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Hospitable Communities

Soft Tourism: Innovative Models Between Economic Growth and Social Engagement

The National Network of Hospitable Communities is a project co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, created to encourage an innovative model of tourist experiences in Italy. It aims to promote sustainable economic and social development in the involved areas, preserving and enhancing available resources. While focusing on local roots, the project also spurs innovation, improving how welcoming the places appear without distorting them.

The project is being promoted by the “Italian Network of Authentic Villages”, currently comprising 250 territories and communities, which stand out from traditional tourist offers for the attitudes of their hosts and the possible experiences of the visitors. Guests can feel like citizens, albeit “temporary" ones. They can experience the gentle pace of village life, and learn about local products and traditions.

Central to the organization strategy of these communities is the creation of new forms of temporary residency, focusing on enhancing the local identity. Furthermore, the design and implementation of quality itineraries involves the entire village, from common people to economic operators and public officers who share the hosting strategy through a common vision. Guests’ experience is formed through daily initiatives designed to create relationships. Experts in local culture, territory and traditions take over the role of “tutors" and are tasked with advising travellers during their stay. Unlike traditional tour guides, tutors act as interpreters and companions, almost like a mediator between the guest and the host's culture. They are citizens of the village that offer to take care of travellers during their stay, helping them to discover the spirit of their territory, its distinctive traits and the treasures that otherwise might remain hidden. Operators (hotels, B&Bs, farms, etc.) work systematically to create economies of scale, such as common reception services and shared communication strategies and tools. Furthermore, they adopt voluntary common standards on service quality (hospitality card).

At the administrative level, the City Councils promote projects to restore abandoned or underused structures, both public and private, in order to increase accommodation options in historic centres, according to strict ecological criteria.

 

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1 - Comunità Ospitali - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
2 - Pizzone Alba (IS): un borgo ospitale - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
3 - Laboratorio di telaio a Miglierina (CZ) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
4 - Attività sportive: il canyoning - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
5 - Marsica in bicicletta - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
6 - Forni di sotto (UD): canyonig sul RioNegro - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
7 - Civitacampomarano (CB) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
8 - Borgo Melpignano (LE) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
9 - Borgo Saluzzo (CN) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
10 - Borgo in festa - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
11 - Borgo Fara San Martino (CH) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
12 - Tradizioni locali - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
13 - Tradizioni locali - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
14 - Pietralunga (PG) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia
15 - Scurcola Marsicana (AQ) - courtesy: Borghi Autentici d’Italia

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