Towards sustainable tourism in protected areas in Trentino (Italy): Recommendations for Designing and Implementing Successful Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas
MetadataShow full item record
The tension and tight dependency between preservation of natural resources and the potential of social and economic growth tourism conveys are currently a major problem, which arises more dramatically in mountain areas, frail and marginalized environments by definition. The instrument of creating protected areas has been used for a century in order to protect biodiversity of high naturalistic capital areas. At the beginning the management of such areas was always featured by top-down decisions which were based on a purely conservative paradigm. Over the last years this traditional approach was changed into a more open and integrated paradigm, claiming that the sustainable use of a protected areas may as well bring benefits to the preservation of biodiversity. This change emerged along with the concept of sustainable development and that of governance. As a matter of fact, together with demands for democratization in decisional processes, the complexity of certain policies or problems required suitable forms of government, where actors different from the traditional central state cooperate in order to try to carry out effective solutions to complex issues. Sustainable tourism, as a set of policies explicitly trying to lower the pressure of tourism upon the environment and rural communities, also represents an important concept that, even if it is broad, embraces both the subject of environmental protection and the demands for economic and socially sustainable growth. Provincia Autonoma di Trento (Autonomous Province of Trento, also known as Trentino) is situated in the central Italian Alps and it is completely mountainous; it deserves a specific interest because its incredible natural heritage (which includes Dolomites, recently declared UNESCO World Heritage Site), attracts, and thus has to cope with, five million tourists every year. Considering the problems presented above, this dissertation aims at proposing recommendations to the Province of Trento for the design and implementation of policies of sustainable tourism is these protected areas. Such recommendations are based upon long-term cooperation between local and provincial stakeholders representing different sectors and interests. First of all, this research proposes to develop an analytic framework gathered from the existing literature in intersectional cooperation and sustainable development, in order to identify the factors that may impede or facilitate the success of such kind of management. Secondly, the framework will be tried out on a specific case, i.e. the Adamello Brenta Natural Park, the only protected area of Trentino which has already exploited such participated practices for almost ten year. More than 30 in-depth or semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders have been collected, trying to depict as clearly as possible the different geographic and social components of the Park. The result of this study case allowed a redesign of the framework for the analysis of this kind of governance, which tries to enhance and integrate aspects that are particularly relevant for the context of Trentino. Secondly, it is surely important that the system of protected areas of Trentino (30% of its territory) is examined in order to understand which aspects of each protected area will allow a more efficient implementation of participated and sustainable policies. The research concludes that a participated management of natural resources with recreational purposes requires first of all an authority of management of the (protected) area who is as steady as possible and able to make human, organizational, technical and financial resources available. Furthermore, the research demonstrates how important it is for the Province to reinforce its commitment in favor of sustainable policies, especially in the field of tourism, where shrewd financing are necessary in support of long term policies formulation in order to deal in a structural way with the problem of intensity of touristic incomes in high season. Such change would also positively stimulate the attitude of certain local stakeholders (APT, the public utility for touristic promotion, but also tour operator, municipalities and usi civici associations. Moreover, we hope for an increased participation of provincial APT in developing the touristic product so to avoid problem in the consecutive promotion. In conclusion, it is necessary that the highest number of stakeholders take part proactively (also in budgetary terms) in the process of individuation and formulation of the governance, so to ensure a correct implementation of the policies they propose.