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4 villages, one single approach : alpine tourism beside snow. Enjoy the mountain 365 days

(c) Francesco Pastorelli

The underlying idea is to create a tourist offering that is both alternative and complementary to skiing. This will require working in synergy with neighbouring municipalities, stakeholders and nearby skiing stations to propose alternative activities, even in the absence of seasonal snow, that are grounded in sustainability and transferability. Action will be geared to developing rural, cultural and environmentally friendly tourist options that also reinforce the development policies thus far adopted by the four small municipalities based on enhancing their special linguistic, religious and cultural heritage as well as the environmental optimization proposal made by an important municipality. Each single initiative developed thus far has been based on a common underlying development strategy in line with the principles of the Convention of the Alps and its protocols.

Aims

To adapt to climate change by promoting more mature and innovative ways of living in the alpine landscape, nature and culture to guarantee the survival and regeneration of the "tourism" system also in the face of new environmental developments in the Western Alps. To propose tourism that will have at its heart the green season and autumn colours, which are offered on the basis of the cultural, religious and gastronomic heritage, considerate trekking respectful of the environment, the landscape, flora and fauna in their development over time and in the seasons. To promote overnight stays in alpine localities instead of day tourism, reducing mobility and increasing the mean time of overnight stay value.
To increase temporary establishments of professional activities promoted by teleworking by implementing the conditions for a fast Internet connection also via Wireless networks. To create opportunities for training staff from the tourist sector to improve their communication capacity and culture of hospitality. To bring about a reversal of the trend as regards depopulation, also creating new professional opportunities relating to eco-sustainable tourism (tourist facilities, nature guides, mountain bike instructors, Nordic Walking school). Only by extending the season can such activities be economically sustainable and become attractive to inhabitants of the place or those newly settled. To determine and demonstrate the characteristics that can immediately and clearly typify the areas involved in the project and hence the destination-product-target parameters.

Realization

The Municipality of Massello takes on the role of project leader being. All four small municipalities will be called upon to be active in every phase of the project and to involve their respective residents, tourist operators and more generally the stakeholders who may be brought into the project in any capacity. The main activities planned consist of:
a) Creation of a management centre with the task of developing a common and easily recognisable integrated system for developing "deseasonalized" sustainable tourism and a common communication project which grasps the specific nature of every reality and leads it to a united and original synthesis.
b) Activation of initiatives aimed at raising awareness and involving the nearby ski resorts in activities and products which are complementary to the traditional winter sports activities with the aim of encouraging good innovative practices with regard to their respective tourist offers.
c) Carrying out a seminar in each municipality and a final conference with at least a regional scope able to bring about a multiplier effect in the whole surrounding region;
d) Carrying out, in so-called low season periods, of at least one event with a strong cultural identity for each municipality;
e) Planning initiatives aimed at extolling specific products of the area through the promotion of gastronomic merits;
f) Planning initiatives aimed at promoting an environmental naturalist type of tourism with the help of specific professionals;
g) Promoting emerging sports activities such as mountain biking and Nordic Walking;
h) It is also considered vital to participate in an event of international relevance in order to promote the dynAlp-climate sites and project;
k) Co-involvement of operators in the tourist sector by organising training courses:
-on the dynAlp-climate project and on the theme of climate change in general;
-on communication and tourist marketing;
-on the culture of hospitality;
-in order to increase their capacity to organise events and initiatives consistent with the need of living in the mountains 365 days a year.

Impact

The common initiative of the partners and stakeholders involved in the project should create a system that will represent the added value in deseasonalizing tourism. The challenge for deseasonalization will be achieved by moving from a monolithic type of tourism to one with a more composite structure and at the end of the project the plural will be used, not talking of "tourism" but of "tourisms". A concept of mountain tourism freed from the presence of snow and ski infrastructures, and also freed from peak periods (New Year, August State holiday) shared by small municipalities in the same alpine area will show the potential of marginal areas at high(er) altitudes not equipped with tourist infrastructures (large hotel complexes, ski facilities) and how this tourist offer can in time of climate changes complement and/or provide an alternative to that of the ski resorts. The development of a "tourism of the mind" promoted by the development of uncontaminated environments with an enormous historical, cultural, environmental and gastronomic heritage will lead to an increase in and better distribution of the tourist presence over the seasons, showing how the mountain can be experienced all year round irrespective of the climate and presence of snow. These will be the so-called "mid seasons" at present - wrongly - considered as secondary by tourists and operators and often ignored, that will enable an economically sustainable model to be constructed which is hence attractive to the present operators (and possibly to new ones). Last but not least it will be possible to assess the success of the project in terms of distribution (multiplier effect) within a whole region, that of the Western Alps, which to date has been overly conditioned from the tourism point of view by the infrastructures and snow.

Location

Massello, Ostana, Usseaux, Abriès

Involved

Partners, operators and associations of the Municipality of Salza di Pinerolo; Massello Outdoor, federal Nordic Walking instructors, nature guides; Municipality of Prali with a small ski resort; Nuova Tredici Laghi; Scopriminiera; Foresteria of Massello; association Forte San Carlo; association Le Ciaspole; Intermunicipal tourism Office of Queyras; Chambra d'Oc; CIPRA Italia e Francia; Società Meteorologica Italiana; Provincia di Torino- Assessorato alla Montagna; UNCEM -Unione Nazionale Comuni Enti Montani; Comunità Montana Pinerolese Pedemontano; Comunità Montana Valle Susa e Valle Sangone; Gal Escarton e Valli Valdesi; Nikon School; Elsy Net s.r.l.; Centro Culturale Valdese; Osservatorio/Ufficio turistico del Queyras (FR); Comune di Prali; Massello Outdoor; Alpe Natura; Università Carlo Cattaneo, Sentieri di Anthora, Scopriminiera; Newspaper...

Financing

dynAlp-climate: 20.000€
Municipalities (work and money): 20.000€
others: 5.000€

Project costs

45'000.00 Euro

Contact person

Comune di Massello
Antonio Chiadò Fiorio Tin
Borgata Roberso, 1
10060 Massello (TO) / IT
Phone number: +39 0121 236217
Fax: +39 0121 339 7245450
E-mail: info@antoniochiado.it
Website: http://www.comune.massello.to.it/