstacles met in the certification process. From a methodological point of view, being the response variable dichotomous (maintaining environmental certification), in order to identify the predictive factors, it was considered appropriate to estimate a generalized linear model and, in particular, the logistic regression model which appears to be a methodologically adequate solution in the given context. The application of the model allowed the identification of a subset of explanatory variables that influence the phenomenon investigated significantly.
Accessible Tourism: a possible alternative for territorial competitiveness
The authors offer a reflection on accessible tourism, defined as a way of allowing to fully enjoy their stay all those who for various reasons – economic, physical, cultural, political, but also religious- are not guaranteed the inalienable right to a holiday; thus, the wellbeing of the visitors is reconciled with the preservation of the cultural heritage. The starting point for the analysis is the concept of sustainable tourism; a concept which has been discussed for at least two decades and on which nearly everyone agrees, but which is of difficult practical application in the field of tourism; the difficulties are due to problems relating to measurability, definition and the existence of conflicting statistics. Accessibility is linked strongly to sustainability; accessible tourism does not only pay attention to the needs of the disabled but to everyone’s; through a very high quality offer, accessible tourism is able to respond to the needs of children, the elderly, mothers pushing prams, people with limited physical ability or sensory impairments or who have food-related allergies or issues, so that they can make full use of the holiday or their free time without obstacles and difficulties. Accessible tourism can be an opportunity for all locations through an offer of more liveable and hospitable destinations that can meet the expectations of people with special needs. In fact it achieves an advantage for the local community, because improved accessibility favours the development of the most authentic social relations in a sustainable way.