I find inspiration for my thoughts today from a statement by Carlo Petrini that I found, accidentally, in one of my many explorations on the web. The phrase cited by the famous gastronome, journalist and Italian writer says this: “The future of tourism? Start of the residents, their quality of life, the ability to be happy, from their care to the land they inhabit. Tourists will come as a result”.
As ever these days, here in Trentino, we talk about reforms with regard to the provincial tourism sector: a reasoning necessary, considering that public resources are falling sharply and that most of the actors devoted to the promotion of tourism in Trentino are supported by government grants. I am deeply convinced that one of the possible solutions for an optimal re-organization of the provincial tourism system is precisely to reformulate everything from the bottom up, as Petrini says.
Residents are the first people to be the main actors of this re-definition: it is their activism, their culture , their care to the territory in which they live, today, that can make the difference . Obviously we want the facilities, we want companies that are promoting, we need technical experts in the field , there is no doubt, but at the same time we should recognize, reinforce and also qualify the work of active citizens, that in Trentino are usually involved in those association that are called Pro Loco. Theirs is NOT a marginal role, is a complementary role, it must be acknowledged!
I’m just back from the organization of a Living Nativity Scene in Calavino, my village, thanks to the collaboration of nearly forty people (ten of which can be considered real workers – artisans, not volunteers). This event would not be the same if someone forced them to do it. Without love, passion, dedication, attention to details and, we would not be able to bring those 1,500 tourists (whether their guests, villagers and tourists) that usually come to visit the Living Nativity Scene in Calavino.
In times of crisis we can find the strength to start where there has always been: from the volunteers who do so much and ask little, just for the love of their country, of their own city, its territory, from those people that make it tourist friendly and charming without even realizing it.