ITALY (eTN) – In less than two months since his posting as Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Massimo Bray finally found the freedom of action to handle the neglected Italian tourism field guided randomly for too long. The economic damage is not quantifiable – it is no use to cry over spilled milk!
Mr. Bray’s re-launch project, in collaboration with the Secretary delegated to the fund, Ms. Simonetta Giordani, has begun to take shape, as far as how and when they intend to move.
Among the first items on the agenda is an opening to the comparison with the regions, companies, and categories to examine the strategic plan and identify “50 actions (while Mr. Bay’s predecessor spotted out only 7 – so stated by Mr. Bray) to be put in place immediately to ensure the resumption of flows to the Peninsula,” says Ms. Giordani. The bundling track is also a strategic line, added the Secretary. The idea is to work on the tourist offer, which needs a better packaging, with the construction of integrated packages that opens a dialogue between the cultural heritage and the tourism industry – a veritable manifesto on the connection between tourism and cultural heritage.
The Minster also provided his views into “hot items” such as a tourist tax, the guarantee of funds to protect tourists, and a point relating to visas to avoid the emergency intervention over the deadlock situation created some months ago in Russia. Least but not last, he spoke of the case regarding a low-cost air carrier, saying, “We need to favor the increase of low-cost segments in Italy, in specific, in the Sicily Island or the northeast of the peninsula where air services are lacking.”
Enit must be the strong support of the Ministry and handle the resources of tourism also with regard to visas until the time when digital tourist visas will be available, which is the final objective of the country, stated the State Secretary Ms. Giuliani.
The culture recipe of Massimo Bray in three points
The cultural revolution of Massimo Bray is seen by the need to “move from the paradigm of tourism as a consumer, to that of tourism as an experience, or even as a journey; this term meaning is not necessarily in the literal sense, but as a metaphor of that inner attitude to knowledge and discovery that marked the path of man since ancient times.”
A paradigm shift that, according to Bray, “can be accomplished through three major routes of action.”
“The first is that there is the problem of organizing the multifaceted offerings into a coherent whole, in a conscious design characterized by a strategic vision that the model is that of cultural districts, or that of the museum centers, or even that of the [cooperation] between the museum and the exhibition, between the monument and the show; what matters is the ability to ‘make a system,’ to create a network that enhances and strengthens both the quality and quantity of supply and experience.
“The second principle is that of greater integration with the historical and cultural dimension. The importance is to put back in the middle of the trip or the time of the visit strictly cultural value, i.e., the extraordinary artistic and architectural Italian heritage, the ‘belonging to the dimension of history.’ And this can be done in many ways, but most importantly, I would say, creating paths of meaning so that the visit to a museum or an art city is not simply a switch from a masterpiece or a monument to another, but will result in a path historically and culturally coherent, or even better in many possible paths, parallel and alternative.
“The immense wealth of cultural and environmental Italian heritage has, among many relapses, that of a great density of cultural secondary references – behind an ancient monument, but also, for example, in an alpine landscape, or a railway station of the nineteenth century – there is not only the history of these places, there is also the stratification left by the literature, often from poetry, which described and sang [of] those places.
“The third principle is the use of new technologies to realize a visit to a monument, a museum, an exhibition, and interactive multimedia experience, without prejudice, to the importance of traditional and direct use as a work of art; there really is reason to leave unused and untapped the infinite possibilities of enriching and deepening, but also to greater involvement, made available to us by evolution and the growing diffusion of technology. There is the possibility, for the first time, to create not only selective paths, but in fact interactive, in which the visitor can play a role that is no longer only a passive spectator, but also an active participant in the experience, and this represents a great opportunity for the development of a quality cultural tourism.”
Through these three key points, concluded Bray, “Cultural heritage can become not only a heritage to preserve or deposit to be exploited, but an important moment of disclosure and cultural studies, and with a great opportunity for social and economic development – the starting point for a reconstruction of the country that is both cultural, political, economic, and civil.”