AddioPizzo Travel s.c.a.r.l. is a Social cooperative that organises holidays certified mafia-free.
Despite major triumphs by the justice system in the 1990s, the Mafia is an ongoing reality of everyday life. Addiopizzo, is an Anti-Mafia movement founded in 2004 by a group of young people under one slogan: an entire people which pays mafia protection money (pizzo), is a people without dignity. The strategy used by Addiopizzo (meaning Goodbye Pizzo) in its operations is wholly innovative: ethical consumerism against the pizzo. People's selective purchases support businesses which do not give in to the extortionate demands of the Mafia and openly side against them. Addiopizzo urges society to commit to change and encourages a collective cultural revolution against the Mafia.
In 2009 Addiopizzo Travel emerges as extension of the ethical consumer strategy against the pizzo. In 2016, Addiopizzo Travel becomes a Social cooperative with legal authorisations to operate as a travel agency and tour operator.
The agency organises holidays in which every hotel, car rental, restaurant, etc is part of the network and is certified mafia-free. It also offers the opportunity to join one or more specific tours which present Sicily through the lenses of the anti-mafia.
A 2007 study by SOS Impresa, the anti-rackets office of the retailers’ association, found that 70% of Sicilian retailers pay the Cosa Nostra protection money. The average payment is about € 880 euros a month, according to the anti-Mafia research foundation.
Evidence of success
In less than 10 years a group of youngsters with neither capital nor experience built up an organisation that in 2017 obtained over half million euros in annual revenues and that gives work to around 10 people.
Considering the whole Addiopizzo movement: 826 are the entrepreneurs publicly acknowledged as pizzo-free;10.450 are the consumers explicitly supporting Addiopizzo and pizzo-free entrepreneurs; 37 local institutions and 176 schools have been involved in the project.
Only a few Addiopizzo businesses had experienced retaliation. The most notable incident was in 2007 when the Mafia set fire to a paint and hardware warehouse called Guajana Company. Addiopizzo’s members put pressure on the State to relocate the company immediately, and two men were convicted.
Potential for learning or transfer
In a broader European-wide perspective, the practice proves that: responsible tourism can be a main engine for economic, social and cultural development in South of Europe - Touristic flows are increasing every year in South of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. New opportunities for small entrepreneurial initiatives are waiting for talented and motivated people; social change is possible also through bottom up and multi-stakeholder initiatives - Ethics to boost social and economic changes. Some entrepreneurs can be driven by ethical motivations and an increasing number of consumers is driven by ethical motivations. It is possible to educate consumers to reward ethically oriented initiatives.
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