‘Costa dei Delfini [Dolphins Coast]’ is a marketing sustainable touristic practice implemented by Termoli city with coastal municipalities of Molise.
The practice aims to carry out a new strategy to balance the economic tourist enhancement and cultural/naturalistic heritage valorisation of Molise Region coast (Italy), developing a territorial marketing project on 4 coastal and 5 inland municipalities of Molise Region and increasing the attractiveness of the Molise coast.
A unified economic strategy made it possible to decrease the flow of tourists from Termoli in July and August and move them in the neighboring areas.
The marketing project consists of several stages:
o Creating a common brand and a communication strategy, sharing an image that identifies the entire coastline of the Molise.
o Creating a network between all economic and institutional actors by increasing their opportunities of development.
o Creating partnerships with the two educational institutions that play a strategic role in the municipality of Termoli, that is the "Istituto Alberghiero Termoli" and the “University of Molise” very important phase because they have worked separately on the same issues of eco-sustainable tourism.
The development of this strategy was necessary to de-seasonalize the summer tourism purely at Termoli, without the support of tourists to the neighboring coastal areas and rural areas of the hinterland. This has led to an increase in economic activities in the countries around Termoli, avoiding depopulation, and a greater presence of tourists also in spring and autumn that also visit the places in the Molise hinterland.
The internal resources or the operators of the technical and tourism offices were used; in addition, each municipality has allocated a budget for the digital part and the creation of the brand. Once the portal is created, it is updated by the municipal operators without additional costs.
Evidence of success
The portal (www.costadeidelfini.it) has improved the dissemination of information with tourists with a greater presence in coastal countries in the summer and above all created a new tourism of naturalists and ornithologists in the internal Molise countries where there are lakes and naturalistic areas of great value. In addition, summer events have increased (in museums, churches, etc.) in the areas around Termoli with a large number of local and national tourists.
Practice aims to overcome the difficulties of the small municipalities in implementing a tourism way. The process took a year to approve the agreement by all 9 coastal municipalities. Tour operators showed some criticalities about the project because the Molise countries have never worked together.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Coast of the Dolphins practice, as far as it has been done so far, shows that an integrated and shared proposal increases the potential of the cultural heritage of coastal landscapes with lowers costs. (E.g. a shared web site and only one App that cost less than nine different products). The tourist is attracted by the brand and the whole territory will benefit from this. The practice can be easily replicated on other European coastal areas where there is the possibility to establish a network of small municipalities that alone are not able to promote the local development through a combination of deployment and preservation of the local coastal natural and cultural heritage.
Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.