A new model of destination management in Padova: Paving the way for SME competitiveness in tourism
Tourism in Padova has been growing steadily. Since 2010, overnight stays have doubled with visitors increasingly interested in its cultural attractions. Tourism has thus supported the competitiveness of SMEs and CCIs.
In 2013, the regional law for the “Development and Sustainability of the Veneto Tourism” set the stage for new Destination Management Organisations (DMOs). In 2016, the municipality of Padova presented a Destination Management Plan (DMP) for “Padova: City of culture, science and faith”. However, the constituted DMO operated mainly as a stakeholder discussion table rather than as an operational management structure for implementing the DMP.
In 2019, the Regional Programme for Tourism developed six thematic areas and the participatory approach provided new input to the operationalisation of DMOs. The Chamber of Commerce developed a proposal called “Padova 2.0” to support the implementation of the DMP. In 2020, the Chamber of Commerce signed an agreement with the Municipality of Padova, lead partner of the DMO, to identify an entity in charge of updating and operationalising the DMP. It also allocated dedicated resources. Following a tender, a partnership including Padova Visitors and Convention Bureau, Bologna Welcome and CoopCulture was tasked to update the DMP, including management of tourism offices, promotion and promo-commercialisation activities, information and hospitality. The new DPM will enlarge the DMO to include Padova’s neighbouring municipalities
Participation of the DMO in the development of the Regional Programme for Tourism;
Support from the Chamber of Commerce for the implementation of the Destination Management Plan.
Evidence of success
Creation of the Padova Destination Management Plan in 2016, following the 2013 legislation; Creation of a partnership to implement the DMP.
Following the 2013 legislation, the Municipality of Padova supported the creation of a DMO and the development of a DMP. However, the DMO was created as a stakeholder round table discussion group rather than as an operational management structure that would implement the strategic actions of the DMP
Potential for learning or transfer
DMOs create synergies and forms of cooperation between public and private entities and strengthen the offer system and the unitary management of information, tourist reception, promotion and marketing functions of tourist products in the destination. DMOs contribute through participatory planning to defining strategic guidelines for: 1. identifying the priorities of the actions on which the Tourist Destination must take action; 2. identifying the markets of interest with regard to the promotion-marketing action; and 3. providing information for the purpose of defining the activity plan for the tourism development of the Destination. With the collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce and the Municipality of Padova, as well as the resources granted by the Chamber of Commerce, a partnership has been assigned the task of operationalising the DMP. This includes supporting the competitiveness of operators in tourism, CCIs and the development of cultural creative tourism products.