Enhanced mobility for sustainable rural tourism_By Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero

Enhanced mobility for sustainable rural tourism_By Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero – see the challenge proposed by the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board.

THE_TOPIC

The challenge is proposed by the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board. Langhe Monferrato Roero is a UNESCO Landscape Heritage area characterised by a peculiar vineyard landscapes. It is located between the provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo, and comprises 100 municipalities with an average population of a few hundred inhabitants. After the inclusion in the UNESCO List, the area has experienced a significant growth of tourists driven by the intention to experience Piedmont’s hilly vineyard landscape and its eno-gastronomic assets.

The growing impact of tourism contributed to the emergence of incremental awareness of the need for a higher sustainability, understood as the development of wine-related tourism activities that are compatible with the sustainable development of the territory. In this light, it is of strategic importance to identify alternative and sustainable mobility systems, capable of satisfying the need to experience the territory and its assets, while ensuring their preservation, sustainable development and fruition.

THE_CHALLENGE

In recent years, the Langhe Monferrato Roero area has seen a sharp increase in the number of tourists, in most cases from abroad and with little capacity for independent mobility in the area. Hence the need to understand how to address innovation in tourist mobility, going beyond the private-car model. The limited availability of tourist-friendly transport in an area where inhabitants and tourists travel by their own means due to the scarcity of an adequate public transport system constitutes a serious challenge. The impact of private motorised means of transport on an area that is unique in the world and needs to be preserved and developed sustainably is indeed a challenge, that needs to be weighted vis-à-vis tourists’ mobility needs and the quality of their experience.

Acknowledging the above, the proposed challenge concerns the design of sustainable transport models in rural areas with diffuse anthropisation. The teams will investigate, devise and design sustainable transport models and solutions suited to the needs of tourists and the territory.

Langhe-Roero and Monferrato for sustainable tourism – Locals talking

On Tuesday, September the 20th, 2022, students and researchers from the SPOT project had the opportunity to participate in a session called ‘Locals talking’ organized by the Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning of Politecnico di Torino. The session took place in Serralunga d’Alba, and was moderated by Prof. Giancarlo Cotella. In this occasion, they have been discussing the challenges and opportunities for a more sustainable development of tourism activities in the area Langhe-Roero and Monferrato.

The following stakeholders participated in a session: Aldo Buzio (Ideazione Srl), Claudio Boasso (President of Pro Loco Association of Serralunga d’Alba), Dr. Sergio Moscone (Major of the Serralunga d’Alba Municipality), Enrico Rivella (ISMEA RRN), Enrico Rivetto (Wine producer), and Silvia Soldano (LINKS Foundation).

We were introduced to the area by the President of Serralunga d’Alba Pro Loco Claudio Boasso. Pro Loco is municipal’s spin-off responsible for local development, including tourism. One of the recent concerns of this agent, especially in the recent years when the tourism fluxes have been increasing incrementally, is to make tourism development more sustainable.

Tourism and enogastronomy are the basis for economy of the area. For example, in Serralunga d’Alba, a town inhabited by approximately 500 people, are located as many as 30 wine cellars, and another 50 wine enterprises have acquired vineyards on the territory of the municipality. During last years, tourism has not only increased, but it has significantly changed. This is the result of wine tourism development supported by investments in the development of activities that runs in parallel to the latter, as well as to alternative transportation facilities to better link and interconnect the area. Buying vine is no longer the only purpose of visiting the area, and the region is no longer targeting only one-day visitors. Foreign tourists are hosted mostly during summer for longer stays, Italians are accommodated here mostly during weekends. Autumn is the period preferred by tourist interested in enogastronomy. It is worth to mention that, in the same days as our study visit, the case study area of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato is hosting the UNWTO global conference on enogastronomy tourism.

The meeting with local actors started with the welcome speech by Dr. Sergio Moscone, Major of the Serralunga d’Alba. Then, all local stakeholders had a chance to present themselves and their view on the challenges that prevent a more sustainable development of tourism activities in the case study area. After a first roundtable, the speakers were interacting the researchers and students from the SPOT team, answering their questions and further elaborating their thoughts.

Silvia Soldano represents LINKS Foundation and was part of the technical advisory team preparing the application of the case study area to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. She argued that during the application stage, the knowledge about the local exceptional identity and heritage was taken directly from the local stakeholders. She explained that the assessment of the tourism carry capacity is one of the activities recommended by the UNESCO. Thanks to the analysis done, we know that the local inhabitants do not aim to mass tourism, as wouldn’t feel comfortable with shuttle busses bring hordes of tourists to the area. They are rather interested in a more diffuse and sustainable tourism, that spread around the area in a softer way.

In a further discussion it was explained that tour operators organize in the region of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato educational tours mainly. The main target are schools rather than other groups. The reason that other markets are not considered is that mass tourism is seen as unsustainable. Thanks to the work of a destination management organization (DMO), the shift from big international groups towards family tourism has already happened. We were explained that in Italy, DMOs are private institutions owned by tourism enterprises and actors. However, the DMOs operate on a regional level. At the local level, responsibilities of DMO are covered by Pro Loco. However, tourism is not the only focus of this type of agency.

Enrico Rivetto is a local owner of vineyard, understanding his role through a rather innovative approach. When the case study area became very popular, he realized that ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’ are just empty words. According to his perspective, before talking about tourism and sustainability, we should ask ourselves what can we do individually to change the status quo. “How I can change my vinery” was the very first question that Enrico Rivetto asked himself. He believes that changing our small worlds can make the whole world better. “We are what we do!”. He argued that the revolution which is expected in terms of environmental issues is rather going to occur as the sum of individual decision, than as the consequence of a collective effort piloted from the top down. However, local aggregation of like-minded individuals from the bottom-up is crucial to upscale the result of their action-

Aldo Buzio, the project managet of Ideazione consultancy company, contribute to orient the development of tourism activities in the area by offering services for local spatial planning. The company is cooperating with already mentioned LINKS Foundation. For now, the focus of the company is to deliver tourism strategies for both cities and regions. Shift from broad holistic strategy of development to creation of tourism oriented plans and projects is the general idea of planning supported by the company.

Enrico Rivella work is to make agricultural activities more sustainable, mainly in terms of environmental sustainability. Sustainability of cultivation is one of the issues important from the perspective of the case study area of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato. Cultivation of grapes contributes to the cultural landscape protection. However, excessive increase of cultivation results in some risks affecting the traditional landscape, e.g. deforestation and soil erosion. The situation of the soil is getting worse, due to both excessive cultivation and climate change. “Respect the land!” Enrico Rivella said. The experience of food and vine is place-embedded, and comes from a thorough understanding of local environmental conditions and traditions. There is no outstanding tourism experience with no sustainability. The cultural landscape is a significant asset for tourism development and, as such, its quality must be preserved.

The President of the Pro Loco Claudio Boasso is also the owner of vineyard. He argued that sustainability is an impellent problem of the area. There are a lot of anticipatory experiences towards a more sustainable production of wine that should be confronted and then combined. Synergizing and integration of various local actions is the main goal of the Pro Loco agency. It started in late 1970’s when trying to apply integrated approach when selling vine on international markets. And is now focusing on the promotion of an integrated tourist offer. “Were to go”, and “what to do” are the main questions asked by tourist to the Pro Loco agency. In this light, to link and jointly promote all the activities and assets that the territory offer is becoming a more and more central aim.

Potential clashes between tourism, local development and landscape protection were discussed. However, the excessive concentration of tourism in particular places and times is neither evidenced nowadays, nor expected in the future. On the other hand, local actors argued that any development of the infrastructure aimed at increasing tourism accessibility should be developed keeping in mind the preservation of environmental and landscape values.

Broad understanding of the local reality and its many challenges is a must. It is not possible to solve them from a narrow perspective. Biodynamic agriculture is to rebuild an efficient and balanced agriculture organism. Financial resources are a very serious problem as well. If the land is extremely expensive, it is not easy to motivate farmers to differentiate the production, and to divide the area of cultivation into many different species, which is the foundation of biodynamic farming. However, biodynamic farming is against mainstream economy. Thus, with no change of the development paradigm, it would be difficult to change anything inside the economic system. A similar balance should be achieved when talking about tourism.

From the perspective of mayor, to improve the present situation is a rather complex task, that should be tackled through multiple, parallel perspectives. Care of inhabitants and their needs, care of agriculture, and care of cultural landscape which is already appreciated by the UNESCO are the most important concerns of the area. Cultural activities are unfortunately developed for tourists, with limited focus on locals. So, cultural tourism has a significant potential. However, participants of the session complained that this kind of offer could be more oriented on inhabitants of the area.

Programme of study visit to Italy and local seminar

See the programme of study visit to Italy organised by the SPOT project. We are going to concern the case study of “vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”. All activities are presented in Italian time zone (CEST). Students and academicians are requested to take own laptops. You might also download the programme of the study visit to Italy as a PDF file, and the programme of the local seminar (PDF file).

Notes

September 19, 2022, Monday, Study visit Day 1

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:45 – 10:00Meeting at Castello del ValentinoRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:00 – 10:30WelcomeGiancarlo Cotella (POLITO, SPOT Partner Leader)
Andrea Bocco (DIST, Head of Department)
Marco Santangelo (POLITO, School of Planning and Design Vice-Head)
Tomasz Napierala (ULODZ, SPOT Project Manager)
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:30 – 11:30Introduction to the Case Study AreaMarta Bottero / Vanessa Assumma (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
11:30 – 13:00Spatial Planning, Landscape Planning and Tourism in ItalyGiancarlo Cotella / Emma Salizzoni (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
13:00 – 14:30Lunch breakArmida Canoeing Club
14:30 – 15:30Subdivision into Groups & Meeting with the Tutors7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
15:30 – 16:15World Heritage Sites – Cultural Landscapes and TourismYasemine Sarikaya Levent (UMERSIN)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
16:15 – 17:00The Challenges of Climate ChangeVanessa Assumma (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
17:00 – 17:30Break
17:30 – 18:15Enhancing Sustainable Tourism in Rural Areas – Mobility ChallengesElisabetta Vitale Brovarone (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
18:15 onwardsFree Evening

September 20, 2022, Tuesday, Study visit Day 2

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
08:30 – 09:45BUS travels to the case study areaMarta Bottero / Vanessa Assumma (POLITO)Castello del Valentino – Serralunga d’Alba
09:45 – 10:15Exploratory walk in Serralunga d’Alba TownSerralunga d’Alba
10:15 – 12:15“Locals talking” – Discussion with various stakeholders from the case study areaVanessa Assumma (POLITO)Maria Cappellano Square, Serralunga d’Alba
12:30 – 13:30Lunch time (Lunch box)Verduno Belvedere
14:00 – 16:00Visit in the WiMu Wine Museum in BaroloFalletti Castle, Falletti Square, Barolo
16:00 – 17:30Scenic walk from Barolo to La Morra BelvedereBarolo – La Morra (Download GPX file for your GPS device)
17:30 – 18:45BUS travels back to TorinoLa Morra – Castello del Valentino

September 21, 2022, Wednesday, Study visit Day 3

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:00 – 10:30Workshop: Stakeholder AnalysisKatarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała / Marta Nalej (ULODZ)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:30 – 12:30Students working in groups on stakeholder analysis7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch breakArmida Canoeing Club
14:00 – 15:00Workshop: How to Support Decision Making EffectivelyVanessa Assumma (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
15:00 – 17:00Participated SWOT Analysis: Students working in groups7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
17:00 – 17:30Break
17:30 – 19:00Students working in groups7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
20:30 onwardsSocial dinnerLo Sbarco – Via Silvio Pellico 5

September 22, 2022, Thursday, Study visit Day 4

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:00 – 12:30Workshop: Writing Actionable Policy RecommendationsKatarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała / Marta Nalej (ULODZ), Yasemine Sarikaya Levent, Tolga Levent (UMERSIN)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:30 – 12:30SPOT Consortium MeetingIn parallel to the working groups (max 2 persons per every SPOT Project Partner)Room Astengo
12:30-14:00Lunch break
14:00 – 18:30Students working in groups7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group will be supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
18:30 onwardsFree (working…) evening

September 23, 2022, Friday, Local seminar

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:00 – 09:15Welcome speechGiancarlo Cotella (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
09:15 – 09:30Presentation of the SPOT ProjectTomasz Napierała / Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała (ULODZ)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
09:30 – 11:00Students’ presentation. Round I15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes of discussion for each of 3-4 groupsRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
11:00 – 11:30Break
11:30 – 13:00Students’ presentation. Round II15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes of discussion for each of 3-4 groupsRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
13:00 – 14:30Lunch breakArmida Canoeing Club

September 23, 2022, Friday, Study visit Day 5

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
14:30 – 16:00Evaluation of educational effectiveness of teaching on the spotInstructors (2 per group) will conduct focus with each of students’ groupRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
16:00 – 16:30Summary of the study visit to ItalyRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino

BUP PhD workshop “Societies, Cultures, Critical Theories”

PhD workshop “Societies, Cultures, Critical Theories” will take place on 6-7 October 2022 at Södertörn University.

Deadline for applications is 22 August 2022.

Read more about the workshop and how to apply on the Södertörn University website.

The upcoming PhD workshop “Societies, Cultures, Critical Theories” aims at strengthening collaboration and find novel ways of interaction between PhD students from participating universities of The Baltic University Programme (BUP), in the name of supporting the key role that universities play in a democratic, peaceful and sustainable development. Drawing on peer-to-peer learning, the workshop offers the possibility for doctoral students to present and receive feedback on their own research, as well as to comment on research by fellow PhD students. In addition, it constitutes a platform for initiating possible collaborations, networks and joint publications. The workshop will take place on 6-7 October 2022.

The workshop focuses in particular on PhD level research in the humanities, arts, and social studies. We especially encourage participation in this workshop for PhD students from the following subjects: aesthetics, anthropology, archaeology, arts, cultural studies, ethnology, history, history of ideas, languages, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, but PhD students from all disciplines are welcome!

Participants that take part during the whole workshop will receive a Certificate of Attendance, issued by the BUP Coordinating Secretariat.

There is no participation fee and accommodation as well as lunches will be provided by BUP (Södertörn University). Participants are expected to cover the travel costs to and from Södertörn University themselves. We are aiming for an in-person event, however, the alternative of a hybrid format remains open.

International Tourism Congress ITC2022: Registration

Registration to International Tourism Congress ITC2022 is open:

  • till October 15, 2022,
  • early bird – September 15 25, 2022.

We welcome all researchers, PhD candidates and students interested in geographical, social, environmental, economic, political, and managerial contexts of sustainable tourism. Join our discussion! Join the International Tourism Congress ITC2022! The main theme of ITC2022 is: “Tourism – Going Back/Forward to Sustainability”.

Mind that during ITC2022 you can present results of your recent studies on various issues and problems of tourism. When registering to the ITC2022, please consider submitting an abstract of your presentation. For more details go to Call for Abstracts.

Registration to International Tourism Congress ITC2022 is open till October 15, 2022, and for early birds – till September 15, 2022. Your registration form will be revised. Then, you will receive the payment request with all details your accounting department might need when sending a bank transfer.

We proudly announce that the Baltic University Programme decided to support the International Tourism Congress ITC2022. BUP offers 20 scholarships to cover costs of congress fee for researchers, PhD candidates and students who 1) are affiliated to BUP participating universities, 2) want to participate in ITC2022 onsite in Lodz, and 3) submitted an abstract of oral presentation or poster. Application for a scholarship is included in a registration form.

How to register? Just fill the form below!

Lesson from Portuguese local seminar – Peniche, May 13, 2022

We were impressed by the quality of work presented by our students during Portuguese local seminar. This multiplier event was held in Peniche on May 13, 2022. The aim of the local seminar was to present the results of the SPOT study tour to Portugal. The achievements of a students’ work during the intensive learning programme in Peniche were presented to the local community and now – after review and revision – are available on the SPOT project website.

We have learned from our students that the concept of sustainability should be changed. The focus on economic growth must be replaced by the idea of a great experience that every stakeholder should have in terms of development.

We understand that spatial planning is strictly connected to strategic planning. Everything what we plan is somehow embedded in a space and places. On the other hand, timeline for different strategic goals is requested. When planning, resources and tools of main stakeholders influencing solutions should be clearly defined. Consequences of renunciation should be identified as well when planning.

It must be emphasized that any plan won’t be successful without dialogue between stakeholders, at least local community and authorities. This makes participatory spatial planning extremely demanded. Destination Management Organization might become a perfect forum for that kind of dialogue. On the other hand, we have some limits of public participation. Spatial planning of archeological sites or ecological precious areas cannot be negotiated.

When proposing solutions and defining actionable policy recommendations, interests and needs of all stakeholders should be taken into consideration. As an example, most of our students’ groups identified problem of missing or inefficient public transportation system. When developing one it must target problems of both inhabitants and tourists. It is better to be sustainable by using existing potential of the place but not creating big investment projects.

When summarising Portuguese local seminar our students noticed that even small steps undertaken by local communities contribute to global change and allow to solve global threats.

Students’ reports aiming issues of sustainable tourism development in the area of Baleal Beach:

International Tourism Congress ITC2022: Call for Abstracts

ITC2022 call for abstracts is open till 15th 25th September 2022.

The only accepted way to submit the abstract is to use the online system dedicated for that purpose: https://czasopisma.uni.lodz.pl/itc/index. Do not send us abstracts by email!

Each abstract should be prepared in English according to the requirements described on the website of the online submission system: https://czasopisma.uni.lodz.pl/itc/author_info.

All submissions will be reviewed by the members of the Scientific Board.

The main theme of ITC2022 is: “Tourism – Going Back/Forward to Sustainability”. We will discuss geographical, social, environmental, economic, political, and managerial contexts of sustainable tourism. Feel invited to participate in the discussion, feel invited to ITC2022!

When submitting an abstract of your presentation, consider one of the already accepted sessions. Our intention is to make our discussion structured and understandable to a wider audience.

The general discussion on the sustainability of tourism is expected during ITC2022. We must address the challenges of tourism resulting from contemporary environmental issues, mainly climate change and the loss of geo- and biodiversity. We expect presentations referring to both, current and future climate conditions. On the other hand, focusing on local communities is also a must. We expect a discussion on the participation of the local communities in the tourism and hospitality industry not only to aim for the local economy, but to contribute to a society holistically. From this perspective, development of tourism in rural areas is crucial. We suggest exploring and comparing how tourism in rural areas might contribute to an impact on the sustainable development of rural spaces, including remote, sparsely populated, and less-favoured areas.

Due to the location hosting the ITC2022, our particular interests are in the Baltic Sea Region. We invite discussion on recent challenges of sustainable tourism in the Baltic Sea Region, aiming for an evolutionary approach with particular focus on environmental, economic, social, and political issues of tourism development.

Recovery of tourism from any crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, must address sustainability. We propose the discussion on scenarios of economic and financial recovery of tourism businesses. This is to face the recent loss of liquidity of tourism enterprises and to target sustainability as a response to future crises. From that perspective, a substantial need to stimulate and design new policies reshaping the air transportation industry is expected. We propose the discussion on changes made to aviation policy and impacts on the evolution of tourism, either adversely or beneficially.

We would like to focus on the development and research of promising types of tourism in terms of sustainable development. Feel invited to present your scientific achievements related to literary tourism and film-induced tourism products and experiences that promote sustainable development of destinations. Moreover, we would like to discuss how the practice of sport activities in nature can constitute a means of fulfilling the desire to travel and recreation associated with memorable and authentic experiences, but also the need to protect nature. We believe that sustainable tourism must be adapted to the needs of all people with disabilities or not. Thus, we propose the discussion on accessible tourism.

We understand that niche tourism has the potential to contribute to sustainable development. We see that tourism resources produce niche tourism products developed in a sustainable approach to benefit local communities. From ecotourism, to nature-based tourism, to community-based tourism to olive oil tourism, to vine-tourism to astro-tourism there are many examples on how niche markets can put sustainability in practice. We also see room for the discussion on a new approach to cultural tourism that promotes the development of disadvantaged areas. We would like to exchange experience on the role of cultural tourism in creating place-based identities and how these link to broader processes of regional, national, and multinational cultures.

Young generations are considered an important stakeholder in sustainable development. Discussion on youth tourism is mandatory, as youth has the power to change the world. But it is important to involve young people in discussions and actions related to the future of tourism. We invite contributions and different perspectives that focus on the trends and challenges of human and social capital needed for sustainable development of the tourism sector. We also expect a broad discussion on tourism education at all levels. All types of jobs in the tourism industry require qualifications and training that can equip current and future employees with adaptable, agile, and resilient skills requested in a world of uncertainty.

Finally, ITC2022 targets the idea of excellence in tourism research. Thus, we propose discussion on ontological, epistemological, and methodological foundations of tourism research. The discussion of methods should consider the rapid development of information and communication technologies, mobile technologies, and geographic information systems. We see that both internetization and technological development result in unprecedented possibilities for conducting more precise and comprehensive research on tourist phenomena.

The vineyard landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato. Building a strategy of tourism valorisation and management

The next SPOT study visit that will take place in Turin (Italy) between September 19 and 23, 2022, concerns the case study “vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”, which is a territorial context modelled in the century by local communities in Southern Piedmont. In the past, this territory was poor and marginal, and over the latest years, it has become remarkably rich and with great potentialities for growth and development. This was possible in part thanks to the UNESCO candidacy process, that begun in the early 2000s. and to the inclusion of the area into the World Heritage List in 2014. This landscape was modelled for centuries by the local communities for the cultivation and production of excellent and certified wines. Situated in southern Piedmont and adjoining the Liguria Apennines, the vineyard landscape extends and counts 100 Municipalities where live about 300,000 inhabitants. It is far 90 minutes by car from Turin and 120 minutes from Milan.

The inscription into the World Heritage List list has increased the visibility of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato as “living cultural landscape” all over the world, thanks to its cultural resources, both tangible and intangible, as well as natural features. At the same time, the area has suffered increasing challenges due to the growing exposition to tourism, as for instance transport congestion and difficult accessibility, uneven economic development, and deterioration of the natural and cultural heritage. Overall, spatial planning in the area is currently characterised by three main challenges:

  • The need to revise the Regional Territorial Plan (RTP) that, approved in 2011, did not include any reference to the UNESCO landscape of Piedmont Langhe-Roero and Monferrato. This activity should draw on the area’s cultural resources, both tangible and intangible, as well as on its natural and economic specificities. At the same time, it should tackle the challenges concerning tourism pressure in specific places where the media exposure is higher rather than the remaining municipalities of this territorial context.
  • The update of the General Regulatory Plans of the municipalities of the area to take into account the Regional Landscape Plan Guidelines (RLP). This issue is tightly connected to the one above, as both the RTP and the RLP are produced by the Region. In particular, the RLP is one of the main instruments through which spatial planning can tackle tourism issues, through the voluntary undertaking of its guidelines by the municipalities. In this sense, the Municipalities belonging to the UNESCO site must update their General Regulatory Plans according to guidelines specifically designed for the area.
  • The delivery on the ground of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and of the EU Programming 2021-2027, and how the actions promoted through the latter can contribute to valorise the tourism potential of the area in a synergic way, while at the same time acting to tackle the main challenges that the increase of tourism pressures brings along with them.
  • Linked to the above, to overcome the rather low institutional capacity of the small and medium municipalities of the area to efficiently and effectively deal with the unprecedented amount of resources, through the design of a strategic plan for territorial development aimed at their effective spatialisation.

Acknowledging the above challenges, during the workshop, students will be required to design a spatial development strategy aiming at the territorial development of the site, in which sustainable tourism plays the key role. The results of the workshop will be a set of policy messages and recommendations addressing local actors and stakeholders actively involved in the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, with the purpose of helping them in the envisioning of more sustainable policies and actions.

SPOT study visit to Italy is organised by Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) at Politecnico di Torino (POLITO). All project activities will be held between September 19 and 23, 2022 in Turin. However, one-day trip to the case study area of the southern part of Piedmont has been already planned.

The Green Track Stop event “A Walk in the Woods…”

Detailed information about the Green Track Stop event “A Walk in the Woods – citizen science for forests” can be found on the event webpage and on the Twitter account.

The Green Track Stop event “A Walk in the Woods – citizen science for forests”, organized on behalf of the vegetation group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as part of the EU GreenTrack campaign, has already started. We would like to invite all young European citizens to take part in this activity!

Contribute to the Green Track Stop initative! Go for a walk in the forest near your home, your school or your university any time between May 16 and May 22 and answer the questions provided in our short online survey. In this survey, we want to know what you think about the value of forests and what you expect from future forest management. The results from the survey will be evaluated and forwarded to the European Commission in form of a short report.

The Green Track Stop is also a citizen science campaign to build a database of geotagged forest photos for all of Europe! So don’t forget to take one (or several!) photo(s) with geotag enabled in your smartphone’s camera settings, while you are in the forest. You are invited to fill out the survey during or after your forest walk. It is available in 6 different languages:

Baleal Beach case study – Locals talking

In a session called “Locals talking” held on May 10th, at School of Tourism and Maritime Technology of Polytechnic of Leiria (ESTM), some of the local stakeholders representing the community were present, namely Paulo Morais Ferreira (President of the Peniche Surfing Club and the national delegate of the Surfriders Foundation), Maria Simões (Manager of Lagido Supermarket and local accommodation YEY Baleal), Cristina Pereira (Manager of Hostel Baleal à Vista), Pedro Barata (President of Ferrel Parish) and Ricardo Leopoldo (Manager of Peniche Surf Camp). The discussion was moderated by João Paulo Jorge and Fernanda Oliveira from ESTM. We thank the presence of these stakeholders whose ideas and concerns about Baleal Beach, and its future planning and development greatly enriched the discussion.

Issues of tourism planning and tourism development in Baleal Beach

The process of reviewing and proposing a new Municipal Master Plan was launched in 2012. However, the whole process, for numerous reasons, has suffered many delays and only in 2018 was published, by the municipal council of Peniche, the preliminary report with the first proposal of the new Master Plan. One of the most important issues is related to the key tourist resources, namely the beaches and their sustainable planning and management, particularly the territorial unit of the parish of Ferrel, which includes Baleal beach.

According to the preliminary report Baleal beach requires a significant intervention, given the growing tourist demand and the degradation of its urban seafront at an exceptionally beautiful point (the area of the two bays created by the tombolo which connects it to the island). It is planned to minimize the car traffic, relocate the parking area, renaturalise it, the requalify the sandy beach and create a qualified pedestrian seafront.

It is important to note that, as mentioned by local stakeholders, in Baleal beach significant changes have started just 12 years ago, when the world surfing championships took place in Peniche. Surf tourism allowed to extended high season from 2 months up to more or less 8 months. This is what local actors really appreciate. They said, “surf tourism is a future of Peniche”.

Local actors also underlined other aspects such as quality of the tourist and complementary services facilities. Good tourist experience and spatial and regulatory organization are requested and supported by locals when creating products for tourists. Tourists when visiting Peniche expect to see the virgin nature. Thus, locals do not believe in the idea of mass tourism and related infrastructural development. Every infrastructural investment must strictly follow environmental requirements and fit to the local unique landscape. However, our locals said they are not unconditionally against the new hotel investments.

One issue that was strongly emphasised was the following: “It is difficult to make everyone talking to everybody”. This is so difficult to agree with inhabitants about ideas proposed by local leaders or municipality. On the other hand, it is difficult to attract municipality with ideas of local actors. They also mentioned that in a successful planning process the first step to be taken is to listen to the local community first and then move to a first proposal and not contrary as was done. Especially when authorities are thinking about planning the space like creating the piece of art first rather than process of discussion with locals.

Our students were interested in such issues and actively participated in the discussion and raised some pertinent questions like, e.g.: dark accommodation, participative spatial planning, tourism related crimes, sustainability of tourism development, political issues.

Closing remarks of “Locals talking” session

The revision process of the new Municipal Master Plan is currently underway and will soon enter the public discussion phase. This discussion is of great democratic importance as it allows citizens and stakeholders to actively participate in the management of the municipality through proposals and public debates.

Local communities play an important role in tourism development. They are regarded as legitimate and moral stakeholders in tourism development. Local community has to be involved in policy and decision making so that it will enhance the trust and confidence of the local people on the government bodies and tourism industry.

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