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Tourism, landscape and environment: we need ideas and sharing, not fences

Tourism in the Cinque Terre has to be ruled by the Cinque Terre themselves: Park Authority, Administrators and Stakeholders. Therefore, the last days concerns are unfounded

(Riomaggiore, 18 Feb 16) Rumor about limited number aroused great concern, but the Cinque Terre Park has no gates, and its territory only needs to know things in advance and to be able to manage extent and characteristics of the tourist flows. The agreement made recently with the University of Venice aims for this goal.

We were struck by the idea that people were supposed to book now a visit to the hamlets, but what the mayors and the territory were really offered was the opportunity to use an extraordinary tool, namely the Cinque Terre Card, in order to qualify and target the reception.

They also talked about the risk of keeping tourists from visiting the Via dell'Amore, but the Via dell'Amore has been closed for three and a half years, and it will still stay closed for a little time. The booking system does not reduce tourism, it rather increases its appeal and establishes a virtuous agreement between hosts, who improve the reception quality, and visitors, who can be easily identified so that the inhabitants are led to pay a greater attention towards their own territory.

It is not true that it paves the way to well-off visitors or to those who arrive earlier, because thanks to the tourist flow management one can select from different types of tourism: the most substantial tourism, for students or families, the most aware one.
Tourism cannot and must not be lived as something to endure, it is not a "manna" we have to keep once and forever. These days reactions indicate how moody and sensitive to feelings rather than to money it is.

If we really want to safeguard it, we should not consider it as an eternal income, especially in such a small and fragile territory as ours is. We need to build and manage structures able to safeguard the cultural and environmental heritage and the reception's quality. We must enhance the territories (all of them, since they are unique as well) situated near those which have already gained an international image - Florence, Venice, the Cinque Terre.

Last but not least, all the aspects regarding safety. In summer the Park spends its resources to manage the reception as better as possible, strengthening the action of the State Forestry Corps, of the Firefighters, of the Harbormaster and involving the volunteers of the Carabinieri Association, of the Alpine troopers, of the Public aid, of the Mountain Rescue service.
But this cannot be enough if the tourist flows are out of control, and a possible accident - besides the sorrow - would also produce effects on tourism that would be difficult to erase.

Too often we take action when an emergency or an extraordinary event is already occurred. We should find the courage of the ordinary, use the strength of the right measure at the right moment and invent, invent.

Here there is a job for everybody.

Vittorio Alessandro

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