The Area Brand of Educational Parks of the Alta Marca Trevigiana, a tourism promotion strategy based on networking and with a learning by visiting approach.
The northern part of Treviso Province is a very rich and beautiful territory, but suffers the problem of being a “crossway” between Venice and the Dolomites, which are obviously major attractions. With the exception of the recently nominated UNESCO Heritage Site of Prosecco Hills, small rural municipalities, despite their beauty and heritage, find particularly difficult to attract tourists and visitors, especially for more than one day.
In order to cope with the above mentioned problem, a network of 3 municipalities around Vittorio Veneto (Sarmede, Fregona and Revine-Lago) launched in 2016 a “protocol of cooperation” in the field of tourism promotion based on the valorization of 3 specific sites:
1. Fregona, The Caglieron Caves: https://www.prolocofregona.it/grotte-del-caglieron/
2. Sarmede, the Town of Tales: http://fondazionezavrel.it/ and https://www.sarmede.org/
3. Revine Lago, The Archeological Park of Livelet: https://www.parcolivelet.it/
In 2018, this protocol had been turned into an “Area Brand Plan” with a specific roadmap for a sustainable development of the territory based on a tourism approach focused on “Children and Families” and on “educational tourism”. This transformation included also 2 additional municipalities:
4. Cappella Maggiore (the Land of Olive Oil)
5. Cordignano (with the Carbonai Park)
The slogan is “learning by visiting"!
The practice received 3 rounds of funding from Rural Development Funds, LEADER. The 1st round: 250k euros each to Cordignano, Cappella M., Fregona, the 2nd round: 101k euros for a project of “promotion and marketing” of 5 municipalities, the 3rd round: 90k euros for a project of “touristic marketing
Evidence of success
- The enlargement of the network of “didactic parks” from 3 to 5 actual municipalities;
- The efforts of stakeholders involved towards solutions able to “connect” the promotion of single reality into an integrated system;
- Increase of the tourist flows from 2014 to 2018 (Veneto Statistic Office):
o Cappella M.: + 27% arrivals / +24% overnight stays
o Cordignano: +57% / +51%
o Fregona: +16% / - 0,5
o Revine Lago: +12% / + 17%
o Sarmede: +38% / + 40%
A concrete participation of the private sector: public-driven cannot be enough;
A multi-annual plan built on progressive expected results, sided by a multi-funding strategy (experts);
A strong link with upper-level strategies (county or regional level) and with more famous tourism networks;
Potential for learning or transfer
Following the discussion within Local Flavours project, the learning and transfer potential refers to: A) the differentiation of targets (children, families, schools) in tourism strategies, in order to “emerge” from a context in which other major attractions stands as competitors and in order to reduce seasonality; B) to set up strategies of cooperation between different municipalities based on common potentials; C) to activate public / private cooperation schemes with a multi-annual, multi-funding plan. D) the theme of “learning by visiting” could be a good starting point for some other destinations and shows that the existing heritage and patrimony can be linked exemplary with educational program packages, including gamification; E) the role of volunteering (and communities) in promoting local heritage, especially if well organized and managed, where a perfect combination of local residents giving their support to a project for the benefit of the whole.
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