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ECST Italy: the Park at the meeting of sustainable destinations

On 25 and 26 October, the Park took part in the meeting of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in protected areas, organised at Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga Park. ECST Phase II: here are the objectives of Cinque Terre Park.

(Manarola - Sede, 27 Ott 17) During the meeting, which took place in Assergi, headquarters of Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga National Park, protected area experts and practitioners focused on the strategies to step from the first to the second phase of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Italy.

This transition phase concerns Cinque Terre National Park, too, which the Europarc Federation included in the network of Charter-awarded protected areas in December 2015.

On the opening day, during which acting President Vincenzo Resasco and Director Patrizio Scarpellini represented Cinque Terre Park, the meeting also welcomed Federparchi President Giampiero Sammuri, Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga National Park President Tommaso Navarra, the Italian member of Europarc Federation Committee Enzo Lavarra, and Director General for nature protection at the Ministry of Environment Maria Carmela Giarratano.

What is ECST

Belonging to this important European network means adopting and sharing a methodological tool to develop and manage tourism sustainably in protected areas, respecting the needs of environment, inhabitants, visitors and local businesses.

During the first phase, local tourism businesses, tour operators, associations and institutions were involved as main partners, by means of working groups organised at the Park offices in Manarola.

The second phase will apply the outcomes of the first one, and will focus on quality through the voluntary involvement of local businesses, especially those providing accommodation and food service.

The Park Authority intends to pursue this objective starting from the Environmental Quality Label, which should be acknowledged as ECST label.

This process should later be extended to farms and small fishing enterprises.

The Charter will thus support the Park Authority in tackling a challenge it shares with other Italian areas, i.e. recovering traditional agriculture and arresting the abandonment of the countryside.

"Recovering rurality is now a shared commitment of all the Italian parks" as acting President Vincenzo Resasco underlines "and so we need to develop alliances that provide shared solutions to this problem, and produce quick and positive effects. The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism should serve the purpose of combining responsible use with the promotion of old and new human activities".

In this context, the issue of tourism and of the ways of managing this important economic sector without jeopardising the cultural and landscape "capital" is therefore crucial.


"Tourism is a flow and, as such, it has dynamics we absolutely need to understand and govern" continues Resasco. "Especially low-cost tourism, which, if not properly managed, may trigger irreversible consequences and processes. The first step is to increase the tourists' awareness of how unique and valuable the Cinque Terre area is. In this way, we will succeed in supporting not only tourism facilities, but the whole park area and its mosaic of traditional farmers and fishers, who really take care of maintaining this extraordinary landscape".

A moment of the meeting
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