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Albergo Diffuso (AD), sustainable formula for touristic development. 

A project to Lario’s and  Ceresio’s  Valleys. The project on Lake Como.

Sustainable tourism thesis - Lake Como - Gnallo sud

This area seems to have all the features which are necessary to accommodate an Albergo Diffuso project. There are three types of touristic niches that have to be reorganized:

  1. The beautiful landscape and environment has to be better protected,
  2. The local culture needs to be displayed to everyone who may be interested in it.
  3. The little space which is available for tourist accommodation.

These are the very important essences of a new form of tourism.

I choose to propose the “Albergo Diffuso” because, in 2005, the mountain community began, on parts of this territory (area Lepontine Alps), to look for a path to get accredited by the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. The purpose of all projects and activities related to this paper is the protection of the natural and cultural heritage as well as the continuous improvement of tourism in the protected area in terms of environment, population, local businesses and visitors.

In order to gain knowledge about this topic it was necessary to conduct further studies. These studies have shown that:

–       the greatest opportunities are linked with the development of less invasive forms of tourism  such as green holidays. Green school trips, biking, walking, hiking etcetera are perfectly suited in this context.

–       the touristic footprint in the area would be less than that of residents, but higher than the land can possibly support. Among the various types of facilities the second homes offer great opportunities. To be more precise, in order to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment it would be very sensitive to promote the use of these houses as accommodation.

I have also verified (via questionnaire), whether the problems related to tourism, are proving to be true or if they may be changing from the problems that emerged in that period. 75 questionnaires were sent to places at North Lake (Alto Lario) and 45 to the Lepontine Alps. The response to my first send-out was higher than expected with an average of 41%, which are 31 answers.

The output of the questionnaires was collected, stored in a database and at last analysed. Among the information obtained, the most considered are drawing from the very low level of general development of tourism in this area. In this regard the most noteworthy can be found below.

  1. Both, low maintenance and insufficient signage (in form of too few and to sporadic put up public display signs) of the partly existing mountain trails and walkways. (In order to guarantee safe holidays it ought to be changed.)
  2. The public transport system is, due to the infrequency of the bus and train travel possibilities, unsatisfactory.
  3. The highly frequented road SS Regina, where masses of pollution, noise and further disturbance is generated.
  4. The introverted mentality of the local communities.
  5. A lack of cooperation between private and state/public organisations.

The most interesting suggestions to improve tourism are:

–          Open shops in the evening, increased nightlife

–          Possibility of going shopping on holidays

–          Training and refresher courses for those working in tourism.