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FU-TOURISM. How to promote responsible tourism towards a sustainable future for World Heritage sites in the run-up to EXPO 2015



Save the date: 6 June 2014. IT.A.CÁ is organizing a one-day event , in cooperation with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), the Centre for Advanced Studies on consumption and communication (Ces.Co.Com) and the Center for Advanced Studies in Tourism (CAST), to reflect on the relationship between tourism development, sustainability, economic growth and the enhancement of World Heritage sites.

The event, entitled “FU-TOURISM. How to promote responsible tourism towards a sustainable future for World Heritage sites in the run-up to EXPO 2015”, is organized under the patronage of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO within the  framework of the IT.A.CÀ ‘Migrants and Travellers, Festival of Responsible Tourism’ that will be held in Bologna, Italy, and other cities in Emilia Romagna from 30 May to 8 June with a view to encouraging sustainable practices in the tourism sector.

Every year, millions of people travel outside their country or hometown, feeding an industry that can have both positive and negative effects on the societies and economies involved. IT.A.CÀ (the name, which translates as ‘are you at home’ from Bolognese dialect, is a reference to Ulysses’ longed-for homeland Ithaca) seeks to promote a new kind of ethical tourism by raising awareness of ‘responsible’ travel among institutions, individuals and within the industry itself.  IT.A.CÀ participants will have the chance to attend lectures, debates, photography exhibitions and book presentations, and to join guided tours and more strenuous excursions. Although the focal point will be Bologna, events will take place throughout the region, including nature trails in the Dolomites and other rural settings.

In the lead-up to EXPO 2015, in Milan and Venice, events such as the Workshop organized by IT.A.CÀ represent an important opportunity to engage in a reflection and a debate on the possible effects (positive and negative) on art cities and other important UNESCO sites in Italy. The event will take place in the Cappella Farnese (Palazzo d’Accursio) and will comprise a morning conference and an afternoon workshop that will focus on how to promote sustainable tourism among the major stakeholders of the sites that will be impacted by EXPO 2015.

Participants will include experts from the EXPO 2015 Committee, the Italian Association for Responsible Tourism (AITR) and, academics (such as Ivano Dionigi, Rector of the University of Bologna) and representatives of Italian national and local institutions (Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism, Virginio Merola, mayor of Bologna). Giovanni Puglisi, President of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, will explore ideas for EXPO 2015 and beyond. Philippe Pypaert, Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Venice Office, will discuss proposals to integrate the conservation, use and sustainability of UNESCO Designated sites. Laura Fincato, Vice president of the EXPO Venice Committee, and Katia Basili, responsible for the Management Office of the World Heritage site "Venice and its lagoon", will be presenting their experience as a study case.