No. 4 (2016)
Visitors to the Uffizi from 1967-2016
The Uffizi Gallery is the Italian museum with the largest number of visitors each year. From 1967 to 2016, the number increased by more than 220%, leaping from 626,000 to over 2 million. However, growth has been neither constant nor continuous. In particular, this was evident in the ’80s and ’90s when the flow of foreign tourists in the Florentine incoming facilities also suffered a brief lull. The seasonal differences have decreased hand in hand with the increase in the number of visitors. At the beginning of the period considered, the July-to-October quarter recorded 55% of the annual visitors, the March-to-June quarter 35%, and the November-to-February quarter, the remaining 10%. At the end of the period considered, the first two quarters mentioned each recorded 40% of the annual visitors, with a 20% rise in the November-February quarter. The increase witnessed in recent years has almost brought the Uffizi to saturation point. The plan to exhibit some of the works in smaller local museums will help enlarge the space, and also increase the flow of tourists to nearby locations.
A model of hospitality made in Italy: the albergo diffuso
Elena Gori, Silvia Fissi, Alberto Romolini
The albergo diffuso (scattered hotel) on the territory is an innovative concept of hospitality which was launched in Italy and only recently has begun to spread out, especially at an entrepreneur level, in the international context. The first facilities have begun operating in Italy since 2000. After having conducted a survey questionnaire among the albergo diffuso managers, the research revealed that we are dealing with PMI (piccole e medie imprese turistiche/small and medium tourist enterprises), quite reduced in size, but largely comparable to traditional hotels with activities which enable guests to get to know the local life and culture; though not all structures seem to have consolidated relations with the territory in which they operate.
The albergo diffuso has a relevant role in the realization of sustainability policies, especially considering that these facilities do not need new buildings and allow recovery of the exsisting dwellings. In terms of marketing and promotion, the trend is that of utilizing a mix of digital and traditional channels and value local realities in cooperation with the institutions. As an enterprise, the albergo diffuso is classified among the PMI and family business.
External shock and tourism: real and media impact
Fabiola Sfodera, Dario Fanara
In the last two decades the tourism sector has faced numerous crises and external shocks such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, political instability, economic recession and uncontrolled migration. The effects of these events are almost immediate, with a negative impact on the flows and image both of the damaged destination and often of the adjacent ones. These events and their resonance are the major challenges for destinations and tourism organizations that should first try to survive and then retrieve attractiveness and competitiveness. The paper aims to identify and suggest an approach to external shocks that conceptualizes the inclusion in the process of development of destinations, increasing its capacity of absorption and management. For this purpose, we analyzed two cases of natural disasters (earthquake in Assisi occurred in 1997 and the tsunami in Thailand in 2004 for a period of respectively 10 and 15 years) and the role of media in the relationship between tourism and terrorism. The analysis was developed according to the guidelines of the duration and extent of the effects, measured through objective dimensions (flows) and processes (communication and media). The results allowed us to trace the directions through which the relationship between external shocks and tourism evolves in the recovery ability of the destination. We identified the two essential conditions for the development of the absorption process. The first is the need for a plan of management of the effects of disasters, including a direct integrated communication plan to all stakeholders (tourists, operators and residents). The second one is the need to include the management of external shocks in plans for the development of destinations, transforming it from an extraordinary management in response to disasters or crisis occurred to an ordinary and constant attention in order to communicate and ensure safety, thus reducing the post event negative media impact and recovery time.
Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-22
For the first time in Italy a Strategic Plan for Tourism (Piano Strategico del Turismo), the PST 2017-2022 has been adopted and its aim is that of bringing tourism back to the center of national politics as a sustainable and durable development model of the cultural and natural resources of the Country. This PST has been introduced with a new methodology based on the involvment of competencies and the activation of a Permanent Committee for Tourism Promotion, under the coordination of the General Directorate for Tourism of the Ministry of Cutural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. Several working sessions were held together with the participation of more Ministries, the Regions and the economic and trade union representatives ; especially two sessions, defined as States General for Tourism, took place in Portici at the Railway Museum in Pietrarsa, October 2015 and April 2016. The four general aims of the Plan consist of thirteen specific objectives and fiftytwo operation guidelines: The enhancement , in an integrated manner, of the strategic areas of tourist attraction and relative products ; The increase of competition in the field ; The develpoment of effective and innovative marketing; The realization of an effective governance also active in the process of elaborating and defining the Plan and tourism policies.
Digital Ecosystems, an Electronic Town Meeting for the study and development of digital tourism in Italy
The Electronic Town Meeting (ETM) of digital ecosystems is being presented as an instrument for the development of digital tourism in Italy. Such instrument has been utilized within the activities for the implementation of the PST (Strategic Tourism Plan) 2017-2022. The realization of the ETM is due to an agreement between the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Tourism Committee of the State-Regions Conference which consider as a first step the study and development of digitalization of tourist promotion, destination Italy and the definition of the first acts of implementation for PST 2017-2022 , especially on Digital Tourism themes. This first step was scheduled in Florence at the Fortezza da Basso on December 2, 2016, within the ninth edition of the BTO (Borsa del Turismo On Line) with the aim of sharing and creating contents – among a significant number of stakeholders and experts, representatives of the government and the single regions. On that day, named Digital Ecosystems – Strategies, Infrastructures and Digital Instruments for Tourism with destination Italy, 120 experts participated, divided into twelve working groups, coordinated by three university professors. On such occasion the shared management of Digital Ecosystems was handed to laborplay, a spin-off of the University of Florence which deals with the consulting and training within the field of organization. The items discussed, the proposals accepted and the results obtained were channelled to the following three themes: from digital to digital tourist ecosystems ; big data and artificial intelligence ; co-creation of a digital tourist promotion strategy. The Florence ETM confirmed the need to share, integrate and engage the world of Italian tourism on Digital Tourism themes.