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ARCES University Board - Palermo Vice-president Project Manager Research director Senior Researcher Junior Researcher Research team

Giuseppe Rallo Valeria Scozzari Antonio Purpura Fabio Naselli Giovanni Ruggieri Giada Bini Gianluca Ferraro Maria Concetta Battaglia Mario Carmelo Campisi Filippo Maria Gerbino Monica Guccione Alessandra Marceca Giada Marchese Fabrizio Niceta Giovanni Salvatore Trento

Institute of Tourism Studies - Malta Director Researchers

Reginald Abela Joseph M. Bonello Martin Debattista Ray Debono-Roberts David Pace Raymond J. Vassallo Clive Vella Vincent Zammit

Malta Tourism Authority Researchers

Claire Briffa Said Tania Sultana


Presentation of the PRISMA Project Presentation of the report – Malta Presentation of the report – Sicily Introduction to the report

7 10 12 14

1. General tourism context


1.1 Macro Tendencies in the Tourism Demand 1.2 The mediterranean area and its islands 1.3 New tourisms and emerging products 2. Malta tourism context

19 22 25 29

2.1 The demand trends 2.2 Tourism economic impact 2.3 The reception system 2.4 The tourists’s profiles 2.5 SWOT Analisys

31 35 37 40 45

3. The sicilian tourism context


3.1 Demand trends 3.2 Tourism economic effects 3.3 Welcome system 3.4 Tourist’s profile 3.5 SWOT Analisys

49 52 54 56 59

4. Research project 4.1 The definition of the Integrated Relational Tourism 4.2 Mapping presentation 4.2.1 Results for Malta 4.2.2 Results for Sicily 4.2.3 Comparison between Malta and Sicily 4.3 Presentation of the analisys on relationality 4.3.1 Investigated dimensions of relationality 4.3.2 Stages of the investigation 4.3.3 Results for Malta 4.3.4 Results for Sicily 4.3.5 Comparison between Malta and Sicily

63 65 68 69 78 87 90 90 95 97 103 108

5. Goals and actions of the marketing plan 5.1 Current policies 5.1.1 Malta tourism policies 5.1.2 Sicilian tourism policies 5.2 Sicily and Malta joint project 5.3 Overall objectives in the strategic plan 5.4 The main initiatives of the strategic plan 5.4.1 The governance system 5.4.2 Labor 5.4.3 The informational system 5.5 Recommendations Acknowledgements

113 115 115 116 118 123 124 124 126 128 132 135

Presentation of the PRISMA Project Doctor Valeria Scozzari – Project Manager PRISMA

PRISMA is one of the thirteen projects financed in Sicily concerning the Italia–Malta cross-border cooperation project IIIA INTERREG, co-financed by the European Union through the European Funds for the Regional Development (EFRD). The IIIA INTERREG program, instituted and financed inside the 2004-2005 planning, is articulated following a framework of axes and measures, aimed at different finalities but both concurring to increase the development potential that, at various degrees, delineates the cross-border area in Sicily and Malta: Axis 1 – Cross-border cohesion policies Measure 1.1 – Reinforcement and appreciation of the cultural identities in the cross-border area; Measure 1.2 – Development of the cross-border transport system. Axis 2 – Borderland sustainable development policies Measure 2.1 – Integrated management of the natural resources and urban environment; Measure 2.2 – Development of services in favour of the business system promotion on the two areas. Axis 3 - Technical assistance and communication initiatives PRISMA positions itself in the field of the activities stated in the measure 1.1. The basic assumption of the PRISMA project (acronym for – Piano di RIcerca sul turismo relazionale Sicilia – Malta ‘Research Project on relational Tourism between Sicily and Malta’) is that plenty of room and great possibilities exist so that a new form of tourism – the Integrated relational Tourism – already present and flourishing in Sicily, could grow roots in Malta as well, favouring a trait d’union between the two islands so similar and so complementary. If is true that the Sicilian experience, starting with the Motris project (L.R. 10 of 2000, art.16), is still throwing light on the potentials within the revitalization of local identities as basic elements of a tourism offer that could simultaneously be sustainable, aware and involving; it is also true that the creation of an integration system between the two holiday destinations can only mean an advantage in a framework of growth of the offer that increasingly presses on the Mediterranean insular context. As a satellite project, PRISMA at first wanted to explore the possibilities of feasibility for a proposal of systemic integration between the south-western coast of Sicily and the island of Malta as complementary element of an integrated relational tourism (IRT) offer between the two islands. The first step of the project consisted in the application of the methodology already applied in Sicily (2004) for the mapping of the IRT offer in Sicily. Maps apt to site, practically at a glance, the location of the so called relational mi-


crocentralities, on which a lot as already been written1 and which represent the main component of the IRT offer have been obtained through the detailed spotting of the resources existing on the territory (cultural heritages, typical and local productions, archaeological heritages, infrastructures, landscape attractions, cultural and folkloristic events, etc.) and the transfer of data (catalogued in an opportune manner) on a GIS based representation system. Reconnecting the resources means evaluating the potential of the so called ‘relationality’ of a territory as well as evaluating some of the most significant indexes regarding the presence of appropriate services and the residents’ disposition to human relationships, which are strictly connected to the IRT offer since it implies an experience of ‘a committed stay’ for the tourist inside the holiday destination, which actually becomes a ’hosting community’. The first step of the PRISMA project was focused on mapping the IRT offer existing in Malta, so to build a starting base to study the possible hypothesis for a joint strategy for integrated promotion of the two territories. Since the initial marking of the many territorial, cultural, anthropological, artistic, historical and landscape affinities between Sicily and Malta, PRISMA meant to proceed with an estimation as detailed and scientific as possible of the actual offer; however right from the start clashed in an unimaginable way with the superstructures that manage and coordinate the fruition, accessibility and promotion of the territory. The work done by the research team lead by Prof. Antonio Purpura of the University of Palermo and coordinated by two senior researchers Fabio Naselli and Giovanni Ruggieri, has been integrated step by step through the discovery and understanding of a territory originally interested only in the so called industrial tourism, made by great numbers, great hotels, great masse and, without any doubt, great economic incomes. Nevertheless Malta is not only that and thanks to the help and the joint research work, done together with the Maltese researcher team coordinated by the ITS and with the support from Malta Tourism Authority, it was possible to locate precise areas well suited for relational tourism, where the mapping constituted in the preliminary investigation. Collecting data, ‘portraying’ the present situation and probing the interests and will in collaborating of Malta administrations, was only the first step to start studying strategies, solutions, and proposals for interventions meant for the effective establishment of IRT in Malta and the implementation of joint thematic routes between the two islands. What follows in a summary what was done in the second step of the project, oriented to the elaboration of the Sicily-Malta strategic territorial marketing plan presented in this volume. The intervention proposed by PRISMA does not only mean to ’tackle’ the topic from a theoretical and academic point of view, and although it aims at a concrete intervention plan, it mainly means to involve and promote awareness in the actual op-


Urbani L., (2003): Habitat, Sellerio Editore. Gulotta D.,Naselli F., Trapani F., (2004): Motris, microcentralità relazionali nel Mediterraneo, edited byGulotta.



erators for the development process sought in this project and, even more, in the future operators who–due to this first experience will keep working on this. Therefore regional public administrations and private operators (from both islands) have been actively involved on a training and information path which has seen the passage from moments strictly speaking more didactical and informative, aimed at recognising more of the needs of integrated relational tourism, to moments of direct experience, through educational tours to discover wasted territorial areas, abandoned cultural heritages, tradition risking to be forgotten, but also alternative ways to welcome, in contexts that are voided of sustainable solutions and that characterize the coastal areas of both islands. The contribution of the involved operators has been fundamental as well. Through two distinct thematic focus groups they have been able to better direct strategic choices, updating and cooperation proposals between the public and private sector, for a virtuous management of competences and work. The PRISMA project has been managed by a trans-national partnership, whose leadership is taken by the ARCES Board of Palermo University, together with the Maltese Institute of Tourism Studies – ITS – and with three Sicilian partners: Dipartimento Regionale ai Lavori Pubblici ‘Regional Department of Public Works’-, Assonautica Palermo and Val D’Anapo GAL.


Presentation of the report – Malta Mr. Reginald Abela – Director of Institute of Tourism Studies

The tourism industry in Malta is slowly changing and this brings our institute –Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), whose job is teaching tourism operators, to keep up with the changes to provide an appropriate preparation to the students and ever updated curricula always in line with the skill requirements asked by the market. The change observed in the last years is mainly due to the advent of low cost airlines that have caused an increase of independent travellers and non conventional tourists that visit our island and look for a different and more satisfying holiday. The new tourist wants to visit and experience the different opportunities offered by our country in a totally independent way. They want to enjoy the natural resources, the historical and cultural resources present on the inland in freedom and at the same time spend some moments of relaxation in a hearty welcoming environment. The wish of the post-modern tourist to enjoy an experience in Malta in its totality has to be satisfied today, if the new market dynamics are to be met. The ITS need to be part of trans-national research projects arises from this awareness, in this case together with Sicilian partners such as ARCES, whose purpose is to envision and experiment innovative tourism ways as those linked to relationality. We believe that integrated relational tourism is a dimension that allows the tourist to appreciate in depth what he visits, becoming a temporary resident. This can be reached with the active participation of the locals. The enthusiasm and the will to follow the research on Integrated Relational Tourism in Malta comes from this new concept that has been developed within the PRISMA project, where ITS is the reference partner for the Republic of Malta. Nevertheless, it has to be considered that the Institute participates to the project to support new forms of tourism sustainable both at an academic and economic level. Integrated Relational Tourism can be considered a form of alternative tourism, ideally suited to our islands, whose advantages are numberless. It pays attention to the needs of the tourists, locals and businessmen. It brings benefits to rural areas that are not traditionally related to tourism, and is based on an uncontaminated environment which is considered as an element of vital importance in integrated tourism product. As clearly stated by the new Government of Malta, sustainability is one of the key elements on which the country development will be based for the next five years. Thence the development of alternative forms of tourism, such as Integrated Relational Tourism, will be particularly encouraged and sustained. In the strategic plan presented here, the Institute of Tourism Studies has predominantly contributed to the elaboration of possible actions to be followed in order to transform the contents of the research into initiatives. Four of the pilot projects outlined in this plan can be easily experimented, such as: the packet on the urban heritage of Vittoriosa; the ‘Wine experience in Malta’, the ‘Limestone Route’, from Siggiewi to Fawwara and a Drama & Art Fairs that will take place in Malta and in Sicily in the months of May/June 2008. These proposals are well on their way, and other proposals, regarding organic agriculture, the sea and


the GIS mapping of the territory will shortly come along. The researchers of the Institute of Tourism Studies and PRISMA are praiseworthy for having thoroughly collected relevant tourism information and set it in GIS format to provide a unique and detailed picture of all the local available resources and of spot as well the local operators able to start forms of Integrated Relational Tourism in Malta. Also, the researchers have worked and cooperated in spreading out the project’s results, the concept of relational integrated tourism in Malta as well as in implementing the plan presented here. Moreover ITS teachers have introduced in the educational offer of the Institute an interdisciplinary academic module regarding Integrated Relational Tourism with the aim of familiarizing the students to this new approach. This teaching module includes a multimedia information program and the collaboration of public functionaries. I am happy to state that the work of making Integrated Relational Tourism known was accomplished with the help of Malta Tourism Authority, and the cooperation of a large number of small and medium firms, farming associations and local government associations, which resulted fundamental in the local coordination of the territory. We believe that Integrated Relational Tourism, concept similar to sustainability, could contribute to keep the sites intact and well maintained, if the authorities keep sustaining this initiative. At last we believe that Integrated Relational Tourism provides to individual tourists a product able to improve their satisfaction and this is the best way to make them come back and visit our islands again.


Presentation of the Report - Sicily Giuseppe Rallo – ARCES University College Vice-president – Palermo

The activity of the ARCES University Board on Integrated Relational Tourism begun in 1999 when, , the international Dialogue ‘tourism as a lever’ for the cooperation and regional development in the Mediterranean’ was organized with the High patronage of the President of the Italian Republic and the funds from the European Commission. Between 1999 and 2001, an intense cooperation started and consolidated between the ARCES University Board and Professor Edoardo Caracciolo of the Architecture Faculty of the University of Palermo for the realization of seminaries, research groups and initiatives focused on the Relational Tourism. An increasingly lively set of knowledge and interests was built by deepening the subject, discovering its complexity as well as its potentials; all this contributed to form a research group which in 200, was given by the Sicilian Government (Regione Sicilia) the task of doing the first mapping on the integrated relational tourism offer in Sicily (MOTRIS). It was an exiting experience that allowed to highlight a series of needs proper of the territory, not only on the infrastructural promotional and evaluation plane but also from the point of view of the professionals who sustained the process of planning and valorisation of the Integrated Relational Tourism offer. The idea of starting specific educational programs grew out from this evaluation; at first the Ma.Tu.Re. master was realized in 2003 through the National Operative Program Research and Higher Education of MIUR (Programma Operativo Nazionale Ricerca e Alta Formazione del MIUR), the Business Faculty of the University of Palermo and Sviluppo Italia Sicilia. Subsequently the ARCES educational proposal widened with a new offer that, taking in consideration elements proper of tourism marketing and economy as well, gave rise to the ESTREL research and education project, carried out in 2006 and funded by the 2000-2006 2.04 measure of Sicily ORF (Operative Regional Funds) (misura 2.04 del POR Sicilia 2000-2006). The educational initiative carried through ESTREL was implemented to train professionals able to work as technical consultants having as purpose the development of Integrated Relational Tourism. At the same time the Area Operator –a new professional figure, was invented, that is, a professional able to take care of the planning, realization and sale of tourism offers with the double advantage of bringing renewed attention to the specificity of local heritages and at the same time promoting environmental sustainability. This new professional figure was realized thanks to the first second level international university Master in Relational Tourism and Territorial Planning, organized in unison with the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Palermo, the University of Helwan in Cairo and the ARCES University Board and funded by the Sicilian Regional Presidency. The Master is being currently offered for the second time. The activity of the ARCES University Board is not only limited to training, but to the projecting and managing actions with the purpose of integrating two fundamental components for the improvement of Integrated Relational Tourism: re-


search and application. The PRISMA project, the Regional Public Administrations together with the tourism operators have set up many different kinds of intervention and services in Sicily (accommodations, cuisine and wine, crafts, naturalistic routes…), that bring out new problems, needs, difficulties, as well as potentials and resources for the benefit of the hoped development – a ‘Euromediterrean’ framework that the INTERREG IIIA program did not hesitate to extent to Malta islands as well. The interest toward this form of tourism –and the goal of reaching a process of enrichment for territories and cultures that would eventually include in a circuit other countries besides ’Sicily’, ’Egypt’ or ’Malta’ –seeks to form a grid of Euromediterrean excellence in which the Mediterranean becomes a common space of development, peace and stability.


Introduction to the report Prof. Antonio Purpura – PRISMA research director

Both Sicily and Malta give tourism one of the main roles in their respective development strategies. Today the activities that are directly and indirectly oriented to the satisfaction of the tourism requirements contribute to the formation of a consistent part of the two islands’ GDP. The idea is that a common tourism promotion plan could be developed at a first glance contrasts with a series of factors that objectively put the two islands in competition, as it happens for most Mediterranean tourism sites. From this point of view the common focus on the ‘sea-sun-sky’ product that means high seasonal presences and a strong drive towards price competition, is very important. We don’t know of any surveys that give a measure on tourism products interchangeability between the two islands, but it seems reasonable that this exists, even if with a different intensity depending of the visitors’ provenience area3. In first instance the formulation of a strategic marketing plan common for the two areas has to identify, then remark and appreciate, elements of (potential) differentiation and integration of the two tourism offers. This is to be found both by incrementing the offer differences of the core product and by integrating the latter with other products that help incrementing the diversity –from the point of view of the characteristics, of the tourism offers in the two areas, and to propose them as mutually integrable inside a single holiday spent in both countries. Today, after a close look at the core (sea-sun-sky) product, Malta’s offer differs somewhat from Sicily’s, mostly in the holiday organization model. Some differences that are reflected in the values of some structural indexes are worthy of some consideration. The first data that comes up regards the average stay. In Sicily it only slightly went over three days (exactly 3.2 days) in 2006, in Malta it almost reached the triple (8.9 days). Here with a hotel accommodation capacity of 17.000 beds in 2006, presences reached 11 million, while in Sicily a slightly higher number of presences was spread over an accommodation capacity that is more than six times higher (180.000 beds). To complete this picture it has to be said that more than 50% of Malta’s presences are mediated by tour operators, percentage that results to be much higher than the tourism observed in Sicily, where the big mediators mainly act on specific major destinations (Palermo, Cefalù, Taormina). As far as seasonality is concerned, even if common to the two macrodestinatons, it appears much less pronounced in Malta where a substantial presence tail can be seen also in autumn, in line with the local government bodies orientation that promotes and sustains the ’winter sun’ offer. If we observe the types of hotel accommodation structures, we see that Malta tourism fits in the medium-high quality range and this explains the tourist per-person daily expenditure (€146 in 2007), much higher than in Sicily (€47), equivalent to 3

For example, the consumer loyal to English tourism that goes to Malta represents a phenomena consolidated enough, yet this is seldom found in non Anglo-Saxon tourists; for them a summer holiday in Malta competes with one in Sicily.


a little more than half of the corresponding average national daily expenditure (€87). Meaningful differences in the fruition modalities and the tourism organization models between the two great Mediterranean islands emerge from this element. Malta tourism offer focuses on big hotel structures that have access to the international market through the brokerage of big tour operators. Tourism products are therefore weakly differenced and, from the territorial point of view, the offer seems to be heavily focused on two big areas. Further expansion of Malta tourism industry has to follow different paths that put together what has happened so far but not necessarily that replicate the models. For example from the territorial point of view this means finding new accommodations in areas different from those exploited today with a high but not very sustainable hotel concentration. Action is mostly taken under the profile of tourism models that need to combine to efficiently open new areas to tourism as well as new forms of territory fruition. When the greater territorial extension is considered, Sicily presents well articulated tourism ‘models’ which are like the ones in Malta that replicate a ‘standardized’ hotel receptivity focused on great sizes and great amounts of tourists in the medium-high range and with a high impact from tour operators, there are other models –undoubtedly prevalent, with hotel accommodations at a lower level whose target is mass consumption that only in a small part use the tour operator broking. Anyway, in relative terms, the level of tourism in Sicily is undoubtedly less developed than in Malta. This is evidenced by the data on accommodation capacity levels, on the average permanence and per person daily expenditure. There are, still shortcomings related to the organization that do not allow to efficiently use the accommodation capacity and to overcome the bottlenecks from an excessively pronounced seasonality. None of the regional tourism sites, even the most renown, present offer organization models that can be compared to that observed in the two great tourism areas in Malta. On the other hand, the whole regional territory for some time has seen tourism as the engine of local development, but new tourism vocation areas have to build a tourism offer both on selection and improvement of the attractors, and on the tourism industry organization, that is the whole of activities that produces goods and services connected to visitors’ stay. The path that opens to these territorial areas hardly –and we would also say hopefully– leads to the realization of accommodation megastructures and to the integration of the offer in the great broking international circuits. For these the prospective of a tourism development based on relationality is more probable, so on a spread out accommodation system made of small size buildings and on the offer of goods and services well characterized under the profile of typicalness that offer visitors the possibility to come inside the local realities to transform a holiday in an ‘experience of understanding’. Likewise this same development path opens for Malta’s tourism and precisely in places like Gozo, Birgu and Rabat that so far have had a marginal tourism growth yet they can experiment tourism models that replicate the typical integrated relational tourism traits. Research has rated the feasibility of this development in Malta and in an area of Sicily still marginally interested in tourism. The viability of integrated relational tourism in Malta and Val d’Anapo in Sicily was tested by replicating the tourism


models for micocentrality mapping and the measurements on the level of relationality present among the different operators in the tourist system – firms, institutions, communities, tourists – already experimented in the MOTRIS and ESTREL projects. Tourism microcentralities in the two territories were georeferenced, detected and measured for their potential relationality level. The results, as you will see, has allowed to elaborate a strategic marketing project by putting together some sites in Malta – Gozo, Birgu and Rabat – with some others in Val d’Anapo.



1. General tourism context

1.1 Macro tendencies in the tourism demand Worldwide tourism is greatly growing and its evolution is characterized by meaningful changes. The data published this year by the World Trade Organization show that in 2007 worldwide tourism registered a growth for the fourth consecutive year, with an estimation of the 4.1% over the long period expectations and with a 5.5% increment over the ones registered in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 there was an increment of 52 million arrivals more than in 2006, made of 19 million from Europe, 17 million from Asia and the Pacific, 6 million from the American continent, 5 million from the Middle East and 3 million from Africa. Graphic 1 Internationals arrivals for region in million (2007)

Different areas in the world have registered increases over their long run averages, with the Middle East in first position; in 2007 it had an estimated 13% increase instead it reached 46 million of international tourist arrivals. Asia and the Pacific occupy the second position with an increase of 10% and 186 million, followed by Africa with an increase of 8% and 44 million arrivals. The American continent has registered an increase of 5%, reaching 142 million visitors. Europe, the largest destination in the world, with a share of 53.3% of international tourist arrivals, grew by 4% reaching 480 million arrivals. These positive results confirm the solidity of tourism in spite of external factors as financial market turbulences, the increase of interest rates, fuel prices and security and health problems. The favourable economic situation of the last years has rep-


general tourism context

Source: World Tourism Organizattion – WTO

resented one of the determining factors in tourism development. In 2004 the worldwide economy output encountered the longest growth period in the last twenty years. This, economy and tourism increase was for the most part due to the emerging markets and to the developing countries, that had a 7.7% increment against 5.1% in the developed countries. Graphic 2 International arrivals for area: percentage variation 2007/2006

Source: World Tourism Organizattion – WTO

The factors that influence international tourism demand are numerous and different. Some advancements are cyclical, others take the shape of a trend. Among those some aspects are believed to have a great influence on the future advancement of tourism demand. a. Demographic aspects:

general tourism context

In Europe the number of third age travellers is expected to grow in the short and medium term. Probably retired people will be more active, due to life expectancy and better health conditions. Even if in numeric terms the third age segment will continue to grow, youth tourism is just as interesting, with a growing trend that is above 20% of the total tourism. An income increment among the youth, a greater number of singles, the tendency to from a family at a later age and new social structures lead individuals with an age between 16 and 35 to travel more. Globally free time seems to grow for some key groups, mostly for the upper class for whom travelling is becoming a priority. So the lack of time for some social classes will lead to shorter journeys. There will be a greater demand for new products and experiences, cultural events and attractions. Short stays (1-3 nights) will be more frequent during the year, mostly in the European area. This


offers new development opportunities for low season products. This general trend, in turn, will probably lead to an increasing demand for independent holidays in spite of the traditional one for ‘packet’ holidays. b. The environmental matter: The environmental and social responsibility has always been object of interest and attention from the governments and media; in the last years the government effort has always been more careful and detailed to guarantee environmental preservation and promote sustainable development. This means that tourism operators have acquired new environmental awareness and responsibility and the tourists have paid grater attention in choosing environmentally friendly forms of tourism. c. Holiday types: Even if ‘sun and sea’ journeys still dominate the holiday market in Europe, in 2007 it increased slightly in terms of volume. On the contrary a constant growth of the segment represented by cultural tourism can be seen in Europe. This suggests that the new consumers will come from areas in which education and the individual incomes are growing, such as central and western Europe and Asia. Visits to art cities and tours are growing the fastest. the overall overnight stay is going through a period of stagnation linked to the constant shortening of the average stay. Tourists prefer shorter but repeated holidays during the year rather than longer concentrated holidays.

The greater social mobility and the number of traveller increase have implied a growth of the cultural and environmental awareness in experiencing the journey and in thinking about the encountered realities and lifestyles. In the last years it has been possible to see a change in the journey requirements that are no longer motivated by warmer weather but by the wish of individual enrichment. People ask for new and more meaningful experiences, for a greater participation within a community where they stay and this necessarily implies a change in the relationship between hosts and guests. e. Information Technology & Communications: Internet is now considered a universal marketing and communication tool and even the recent developments of mobile telephony and digital TV contribute to enlarge the travel market. The use of internet for online booking continues to grow more than the traditional booking systems. In Europe in 2007 online bookings reached 36% of the total foreign journeys with respect to 19% in 2003. In spite of the importance of internet that as a source of information is now


general tourism context

d. Journey experience:

twice as big as that of travel agents, the latter still maintain a key role in distribution. Nevertheless to keep their importance and relevance as a distribution channel the brokers have been forced to renovate their initiatives and offer more dynamic packets to customers who book online. Consumers look for the advice from other consumers in internet (for example blogs and discussion forums) and are much more curios about niche products. This implies that investments will be increase in web promotion strategies and in research techniques. Being internet one of the ‘appealing’ instruments, it will be even more important to know the motivations and interests of the travellers, giving more importance to demand segmentation and to product placing. Likewise, it will be more important to identify and exploit the sale proposals of unique products. Marketing messages appealing to experiences and emotions will be more important in journey decisions as to provide more personalized and customized products. f. Transports: Because of the growth of low cost airlines in the USA, Europe, Asia, the pacific and now even in North Africa and in other parts of the world, during the last ten years aerial travelling has became an increasingly widespread transportation system. The data on worldwide travelling published by IPK international show that aerial travelling includes 52% of all outbound journeys; almost two times bigger than car trips (28%) and five times than bus (10%). Aerial travelling in Europe increased by 5% in 2007, mainly thanks to the boom in the demand for discounted price flights. According to the European Travel Monitor, the journeys with costs lower than €150.00 have increased by 17%, representing 39% of total foreign flights taken by Europeans. Worldwide the tourism growth trend is positive and probably will continue this way in the long period. Even if growth expectations are against an uncertain economy, there are several positive factors that stimulate growth. Travelling has become an essential part in people’s life and renouncing is not easy.

general tourism context

1.2 The Mediterranean area and its islands Mediterranean Europe is, in terms of international tourist arrivals, one of the most important sub regions in the world, with 37% of total European arrivals and 20% of worldwide arrivals. Despite of the presence of a meaningful number of well established destinations, European Mediterranean destinations have known a remarkable arrival growth in the last 15 years. In a period of seven years (2000-2007) this sub-region registered an average annual growth of 3.3%.


Graphic 3 International arrivals in Mediterranean Europe (in thousands)

Source: World Tourism Organization – WTO

In 2007 Europe’s Mediterranean destinations attracted 176.3 million arrivals, 7% more than the previous year. This positive performance contributed significantly to European growth in 2007. the presence of low cost firms was an important factor; it increased intra-European short stays and the accessibility to European destinations.

general tourism context

Graphic 4 Domestic tourism in the Mediterranean: variation 2006/2007

Source: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)


general tourism context

Italy and Spain are the main destinations in the Mediterranean. In 2007, Spain continued to take advantage of low cost flights, stimulating the demand for short stays in cities and reducing the country dependency on ‘sun and sea’ tourism. Spain is by far the most important destination and involves one third of the tourists in the Mediterranean, welcoming 12% of European tourism. Even if increase percentages in Spain are not as high as in other emerging destinations, they are in any case meaningful for a market so important and well established. In fact, in the five year period (2002-2007), Spain registered a 2.5% average annual increase. Emerging destinations, such as the Balkan countries, have had an important role in the Mediterranean sub-region. Serbia (+49% up to November), Montenegro (+165% up to October), Bosnia Herzegovina (+19% in 11 months) and the ex Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia (+13% in the same period) a better quality and a greater accommodation capacity must be accounted among the growth factors. Slovenia (+8%) ascribes its positive result to more advertisement and promotion in key markets. Moreover the destination image is expected to increase since its entrance of in the EU in the first half of 2008. Even Croatia has registered a growth of 7%, thanks to the greater availability of low cost flights and to the estate market boom for second houses. Malta registered a positive performance, with an increase of 10.6% in 2006. This increase was mainly due to the introduction of low cost airlines in October 2006, that contribute to individual flights and short stays. During 2007 airlines continued to contribute to the travel sector growth, thanks to the introduction of new routes from Germany, Spain, Ireland, Scandinavia, United Kingdom and Italy. Cyprus has been the only one that registered a weak growth (+0.6%). This is to be attributed to the increase of landing fees with the imposition of taxes and fees in Larnaca and Paphos airports. Turkey (+17.6%), the third mayor destination in southern and Mediterranean Europe, fully recovered after a 7.6% drop in 2006. Istanbul has continued to grow as a destination town, both in the leisure and in the business sector, while Antalya, the main sea tourism region on the southern coast, is becoming even more competitive for European markets, thanks to its extremely favourable money change fees.


Table 1 International arrivals in Mediterranean Europe

1.3 New tourisms and emerging products The change in the paradigm of mass tourism, the main protagonist in the last years, seems to be highly competitive and referable only to some forms of tourism. A new paradigm, or new tourism, has emerged lately. This new tourism is influenced not only by economic factors, but by new cultures as well as a new generation of tourists. (Fayos-SolĂ 1996). The need for experiences, adventures and different life styles has lead to a new form of sustainable tourism, responsible from the social and environmental point of view, characterized by flexibility and choice. A new tourist profile can be drawn:


general tourism context

Source: World Tourist Organization - WTO

he is more educated, expert, independent, and favourable to environment protection, respectful of other cultures, more ‘green’, and quality demanding. (Auliana Poon in Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies). The different approach of the new tourist creates a demand for new products. Consequently, tourism has to offer products suitable to increasingly complex needs, and at the same time remain competitive with respect to the standardized and marketed products. The new tourism is characterized by a super demand segmentation since it requires offer and distribution flexibility. Profit is reached through diagonal integration and consequent integrated values. This is a process through which the tourism industry can develop to compete not only in one area, but within a wider context, obtaining synergies among different products and offering integrated services. (Fayos-Solá, 1996). Such a change in the demand needs offer flexibility . Consequently in the super segmentation of the demand there is a great need for a deep understanding of the market to identify the clusters of traits and consumer needs. Today’s traveller is usually informed and knows what he wants thanks to his experience in travelling; he wants to be involved in the organization of his journey; he prepares himself for the trip by looking for information about the destination on the web and through the experience of relatives and friends in short. This kind of traveller needs a completely different marketing approach, because he prefers to place his trust in solid information sources such as word of mouth, his personal findings or reliable publishing rather than the conventional marketing channels. ‘New’ tourists are more and more mindful of the environment, respectful of hosting countries and cultures and willing to ‘get experience and learn’ rather than simply ‘stand and watch’. They are protagonists, not spectators. They look for adventure and want to interact with the residents for a more truthful experience. Travelling is no more a novelty for the new tourist; people expect more form their holidays with respect to the past, they are more adventurous and try to get involved in a series of different activities during the holiday, always looking for an experience that is:

general tourism context

> > > >

satisfying enriching adventurous constructive

A key concept underlying the idea of true tourism is the authenticity of the experience, often related to the environment and to the culture.


Table 2 Old versus new characteristics in tourists

Source: Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies, Aulian Poon

> a different and unique experience not easily replicated by the concurrence; > added value through the interpretation of the ’best practice’, that is mainly founded on the human element as a local guide and/or the interaction with the local community; > true interaction, that manifests itself through a real/natural context rather than a reproduced/contrived context; > an attraction that favours sustainable development; Networking has a fundamental role in this new form of tourism. it allows to offer a different range of products and services to provide the feeling of quality that capitalizes on the territory strong points and on compared advantages. This principle


general tourism context

To permit the new tourism destinations to satisfy the requests of the new evolved tourist, the following measures should be applied to the present and future attractions:

general tourism context

recognises that the combination of discrete experiences inside the network is more appealing than its single components and is needed to increase the economic benefits and outline the market profile for the whole area. What has been described exerts pressure on the tourism industry and demands new products, services and experiences.



2. Malta tourism context

2.1 The demand trends After a forty years economic cycle, with periods of intense growth and great crisis the tourism sector has become one of the pillars for the economy in the archipelago of Malta. The opportunities for socio-cultural interaction have increased internationally, tourism development has had an impact on the spatial and physical national environments as well; now tourism offers the greatest contribution to the service sector. Malta attracts 1.2 millions tourists yearly and the tourism industry forms 29% of GDP. In the last seven years, the average annual tourist increment has been 0.32%. Graphic 5 The 2000-2007 growth in Malta

Some changes in Malta’s tourist arrivals can be observed in the period between 2000 and 2007. Between 2000 and 2003 visitors registered a 0.9% average yearly decrease. From 2001 this drop could be attributed for the most part to terrorist attacks on and to health problems that hit the world tourism industry. Instead in 2004 a growth was registered also thanks to the Malta’s entrance in the European Community that year in May. In 2005 And 2006 Malta’s tourism industry was characterized by a rather flat performance. Tourism was limited by the lack of aerial accessibility because the major links were still dominated by tour operators. At the same time the international trends showed a boost of independent travellers, much more prone to low cost travels. This situation slowed down the arrival rate up to 2006; at that time the introduction of low cost flights in Malta produced an inversion in tendency.


malta tourism context

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

This gave great impulse to the tourism industry in line with the international trends. In 31 October 2006 Low cost flights started to be operative with Ryanair from Luton and Pisa; which in December 2006 was immediately followed by this a 14.4% departure increment mainly from Italy and United Kingdom. Throughout 2007 low cost flights continued to feed tourists to Malta with the implementation of new flights from Germany, Spain, Ireland and Scandinavia. 2007 was a real record year for tourism in Malta, with 1.243.510 tourists: an 10.6% increase with respect to 2006. This growth can be attributed to the greater number of English, Scandinavian and Irish visitors, markets that at the time were serviced by low cost flights that had an impact even on the traditional flights that serviced the country. In a short time traditional firms such as Air Malta, Lufthansa and British Airways modified their strategy and became more competitive, to satisfy the needs of independent travellers. The United Kingdom remained the main source of tourists for Malta, representing 39% of the annual arrivals. 11% of the tourists came from Germany, 9% from Italy and 6% from France. 2007 saw an important increase of Spanish tourists in Malta, which increased by 82% representing 3% of total visitors. Holland was sixth, followed by Sweden, Ireland and Denmark. 87% of the tourists come from EU.

malta tourism context

Graphic 6 Origin of the tourists that visit Malta (absolute and percentage values)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)


With an 8.9 night average stay, 2007 registered 11 million total presences. In 7 years (2000-2007) the presences increased annually with a 1.01% average. In line with the international holiday trend, the average stay decreased (between 2004 and 2007 it registered a 2.83% drop).

Graphic 7 Progression of presences in Malta (2000-2007)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

malta tourism context

Graphic 8 Progression of average stay in Malta (2000-2007)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)


In particular the cruise sector has been growing in Malta. In a seven year (20002007) the average annual growth rate took up a position around 16.2%. In 2007 the cruise travellers rose to 488.170, with an 19.6% increase with respect to the previous year. One-day visitors coming from EU formed 87% of total traffic; Italy (23.9%), Spain (20.0%) and Germany (17.5%) represented the main markets.

Graphic 9 Increment of the flow linked to cruises (2000-2007)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)


malta tourism context

Little less than two thirds of inbound tourism takes place during season peak months, between April and September. Even if Malta is still perceived as a ‘sun and sea’ destination, its diversified tourism offer makes it suitable both as a summer sea and as an out season city resort. Throughout the years efforts have been done to reduce seasonality and intensify the number of out season journeys; consequently, even if tourism is still concentrated in high season, the number of out season journeys is increasing, thanks to Malta’s skill in attracting different market sectors in different periods of the year.


Graphic 10 Seasonal distribution of arrivals in Malta (comparison 2000-2007)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

2.2 Tourism economic impact

malta tourism context

Almost 10.000 people in Malta are employed in the hotels and catering sector. Official statistics reveal that 6% of full-time paid employees and 19% of part-time paid employees are working in hotel and restaurants. 5% of the employment in the European economy is generated by tourism, while another 8% of the employment depends on tourism. The table on the impact of tourism in Malta economy shows that in 2001 the equivalent of 13.478 full-time employments was tied to tourism. This direct employment forms 9.76% of the total full-time national labor. The total impact coming from tourists’ expenditures, shows that the number of employments in tourism has produced almost 40.000 full-time units. So the total employment coming from tourism expenditure represents 29% of total employment in Malta’s economy.


Graphic 11 Employed staff in hotels and catering services in 2006

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

It is estimated that the tourism expenditure in Malta directly and indirectly contributed to 12.3% of the GDP total. This percentage reached almost 29% considering total impact (2001).

malta tourism context

Graphic 12 Progression of the annual tourist expenditure from 2001to 2007 (in million of euros)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)


The data on the total amount of tourist in Malta show that 2007 was a record year in terms of tourism expenditure as well; it reached a total of 1.06 billion euros. The total expenditure was estimated at 869 per person. The 2001-2007period, characterized by a mixed performance, was influenced by a series of factors that made the public expenditure swing but with a positive general tendency.

2.3 The reception system The total accommodation availability in Malta has remained stable in the last seven years, with a total of about 40.000 beds. Nevertheless, there has been a shift in the kinds of accommodation offer. The total bed number in 4 and 5 star hotels constantly increased from 2000 on, while the beds in low class accommodations decreased, from 22.061 in 2000 to 15.630 by the end of 2007. Consequently, the quota of high class accommodations in relation to the total number of beds passed from 44% at the end 2000 to 59% at the end of the same year.

Table 3 Beds for accommodation typologies (2007)

5.200 beds are available in accommodations other that hotels, such as furnished apartments, rural houses and villas. It has to be specified that 1.646 beds (4% of total) are located in Gozo. The nature of the accommodation sector in Gozo is different than in Malta; hotels occupy 50% of the total beds, while the other half is made of lodgings with cooking facilities. In 2007 the total number of nights spent increased by 3.3% with respect to 2006, for a total of 11 million 72% of the nights were spent in hotels and the remaining 28% in housing facilities different than hotels.


malta tourism context

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

Graphic 13 Distribution of presences in hotels and other structures

Source: NSO (Tourstat)

The total share of presences in 2007 is as follows: 14% in 5 star hotels; 34% in 4 star hotels; 23% in low class hotels; 14.2% in rented structures with cooking facilities and 9.7% in VFR accommodations.

malta tourism context

Graphic 14 Presence distribution percentage per accommodation type

Source: NSO (Tourstat)


Almost 5.5% of nights have been spent in Gozo, where the percentage of tourists that stays in accommodations other than hotels is higher. While in Malta a tourist out of three has opted for accommodation other than hotels, in the case of Gozo the rate goes up to about 52%. In Fact, a tourist out of four has stayed in a villa or rural house. The hotels occupation rates in Malta are much higher in summer than in low season months. In 2007, the peak was reached in August (89%) and the bottom in January (34%). Low class facilities suffer a wider demand fluctuation than the top category hotels. Moreover Gozo experiences higher seasonal demand variations , with occupation rates at the bottom levels –from 14% to 45%, during the November-May period.

Table 4 Gross rates of accommodation occupancy in Malta 2007

The research produced by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) shows that the different motivational segments affect the accommodation preferences. Low category facilities are mostly used by leisure, cultural-historical and sport (diving in particular) clusters. Facilities other than hotels are used by tourists who stay in Gozo and by tourists that go to Malta to learn English.


malta tourism context

Fonte: National Statistics Office (NSO)

Table 5 Distribution of tourist typologies per accommodations.

Source: Market Profile Survey (MTA) 2006

Most of the hotels in Malta work all year round. The seasonality effects can be mainly detected in economical accommodations, for the most part placed in the north and south of the island and in Gozo. Past tourism policies, that motivated the development of 4 and 5 star hotels, proved to be necessary and gave positive results. Nevertheless this has led to an excessive bed offer in high class accommodations. The growth of the quality of life, the higher travel frequency and the emergence of new resorts, are contributing to make travellers more careful and selective: the demand for city-hotels with essential services increases; as well as the tourists that prefer accommodations with local characteristics.

malta tourism context

2.4 Tourists’s profiles Malta tourist’s profile has evolved from the one centered mainly on ‘sun and sea idea’ to one motivated by diversified reasons. The differentiated offer attracts a set of travellers’ segments with different interests and form different areas. Therefore, tourism in the islands is practiced throughout the year appealing to different tourists during the different periods of the year. Recreation still predominates; eight out of ten go to Malta ’on holiday’‘ while only 4% to visit relatives and friends.


Graphic15 Tourist distribution in Malta in 2007 based on motivation

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

Gozo, sister island of Malta, is marketed as a destination apart due to its potential to attract tourists for a series of different motivations. About 62% of tourists who go to Malta visit Gozo: most of them make a day visit (86%); 4% divides their stay between Malta e Gozo; 2% spends there one night, while 7% choose to spend the entire holiday in Gozo. Gozo’s tourists have the chance to partake in a series of activities tied to aquatic sports like swimming and diving. Gozo’s visitors are also interested in its history and culture; they visit churches, museums and sites of historical importance, and remain pleasantly surprised by the local community hospitality.


malta tourism context

The visits include a set of segments with different motivations, history and culture, business (meetings, incentives, conferences and fairs) sport and English learning. The prospect of Malta is to reach a business mix that reflects in a suitable way international trends, country offer and its concern about sustainable growth. For this reason, Malta wants to reduce the dependence of the country on the ‘summer sun’ segment and increase the amount of travels whose main motivation is ‘winter sun’, culture, sport, incentive travels and conferences. Other important segments are cruises and the health and welfare segment.

Graphic 16 Tourist demand segments in Malta in 2007 (%)

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

In 2007 67% of tourists stated to have visited Malta for the first time, while 32% had already been on the archipelago.

malta tourism context

Graphic 17 Sources that influence the choice of Malta (percentage)

Source: Market Profile Survey (MTA)


The key factor that mostly influences the choice of Malta as a destination is represented by friends and relatives’ word of mouth. Considering the fact that almost one third of the tourists are repeat visitors, the second motivation in importance is represented by former visits. Internet, as a tool able to influence choices, has grown considerably, reaching the third most important choice factor. Tourists are mainly motivated in visiting Malta by its pleasant weather, by the destination novelty by its history and culture. Researches on consumers led by Malta Tourism Authority on Malta’s four main markets pointed out different ratings of perception and awareness regarding Malta as a holiday destination. German and French travelers mainly associate Malta with history and culture, active holiday and with language learning. On the contrary, English and Italian travelers are less aware of the Maltese cultural heritage, that’s why Malta’s image is more generic in these countries. Residents’ Hospitality of is a key factor that should be considered with care when promoting Malta as a holiday destination. Hospitality, together with genuineness and traditions, deserve credits for tourism growth, because travelers look for significant experiences in their travels.

Graphic 18 Rating local population hospitality

Although most of the tourists that visit Malta still choose travel packages (a 54-9% percentage), direct booking and independent stays have grown, reporting an increase of 50-1% between 2006 and 2007. 42% of tourists have used internet to organize their travels, above all for flights (89.2%) and lodging (69.0%). Four tourists out of ten are between 45 and 64 years old. In 2007, the most significant increase concerned the age sector between 25 and 44 years, with an amount of 36.2%. Although the average tourist age is 52 years, an increase has been seen in the juvenile tourism trend.


malta tourism context

Source: MTA Market Profile Survey, 2006/2007

Graphic 19 Distribution in percentage of tourists in Malta by age (2007)

Source: NSO Tourstat Survey, 2007

More than three fourths of the tourists who visit Malta spend there at least seven nights. Nevertheless, according to international trends, an increase of short trips form one to three nights and from four to six nights has been reported. Actually, in last years the amount of short trips passed from 18-7% in 2005 to 23-0% in 2007, while seven or more nights stays dropped passing from 81.1% in 2005 to 76-8% in 2007.

malta tourism context

Graphic 20 Stay duration in 2005 and in 2006

Source: NSO Tourstat Survey, 2007


According to international trends, low cost flights have remarkably influenced the tourists’ profile. Malta indeed has become more approachable and fascinating for those who frequently travel in an independent way and stop for short stays even in off-season months. Yet Malta has a greater possibility to transmit a mix of fascinating elements as art cities and the island itself, seen as a unique destination in terms of sun, sea and culture.

2.5 SWOT Analysis concerning the points of strength of tourism , a varied tourist offer and the reputation as a welcoming country are among the most important. Unlike other Mediterranean destinations, most of Malta tour operators work all the year around, and they are supported by a series of factors: ‘winter sun’, history and culture, short stays, incentive travels and congresses. A closer look at the weak points of Malta tourism is essential to understand the country ability to compete in the global tourism market. The small amount of tourists perceiving Malta as a destination is a crucial problem for the island. One of the main goals of the tourism organizations is to increase Malta’s visibility and recognition as destination in the tourism mainstream, followed by the intention to increase tourism initiatives during the off–season. The current accommodation offer is characterized by an excess of high class sleeping accommodations and by a limited and inadequate number of them in the more economical classes. In the end, sleeping accommodations are scarce in the art cities and in the historical town, unfortunately they are mostly concentrated along the coast.

malta tourism context

Figure 1 SWOT analysis of Malta

Source: NSO Tourstat Survey, 2007


malta tourism context

Recent external environment developments present great opportunities for the Maltese tourism industry. The number of travelers in search of authentic experiences and those who want to discover different cultures and traditions is still rising. The diversified offer of the cultural tourism available in Malta perfectly matches with this trend. Also the new technologies give the opportunity to develop innovative products, as well as new approaches and new marketing interventions. The social and environmental deterioration caused by extreme exploitation of the resources is a form of external threat. Load capacity limits have to be respected since sustainable growth is vital. A more competitive external environment and dependence on foreign intermediaries, also represent a remarkable hindrance. In the end, the tourist performance is conditioned by air connections and accessibility. Tourism has a wide range of opportunities and threats which, potentially, can reinforce or endanger the sector competitiveness and its capacity to provide sustainable tourism products: the tourism offer has to be improved in terms of flexibility, capacity and timeliness in answering the demand changes.



3. Sicilian tourism context

3.1 Demand trends In 2006 data on the total stream of accommodation businesses in Sicily registered about 14 and 600 million days of presences, for a total arrival amount of 4.6 million s; the average permanence was 3.2 days. Compared with the previous year, both arrivals and presences increased a little more than 6% while the average presence didn’t vary. the decision of some low cost firms as Myair, Airone and Ryanair had a fundamental role in the arrival increase in Sicily; they invested increasing the flights to and from Sicily. This has contextually supported the competitiveness by creating a drastic reduction of air tickets costs, so that Sicily has became one of the favourite destinations, with more than 50% of market of the national trade.

Graphic 21 Arrival trend in Sicily: 2000 – 2006

The analysis of the foreign demand shows that most of the consumers in Sicily are European tourists: 7.2% comes from France, followed by those from Germany (6.5 %). The incidence of extra–European arrivals is very important, in particular from United States that represents 4% of total foreign arrivals. , An increase of arrivals and presences on the whole was seen in the middle–long term trend, (2000–2006) analysis. When Analyzing other data, the arrival growth rate (+15.3%) superior to presence data (8.8%) has shown a decrease in the overnight stay average. It is necessary to specify that the data must be read considering that in the given period the tourist stream towards Sicily and towards all the other destinations in general, was


sicilian tourism context

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory

influenced by the well–known international events in 2001 that, , slowed down tourism travels everywhere. However from 2004 the stream evolution has risen again, upturning the contraction trend in the 2001–2003 three – year period.

Graphic 22 Foreign element origin countries (absolute values and %)

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory

sicilian tourism context

Graphic 23 Presences trend in Sicily: 2000 – 2006

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory


Grafico 24 Trend of stay average

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory

Moreover in terms of presences in 2006 has been pointed out a more important role of hotel enterprises (85%) in comparison with those extra-hotels, which reach an amount of 15% mainly due to a clearly higher number of rooms and sleeping accommodations in hotel section.

sicilian tourism context

Graphic 25 Hotel and extra-hotel enterprises presences distribution

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory


In terms of presences, in the end, an bigger increase in Trapani district has been pointed out (18%), followed by Enna and Siracusa district, with a growth of 13% and 12% respectively in comparison with 2005. Fundamentally steady Caltanissetta (1%) and Agrigento (2%). Seasonal nature A Sicilian tourism characteristic is that to be prevalently seasonal, determining a good rate of structures use in the summer, often associable with their closing during the winter. Comparing the arrivals in 2000 and 2006 a greater inflow is revealed in the summer. During 2006, in particular, arrivals have concentrated prevalently during the summer (50%) and in the spring (29%); residual values for the winter (9%) and for the autumn (13%). In the confrontation 2000 – 2006 seasonal nature trend of Sicilian tourism is accentuated, confirming that the island is still seen as a destination bound to bathing tourism, despite of the all year usable attractions presence.

sicilian tourism context

Graphic 26 Arrivals in Sicily seasonal distribution (confrontation 2000-2006)

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory

3.2 Tourism economic effects In 2005 the good progress sector in main Southern regions has been confirmed, evaluation confirmed by the reinforcement of the result for Sicily (with a positive balance of 942 millions of Euro) – where a trend inversion has already been revealed from 2000 – Calabria (+399) and Puglia (+549). The rest of the regions with positive balance, as it was already told, are the Southern ones, for which the result


can be essentially explained with limited residents tendency for outside region tourism, also as a consequence of different economic development conditions therefore of the different buying power. The regional distribution of tourist expense points out some clear territorial differences put in light by the tourist uses effects in each region on internal uses. Among Southern regions, Sicily takes over for the third consecutive year an increase of the amount (9,2%). Table 6 Tourist expense year 2005. Current millions of euro

For what concerns Southern regions, 2005 confirms the reinforcement of tourist economy compared to the rest of productive system, with a tourist GDP burden on the regional total one above the national average, in Sardegna (7,1%), Abruzzo (5,9%), Calabria (5,2%). On the contrary, it’s still low, even if in a slow growth, the importance of the phenomenon in Basilicata and Molise (3,3% and 3,7% of regional GDP): this for sure depends on those areas productive weakness, but more than this on difficulties to affirm their capacity to attract main demand markets, in particular the international ones. This background, in terms of effects of regional tourist surplus value on each regional total surplus value, is expressed in amounts superior to 7% in five regions (in order: Trentino Alto Adige, and Valle d’Aosta 14% and 12,1% respectively, Liguria 7,2%, Sardegna 7,1%, Toscana 7,1%), and inferior to the national average in eight regions among which Lazio and Sicily (4,7%), Campania (4,1%) and, at the bottom of the classification, Lombardia (3,1%) and Piemonte (2,4%). Taking into consideration different pattern of consumption of foreign tourists on holiday in Italy through the daily expense per capita per destination region, it can be pointed out that in comparison to Italian average, that is basically steady (87 euros in 2005), Sicily (47 euros) is placed in last position of the classification, with significant contractions in comparison with 2004, a trend that moreover concerns also remaining Southern regions, safe for Campania and Abruzzo. In the end, referring to the employment, considering specifically hotels and motels without restaurant (2005), Sicily with 2.033 employers is placed on fifth position in the national classification. In agritourisms the most considerable number of dependent workers has been found in Toscana: 67 out of 168 unities employed in the division; on the second


sicilian tourism context

Source: IRPET elaborations

place there’s Sicily with 26 employers and on third Lazio with 16 employers. In the south of Italy there are 49.668 dependents that equals to 23% of national total.

3.3 Welcome system Data concerning solidity of accommodation structures point out that hotels accommodation capacity characterizes entrepreneurial survey of Sicilian hospitality, with 80% of sleeping accommodation. This is a different data compared with national market, which sees keys commonly defined complementary to present a higher number of sleeping accommodations in comparison with traditional hotel. In the distribution of hotels for category, at the end of 2006, a prevalence of 3 stars hotels (40%) comes out while, for the superior classifications (4 or 5 stars), an amount of 18% is reached. Also in terms of sleeping accommodation number medium rank hotels (3 stars) present a higher amount (46%) in comparison with superior classifications (35%). Taking a look at the trend of sleeping accommodation number in hotel division, from 2003 to 2006, a clear increase in 4 stars rank, confirming that Sicilian hotel tourist offer tends to move towards a service with higher standards. Also the growth in 5 stars hotels: this growth is slower, on the contrary, among hotel of 3 stars rank while in inferior ranks sleeping accommodations are in decrease.

sicilian tourism context

In terms of accommodation structures numerousness, nevertheless, larger amount on the whole of the offer is represented by extra – hotels structures (66%), to indicate a more widespread distribution in the territory. The most important data is registered in bed and breakfast formula, born in Sicily with the regional law 32/Dic/2000, quite young accommodation typology which has at 2006 1.230 structures; it’s an extraordinary number thinking that in 2001, after its appearing in the island, they were only 64. Very good results has been found also in the agritourism division which, after a slow starting, seems to take roots in the territory, where it also can easily find an allocation considering the typically agricultural nature of Sicily. Reduced accommodation capacity has been pointed out for vacation houses, holiday camps, hostel and alpine refuge. Extra – hotels division, in a matter of sleeping accommodation, registers an increase in all accommodation types, safe for holiday camps and for vacation houses that suffer of a remarkable fall. The higher growth has to be imputed to Bed and Breakfast, followed by vacation houses.


Table 7 Accommodation structures consistency for category (2006)

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory

sicilian tourism context

Hotels presences have determined gross occupation rate at 31,49%, basically steady in comparison to the past year. Analyzing data on a district detail level, nevertheless, occupation rates superior to the regional average are pointed out in Caltanissetta (34,40), Messina (36,22), Palermo (33,10) and Siracusa (34,75) districts.


Tabella 8 Hotel sleeping accommodation occupation gross 2005-2006

Source: Data elaboration – Sicilian Region Tourism Authority – Tourist Observatory

sicilian tourism context

3.4 Tourist’s profile In the past tourist was gratified by a simple visit in a city of art or by a bathing holiday, without a personal involvement with people or local culture; nowadays tourist is inclined to rediscover his “traveler” value, attracted by a holiday characterized by natural environment enjoyment and new cultures knowledge. This trend shows an inclination towards a different reading of the territory, deeper and able to go beyond a “banal” holiday enjoyment that sees Sicily as a bathing destination and/or cultural. This involves the looming of different and innovative types of tourism that influence the profile of who chooses Sicily as a travel destination. Sicily exercises on this demand an attractive strength which is barely able to reach international markets because the inner areas of the island are favourite destination for local tourism. In 20054 the island has registered a flow distribution with a strong prevalence of the national component which encloses internal tourist flow that means those constituted by local tourists which move among Sicilian districts, representing the most important part of the whole insular tourist movement. For what concerns foreigners, the island is the favourite destination for French, German, English, American and Spanish tourists which more than others made register substantial flows of demand. In general it’s possible to point out some differences between foreigners’ and Italian tourists behavior. Tourists which stay for a longer time are the foreigners (3,31)


Tourism, Communication and Transport Authority, Tourism in Sicily 2004-2005.



AAPIT Palermo, To create hospital system – New tourist products – Services qualities for the host, (edited by SL&A) 2001.


sicilian tourism context

in comparison to those Italian (3,14) and more than these Sicilians that prefer inferior than three days holidays (2,76). Moreover, foreigners show greater inclination to do their travel in Sicily in intermediate seasons. These differences between two segments of demand are not marked up by the tourist’s social – demographic characteristics (age, sex, profession) but main stay characteristic and their way of doing holidays5. It has been noticed that the tourism in Sicily follows national trends, in which emerges more and more the demand of who prefers a direct contact with the nature and who replaces the traditional accommodation types with the more innovative ones such as B&B and agritourism. These are trends still under way and they set over those already consolidated in the island; over art and culture, sea and classic itinerary set naturalistic tourism, sport and oenogastronomic tourism. Each of these types of tourism, both the traditional and the new generation one, let emerge well identifiable tourist profile. Among traditional tourisms, which Sicily owes the larger part of national and foreigner flows to is generated by a large historical – cultural heritage. Culture generally attracts middle-aged tourists (from 54 years upwards), which travels in couple, preferring the stay with a travel agency or tour operator intermediation, in hotels. To this type of tourism it’s possible to connect the one of classical itineraries which demographically addresses to the same target as the cultural one, with a predominance of foreigner component. The hotel is the favourite accommodation which usually lies in the cities with a more renewed tourism – cultural vocation, in which tourists stay for one/two nights, to follow a traditional tour in Sicily. Among all the products this is the one more organized, in which the tourist moves usually in group, having bought an all inclusive package in the origin country travel agency. Tours tourist appears particularly careful about local oenogastronomy. Another element which strongly attracts is the sea, which represents one of the main reasons of the choice of a holiday in Sicily. Unlike first two types, bathing tourism is fed by a strong internal demand, although Italians and foreigners don’t despise this type of holiday in Sicily, in every case without an intermediation. However, there are some differences in stay period choices. National flows in fact are concentrated more on August and September, the foreigners’ ones on April and July, causing an enlargement of the summer season. At the present time the sea is a product which addresses to young couples and families. Favourite accommodation modalities are holidays camps, houses in rent, campsites or residential houses, where the stay lasts from a week end to a week. Among most innovative tourisms the one that meets the Italian and Sicilian demand favour is bound to sport, which is destined to become one of the holidays’ leading motivations. The stay of a sports holiday lasts on average from 4 to 7 nights, in lodgings placed in direct contact with the nature as hostels, refuges and agritourisms. The sport product has no intermediation with traditional channels, but through people who pass the word or social groups which allows to establish some kind of customer loyalty, because the tourist usually returns more times in Sicily.

The oenogastronomy has a certain importance as attraction and on one side integrates other types of tourisms and on the other starts to create its own flows even if in reduced percentages. For example in Palermo district only 4% of tourists put oenogastronomy as a main reason of their choice. The “gourmet tourists” stops for a stay that goes from 4 to 7 nights, they are on the average more than 40 years old and they move in couple. This is a kind of tourism self organized that benefits of the agencies intermediation to buy single services and prefers as type of lodging, hotel and residential hotel. The same characteristics has tourist whose motivation is the nature, which seems to be undoubtedly bound to the inimitable and unreproduceable landscape and natural beauties offered by the territory.

sicilian tourism context

A particular type of tourist is the one which can be defined the “homecoming”, that is represented by all those emigrants, who return every year in Sicily, to visit relatives and/or friends, to look for their roots or to return to native places. Usually these tourists are given hospitality by some relatives or prefer to lodge in private flats used as tourists’ accommodations. The intermediation of these lodgings passes through two innovative distribution channels: web selling and the one made through “atypical” tourism intermediations such as land agencies, able to generate, sustain and develop tourism in flats. More than dealing with short and seasonal leasing, these agencies offer, among all, more services useful to improve their own tourist offers. At the moment the new demand trend are verifiable only among those who choose Val D’Anapo as travel destination. Through the ESTREL6 research, emerged that not only the most part of tourists, survey sample, organize their holiday through the internet – favouring in this way the direct channel in comparison with the traditional one – but they also prefer to lodge in more innovative extrahotel structures. 55% of tourists, in fact, is distributed among acquaintances hospitality (relatives or friends), and Bed & Breakfasts that, with a higher percentage in comparison with the first one, allows the tourist to establish a direct and amicable relation with the structure’s owner. This is shown by the fact that 50% of interviewed people states to know hotelkeeper’s name. The stay duration, from 2 to 4 nights, points out the short duration tourism presence, going from a week end to some ore days stay. 50% are tourists who have never before stayed in Val D’Anapo and who nevertheless express a clear will to return there because satisfied of their stay.


Purpura A., Ruggieri G., Naselli F., (2007), The relational component in systemic tourism analysis, Palumbo Editor.


Graphic 27 D’Anapo tourist

Source: ESTREL research 2006

3.5 SWOT Analysis Following SWOT analysis serves as support to strategic choices for stimulation and realization of relational tourism in the Sicilian region. With this approach, elements able to favour or obstruct the reaching of this goal will be shown up; therefore, elements that would not be coherent with this marketing project haven’t been taken into consideration. The analysis carried out is summarized in the following scheme and highlights five points for every aspect it consists of.

sicilian tourism context

Figure 2 SWOT Sicily analisys


sicilian tourism context

The analysis is characterized by two types of endogenous elements (strong and weak points) and two exogenous (opportunities and threats). The first ones are easier to modify; the second ones on the contrary have to be managed because coming from the external context. The internal areas of Sicily can count on several middle and little accommodation structures presence, spread in the whole territory, that exist in the areas according to the respect of the environmental conditions. The structure and the rooms’ interior decoration tipicality, make B&Bs and the agritourisms, overall, the expression of that local culture that can’t generally be found in hotel structures. Among the other types of lodgings there are privates’ houses, given for rent to the tourists through the medium of estate agencies. This kind of alternative lodging is a great strength point for the relation nature of Sicily because tourists, staying in apartments, insert themselves perfectly in the local community life. Also the local community helps in a good way to realize a type of relational tourism, because of its natural warmth-heartedness and friendly behaviour towards tourists. In the present accommodation structures this is a typical attitude of the staff working in there, which provides for low qualification. Another strength point that the island can boast is the persistence of little craftsmen workshops, in which finishing touches are given to products and where products are realized by traditional techniques, inherited from father to son. To positively characterize the internal areas, contributes the presence of a widespread both urban and rural patrimony building, which – appropriately restored – could be suitable for tourist purpose use. Among unfavourable aspects of the island relation nature, there is included the accentuated individualism existing between companies. Generally they collaborate between them only from time to time and they also lack in trusting any other subjects, both public and private. To this it can be associated the lacking skill and knowledge of local tourist system on the part of actors directly involved in the island economic development, which don’t pay enough attention to tourist demand trends preferring to promote traditional tourism forms. Its unavoidable consequence is the persistence in the island of not much innovative tourist products and services, which are worried about satisfying needs of the tourism types which tend to be overtaken. Another weak point is represented by the presence of tourist demand barely based on building of customer loyalty, which unlikely returns to visit the island more than once. A last negative aspect is represented by a right road signs absence, which obstructs the tourist to move in an independent and autonomous way, while introduced among the island population. Information technologies increasing development, allowing the Sicilian product to get a faster marketing, cheaper and more direct, is one of the opportunities which plays in favour of relational tourism in the island, to the detriment of pre – established packets whose it has been object of for too long time. Another opportunity to exploit is the one concerning the presence of some UNESCO sites in the island, which grant to it international and worldwide popularity which is drawn near to a central position of the Mediterranean basin, easily linked with other regions washed by the same sea. Ulterior opportunity to not underestimate is the one concerning the numerous economic funds presence, also the UE ones, directed to the Sicily and in particular to its tourist development. To this last aspect, a positive contribution can be without any doubt given by the presence of well deep rooted


oenogastronomic tradition that, if for the moment it’s an added value to every kind of tourism present in the island, could be organized as a system in the way to generate independent tourist flows. An ulterior element which Sicily should appeal to for the tourism development is determined by tourist demand general tendencies, more and more addressed to an unusual and personalized kind of holiday, in which the relational component has a basic role in the decision – taking process.

sicilian tourism context

The first threat is for sure the competition, represented by all those countries which are overlook the Mediterranean Sea and which, with careful politics, are able to generate a more competitive offer in terms of quality and price. Other problem is linked to the flow distribution in the island, both from the spatial and temporal point of view. Sicily has a high arrivals and presences concentration along coast and minor island in comparison with internal areas and the flows in entrance are concentrated in a limited temporal space, that reaches peak on August. This causes a considerable environmental impact, above all in resorts of high tourist vocation which correspond in the national and foreign tourists’ collective imagery with the island itself. It matches with the reduction of the traditional types of tourism stay duration, because of reduced availability of the spear time on the part of people who prefer more frequent but also shorter stays. A last threat is represented by a lack of systemic organization, which shows the Sicilian product as a whole of goods and services apart that set up a fragmentary offer in which the politics and programming are turned to individual goals pursuit, to the detriment of a systemic management of the territory and of its potentialities.



4. Research project

Mapping and survey have built up the indispensable preambles for the construction of a concrete and really deep – rooted in the territory offer of integrated relational tourism. This, in fact, has imperatively to pass firstly through the “construction” and sharing among local actors of the specific local know – how (or “local knowledge”) of the homogeneous territorial system taken under consideration. The opportunities for a homogeneous territorial system to rule its own development is the skill function to yield its own real resources, to build up itself as organized network of subjects, to be fully aware of knowledge, process and methods of the specific place patrimony, to recognize itself in the typicality of traditions and habits.

4.1 Integrated Relational Tourism Definition A substantial part of tourist demand in first industrialization countries ( according to the last available data about 24%) has shown, in last years, an increasing interest for the local culture, for the original customs, not “passively” spending the holiday but doing a full experience of the places that he visits. This means those tourists are not anymore interested in receiving standard “tourist service”, but the new traveller – tourist, with a multiplicity of motivations and expectations, is more aware of the real value of the exchange with different cultures and he looks above all at what the territory and local communities offer him.

“…through a relation combination first of all interpersonal, in which generating/packing subjects, above a mere selling orientation, make their own a behaviour of sincere and shared hospitality that recovers the taste to make discover the beauty and the particularity of its historic, artistic, folkloristic, enogastronomic and above all human patrimony; and in which users from simple final consumer become value generating subjects, protagonists if possible called to actively finish the tourist offer itself.” (ESTREL 2006).


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Among new motivations which drive to the choice of a resort – besides places beauty, cultural patrimony, amusement and entertainment wish – there are “relations”. The relation nature becomes such an important component that: “…the tourist after a first look doesn’t willingly come back where his relational demand hasn’t been satisfied” ESTREL 2006). This relational component in the tourism reveals itself both on the demand side, consisting of the whole of the travellers with marked propensity to the relation and desirous of being considered as temporary residents, and on the offer side, seen as a whole of territorial resources, material and immaterial, and local actors called to participate and able to stimulate, sustain and/or build up steady and lasting relations with the guest. Therefore, the presence of a relation among local communities and guests who visit the territory is necessary condition to allow the development of forms of integrated relational tourism.

Integrated relational tourism can be, therefore, defined as: “a tourism which favours interpersonal and environmental relations stimulating the historical – cultural sensitiveness and sustainability of the development of dialogue among offerer and receiving and which integrates productive and commercial sectors in micro and middle dimension” (ESTREL 2006). In other words: “…a tourism deep – rooted in the territory that is the mainstay of the micro - companies and that increases the value of the great cultural and natural patrimony not only in big centres but also in the small ones. Besides, this type of tourism is strictly bound to human relations with an immediate and direct relation among who offers services and who enjoys them.” (ESTREL 2006). It’s evident how, in the integrated relational tourism, the human relation is the main dimension at the base of the exchange process among subjects. The relation, with specific contents and with some intensity level, fills up with meaning the space where usually constant contacts among visitors and protagonists of tourism offer happen. Nevertheless, the simple relation is not the sufficient condition to define the IRT, but it has to have such a characteristics and specificities to make it an added value for consumers and users, for guests and companies, for temporary residents and local communities. The relational component becomes therefore a part of a product, in other words a diversification element, so long as it’s perceived and offered in a spontaneous way and organized in accordance with clear and identifiable modalities.

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Reference to integration idea bound to the relation nature, enlarges and extends relational tourism definitions set out untill here: “Integrated relational tourism overlooks the traditional idea of tourist offer and demand, favouring interpersonal and natural relations and stimulating historical – cultural sensitiveness, in the dialogue between offerer and receiving. Through the integration between micro and middle dimension productive sectors, with the help of advanced technologies, it pursues and encourages sustainable development.” (ESTREL 2006). The adjective integrated indicates therefore that this type of tourism offers the territory in its wholeness, with its history, its geographic, its anthropical climate and its traditional products. The idea of travel intended as an organized packet has instead lead up a coming apart of visited places and real life that daily happens in them, a life that has contributed in a leading way to the construction of the resource territory, offered in this way “for sale” in the tourist market. The tourist assists a representation of real life put in reconstructed scenery and controlled by the tour – operator contractor. The caesura generated in relations among people appears the more evident reflection. The “tourist”, unlike traveler/guest is not a persona with its materiality and its human characteristics, but a plug of a bigger mechanism that doesn’t interfere at all with local community. This is in total contrast with the human nature, always ready to build up relations with other people, and it departs from the original traveler figure that, on this relations, constructed his travel experience.


The transformation of the travel in tourism industry has caused, in the processes standardization and in chain organization, the concentration of derived economic resources in the hands of “demand traders” that perform after in “demand markets” prevalently with organizations external to the interested territories, in which remains little or no of created value; penalizing endogenous development of areas of tourist interest and without giving a real contribution to the generation of, at least exogenous, forms of development. Among integrated relational tourism targets there is, on the contrary, the one to maintain the tourist surplus value in the territory, considering also ulterior supplies derived from the activities that we can define “of induced activity”. Relational tourism is indeed “integrated” with the activities and the resources of the territory that means it accomplishes an incentive role on the minute economy, following a widespread process, starting with agricultural and food, productive – craftmade and historical - cultural sectors. Largely, hospitality offered by the integrated relational tourism is a the same type hospitality as rural tourism one (hamlets, beams, farms, suburban villas, etc.), involving also some parts of cities old town centres, villages and countries and widening the offer to the whole environment, antropized and non, to its products, to its history and its culture. The type of host unities, that coincides with a widespread offer of an appropriately organized small domestic habitations, it allows the guest to mature a real awareness of the historical – natural environment and territorial vocations, in a context which involves the local community common style of life. Who realizes the offer direct management lives in places, carries out activities bound to traditions and roots incomes in the territory.

Exactly in this direction of increasing the value of real resources and intrinsic territory characteristics, the integrated relational tourism can be seen as an added value resource for the preservation of cultural patrimony and cultural identities bound to peculiar characteristics of the place. Integration logics between tourist demand and offer, that in a relational space become parts of a unique symbiotic process, stimulating the dialogue and the confrontation above all among micro company reality and traveler/guest, in fact pursue the coherent and harmonious developing lines with the local culture and economy of the host community. It’s coming into sight an approach in which urban and territorial planning and territorial development logics, applied in the tourist sector, represent a not negligible opportunity for safeguard, increase in value and revitalization, in one word for the creative and integrated requalification of the marginal and low development areas.


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Integrated relational tourism, in other words, allows to recover territories real resources and put them again in discussion for a self-centred development, through an innovation process that goes through the new technologies (ICT), through reorganization of the territorial resources offer, to recovering of human relations abilities, without omitting a right and continuous formation/information process aimed for different system levels and actors.

To IRT the role of a real development alternative within strategies that allows a territorial re-balancing among strongly urbanized areas (antropized) and “emptying” and abandoned areas (disantropized) is acknowledged, considering all the factors necessary to the recover and requalification process (natural, economic, social, cultural) and avoiding to aim only on restriction and normative or merely economic aspects. Adopting a systemic approach, this territory development pattern based on conscious responsibility of the individual and declined at least in five elementary sustainability forms singled out ( five “S”), can rapidly constitute an innovated form of “total sustainability” (Motris II, 2008)7.

4.2. Mapping presentation The knowledge of the two territories has developed starting from the recognition of the real material and immaterial resources existent in them through the mapping tool and trough the direct involvement of the local actors through proposed interviews. Mapping has been realized organizing the work in three subsequent stages: in the first one data storage has been done, in the second one they have been organized and in the end in the third one georeferenciation with the open shared and implementable information system building up. The stage of data and information storage has been done using two types of channels: the direct one, which realizes the data storage through inspections of the territory and interviews to local actors, and the indirect one, which expects the acquisition of information present in already existent public (MTA,MEPA, Regional Departments etc.) and private data bases or through sectorial studies, publications and published scientific works (Arces, ITS, Universities etc.). The so acquired data have been organized in special databases to make up an exhaustive frame of the great patrimony of real resources and local agents of the two examined areas: Sicilian South- East and Maltese archipelago. 7

The five “S, that is five types of elementary sustainability, singled out in studies on integrated relational tourism carried out by the territorial development project Motris II, are:

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- Environmental Sustainability, to safeguard natural and anthropic characteristics of the territory, reinforcing that harmonious equilibrium which has been handed down by the communities history. - Social Sustainability, to give back a right value to human relations, among single individuals and different societies, in the view of the real knowledge and reciprocal respect and to recover, where it’s lost, the dialogue ability among generations to transmit the local knowledge bound to specific cultural identities. - Human Sustainability, to make man once again the centre of choices, politics and development local action strategies and productive and consumption process initiatives in the view of selfcentred sustainability. - Economic – financial Sustainability, to think over the saving – credit relation joining great national and transnational banks, local bank, self-finance and micro – credit institutes, as single forms of capital interested in investments in “small” and involved in local development. - Technological Sustainability, to stimulate the “reticular” use of four micro – technologies in alternative energies production, in rubbish recycling, in water cycles and telematics for information control and communication fields; considering the individual responsibility as the keystone for the near future.


Mapped resources, that is those considered immediately spendable in an organized tourist offer, have permitted to define a integrated relational tourist offer which makes reference to three particularly important fields for the Mediterranean centre: the cultural goods ( history, landscape, uses, arts, etc), the micro – company and the traditional handicraft one(diffused micro-centrality) and agricultural and food one. It has to be specified that in the identification and selection of the collected data, there hasn’t been any effort to find out exact correspondences between the two territories identification, but single specificities instead. Therefore, the integration between the two areas has been realized also on the differences confrontation rather than on direct comparison between the same themes or directly equivalent. In the phase following the storage and the data organization, georeferenciation has been done in order to obtain an information system able to be implemented and immediately available to be consulted through the use of common GIS technologies, on the one side to produce explanatory graphics and diagrams and on the other to produce thematic maps to facilitate local knowledge and united offer communication reconstruction. The use of GIS technologies has also allowed that system to be able to dialogue with territorial information systems both in the Malta Republic and in the Sicilian Region; this has been particularly useful for the confrontation between the two territories which are objects of the research project. Mapping has been structued in three parts: the first related to underway tourist offer reading, the second related to mapped material and immaterial resources analysis and the third one related to building start in the integrated relational tourist united offer. In the first part, the generic one, both economic and the territorial engagement importance appears, formed by the traditional tourist industry. If on the one side issues are stated in terms of primary resources regulation and management such as ground, energy and waters, the industrial tourism builds up a strong services basement that also integrated relational tourism can use. The second part, related to material and immaterial resources examination, has been organized in macro systems: environmental and naturalistic system, infrastructural system, productive and handicraft system, harbour and coastal system, cultural system. The third part, turned to united offer constitution, has taken under consideration synoptic reading of singled systems in the Maltese and Val D’Anapo area.

Maltese archipelago, placed 93km far from Sicilian coast and 290 km far from the Tunisian and Libyan, forms a excellent bridge between Mediterranean sides because of its strategic position. Considering Maltese archipelago territorial dimension, during the analysis phase the whole Republic territory has been taken in consideration. It is formed by two major islands, Malta and Gozo, and by a minor island, Comino, uninhabited and bare safe for a great defensive fortress of military origins.


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4.2.1 Results for Malta

Since 1974 Maltese islands have an autonomous government in the form of constitutional republic and since 2004 they entered the European Union. This new membership with EU makes stronger its connection role between southern and northern coasts of Mediterranean. The total surface it’s 315,15 square km, while the total number of inhabitants it’s 404,039 (2005 census). Environmental and naturalistic system Maltese territory is strongly antropized above all in north eastern part of Malta, where the capital city La Valletta is placed with its “continuous city” which spreads out towards north englobing Sliema and Saint Julian. South western part of Malta island and a large part of Gozo on the contrary preserve the best natural conditions, both for difficult accessibility from the sea due to high sheer coasts and for emptying situation on the part of population, and in the end for having kept extremely marginal agricultural characteristics. Not accidentally the most part of these areas is protected by the constitution of protected natural areas and special protection zones (Fig.5 ). Millenniums of stratification and erosion and sinkings phenomenon, have determined the variety of the island profile. Northern part has faults which in the central part of Malta, in correspondence to defensive line called Victoria Line, find their greatest expression and form a conjunction point between nature and Maltese archipelago history.

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Another interesting element in the environmental system reading is related to stone quarry, numerous and still working, where a particular yellow colored stone (globigerina) is extracted, stone which forms the basement of characteristic Maltese architecture. From the tourist point of view it’s possible to imagine a course through the stones of Maltese islands reading, including coasts, temples in archeological areas, quarries, stoneworking processes, historic Malta (as Mdina) in which the most important example the employment of these stones.


Figure 3 Environmental system

Source: PRISMA 2007, on the base of corine land cover 2006

Infrastructural system

Malta islands, Gozo and Comino, with their 200km of coast, offer north eastern side harbour areas employed both for international and national connections; regular departures ensure connection between Malta and Italy: Naples, Syracuse, Catania, Licata, Pozzallo, Reggio Calabria and Palermo. During the summer the connection with La Valletta and Genoa is also granted. Virtu Ferry, the Maltese ferry company, proposes also one day trip to Sicily by way of Pozzallo. Connections with Pozzallo, Syracuse, Licata and Catania are an important preamble for the construction of united offer Sicily – Malta. National connections between


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The archipelago’s international air connections are granted by the national airline Air Malta, based on the only Malta’s airport, which could undertake the Mediterranean hub role if the implementation of routes towards Mediterranean sides was realized. Currently routes are centralized in north Europe and in particular in England, in terms of flights and destinations, even if connections with Casablanca (Morocco), Tunis (Tunis), Tripoli and Benghazi (Libya) and Larnaca (Cyprus) are present.

Gozo and Malta are granted by regular services present in La Valletta harbours and by connection of Cirkewwa with Mgarr (Fig.6 ). Road network, both in Gozo island and in Malta island, presents a radial plan converging towards Victoria city and La Valletta; internal mobility is ensured by bus public services. For an independent tourism appears evident the scarcity of connections, in particular with south western part of the major island, where is necessary a communication lines redraw to favour north – south direct connections on two lines, one coastal and the other one internal, to facilitate both internal access and, as a consequence, connections between the two major island.

Figure 4 Infrastructural system

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Source: PRISMA 2007, on the base of corine land cover 2006

Craft system Productive texture bound to craft activities in Malta is concentrated in urban areas. An important intervention to increase the value and for conservation of local handicraft has been the one related to the creation of a handicraft village near Mdina, realized readapting an abandoned military post. The merit of this precursory intervention is to have contributed to a concentration which led to a renewed pos-


sibility of know – how recovery for innovation in design of traditional products, constituting the preamble for the reconquest of old town centres as is already happening for artistic glasses production, as well as for ceramics, laces and silvers.

Figure 5 Craft system

Source: PRISMA 2007, on the base of corine land cover 2006

Beside valuable environmental and landscape areas, both in Malta and in Gozo islands, there are wide agricultural areas, in large part abandoned because of their poor competitiveness on international market and their low confirmation in national ambit. Agricultural sector, in which the fruit and vegetal and potatoes production prevails, gives a relatively small contribution to the island economy. This type of economy might supportable and at the same time can reinforce Malta tourist offer. Honey is one of the most famous Maltese products, so that some scholars maintain that the word “Malta� derives from melita, honey in Latin, which was exported already by the Romans. It was produced above all in the northern part of the island, as numerous Roman and Punic beehives in industrial scale still present in dif-


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Rural system

ferent places prove. Still today the production takes place in Mellieha and Rabat in which officinal species as Thymus capitatus, Trifolium nigrescens, Psoralea bituminosa, Diplotaxis erucoides and Borrago officinalis are present. The most renewed honey are northern thymus honey, orange flowers honey and the carob one. Today it is possible to take part in tours through production centres, like the one placed in St Paul’s Bay. Also the wine production was already present in Roman time, but for several centuries has been abandoned, surviving only the personal use production. The main problem was linked to the nature of the grapes cultivated in the island, not really proper for vine production. This has caused the importation from other countries of more appropriate grapes. Since nineties more suitable species cultivation has been introduced above all in north western part of the island and the production has been started. Many producers started to cultivate vineyards both with the important quality and with endogenous cultivars, some of which according to biological methods. Today more than 490 hectares of land are vineyards. Lately some wine companies were awarded with prizes like “Delicata winery” and “Meridiana winery”. Recovery and reinforcement of agricultural texture can allow the micro centre recovery and its startup in small villages and in building texture scattered in Maltese countryside in the way to enlarge offer panorama besides farmhouses, which are set as rural tourism accommodation activities in Italian meaning of the word.

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Figure 6 Rural system

Source: PRISMA 2007, on the base of corine land cover 2006


Coastal and harbour system Maltese coasts, characterized by falaises and fiords of remarkable environmental, landscape and geologic interest, have favoured nautical tourism. Malta has a great infrastructures offer for the nautical tourism: more than 7000 boat parking places and public and private ports equipped for both small and big boats. Thanks to numerous and comfortable ports, Malta is able to attract a good part of Mediterranean nautical tourism, above all in period between April and November, while during remaining part of the year this traffic allows to its induced activity to work with activities concerning laying up. Numerous agencies which perform near nautical clubs performs also in cruise sector, lasting one or half day, still offering quite banal products; at the moment an opening towards fishing-tourism is starting with an ad hoc offer on demand of small groups or for individual tourism. In web there are offers that propose boat tours in Mediterranean between Malta and Aeolian Islands. Nautical tourism presents greater possibilities for the constitution of the integrated relational tourism offer in comparison to bathing tourism, since the Maltese islands haven’t a lot of beaches and those existing are overcrowded during the summer. Besides bathing tourism and pleasure boating, from May to September, Malta offers services for sportive activities bound to the sea: diving (Gozo and Comino), waterskiing, windsurf and sailing. Malta is still a an important crossroads and landingplace for boats which cross and explore the Mediterranean.

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Figure 7 Coastal system

Source: PRISMA 2007, on the base of corine land cover 2006


Cultural system I luoghi del potere in Malta history are concentrated in its cities: it has to considered that in Malta island Mdina/Rabat (the city of silence, object of increasing value intervention in integrated building ambit to be reconsidered forma point of view of recovery if humanity and society) La Valletta (declared by UNESCO human patrimony) and the three cities near Cottonera area which have had a main role during the period of Saint John’s knights. In Gozo island is crucial the city of Victoria. Monumentality of historic cities of Malta is of unquestionable value and it testifies political centrality in Maltese archipelago Euro – Mediterranean ambit in the history until nowadays. Nevertheless many historical buildings are private and they are in abandon state. If cities of art succeeded in maintaining their integrity in the contemporaneity, the reading of marine villages, which had transformed their building texture in the second postwar period through the replacements which have compromised the character of Maltese architecture made of two floors houses, is more difficult. Nowadays this original building core is almost completely disappeared or it is not adequate to buildings designed for tourist flats which, presenting a discontinuity in density and structural type, cause difficulties to the surprising morphology of the line of the coast. Despite that there are still recognizable wide historic fragments, as for example Sliema, even if overcrowded and welded in urban continuum. Among resources to be reinterpreted in an integrated relational tourism key there are for sure historical buildings which can be collocated both in terms of introduction in accommodation offer and in entertainment and cultural ambit. Another resource to reconsider in urban ambits constituted by museums which are mostly public, but it’s possible that small museums can be opened in historical residences.

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Also scattered building patrimony presents wide possibilities for IRT, coastal towers and internal defensive lines could to give shape to courses with cultured and innovative contents able to interact with historical patrimony, traditional feasts and tastes which internal areas are rich of.


Figure 8 Cultural system

Source: PRISMA 2007

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Figure 9 Cultural system

Source: PRISMA 2007


Figure10 Cultural system

Source: PRISMA 2007

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4.2.2 Results for Sicily With its 25.710 sq km, Sicily is the major Mediterranean island and the biggest region in Italy. Its population is over 5.000.000 inhabitants and the capital – as well as the most populated city (with about 800.000 inhabitants) – is Palermo. According to the data of the latest censuses in the tourist sector (2006), it is still one of the most visited and sought-after regions both by Italian and foreign tourists, although it only has a modest number of accommodations compared with its considerable territorial extent. The territory of Sicily also includes a number of minor islands, such as the Aeolian or Lipari archipelago and Ustica in the north, the Aegadian archipelago in the west and the islands of Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Linosa and other minor islands in the south. Sicily is almost triangular in shape (hence it was given the ancient name of Trinacria), it has three vertexes facing north-east (Cape Peloro), north-west (Cape Lilibeo) and south-east (Cape Passero) and is touched by three seas, the Tyrrhenian in the north, the Ionian in the east and the Channel of Sicily in the south-west. The area considered in Sicily for the construction of the combined offer between the two islands is the one located in the south-east of the Region, in a closer position


to the Maltese archipelago, and known as Anapo Valley as a whole. The Anapo Valley is the territory of eastern Sicily which geographically corresponds to the southeastern end of the island, located administratively between the Provinces of Ragusa, Syracuse and, to a limited extent, Catania. More precisely, it is made up of nine municipal districts distributed along the southern and eastern coasts and twenty more municipal districts located within mostly rural areas in the hinterland, between the three provinces (Pict. 11). It includes a series of specific territorial areas which share a common identity deriving from common historical events. Picture 11 Representation of the studied area and identification of the municipal districts involved

Source: MOTRIS 2004

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Some of the municipal districts included in the Anapo Valley (Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Scicli and Ragusa) entered the UNESCO Heritage of Mankind list in 2002, in order to preserve and promote the Sicilian baroque, still little known. This important recognition is having a positive economic return on the whole area, by generating a considerable increase in the tourist presence.


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The landscape and naturalistic system 61,40 % of the regional territory is mainly hilly, 24,50% is mountainous and the remaining 14,10% is instead flat. This entails that considerable variety of landscapes and environmental peculiarities which make Sicily a region with very different characteristics. The area considered in the present research, corresponding to the provinces of Ragusa and Syracuse, is characterized by wide tablelands, the Hyblaean Mounts, surrounded, along the coast, by a strip at sea level with features ranging from rocky conditions, to marshes (areas now protected and with high degree of naturalness) and sandy areas. From the geological point of view, there are big differences between the area in the north of the island, which belongs to the Eurasian tectonic plate, and the one in the south, belonging to the African plate. This causes frequent seismic phenomena of both tectonic and volcanic origin in the thrust between the two plates. The territory of the Anapo Valley is characterized by sparse urbanization and medium or small-sized urban settlements. The small Catania area that we are considering is made up of mainly rural and internal territories, in contrast to the big continuous conurbation of the Plain of Catania, on the bottom of the southern slope of Etna. The inland territory of the towns of Syracuse and Ragusa is characterized by small-sized rural and coastal towns and retains excellent natural conditions. Six nature reserves are located in this area and in the surroundings: the nature reserve of Vendicari, those of the rivers Ciane, Simeto and Irminio, the nature oriented reserve of the Biviere and that of Cavagrande del Cassibile. Next to the areas of environmental and landscape value, wide agricultural areas follow each other. They are underused for the most part and have little competitiveness in the international market, though they are rich in valuable endogenous production. The vegetation is mainly characterized by the presence of Mediterranean ecosystems. A thick Mediterranean scrub, a typical vegetable creation, is located in the areas near the coasts, from sea level to 200 metres altitude, and especially in the territories richest in water resources. This is replaced by garrigue, Mediterranean grassland or areas with degraded scrub in the most arid lands. The flora is rich in endemic species and some of them are localized in very small areas, such as the very rare Sicilian Zelkova, which is limited to an area of about half a hectare on the Hyblaean Mounts. Unfortunately, the increasing anthropic pressure, the indiscriminate pasturage and the numerous seasonal fires, together with the climate changes in progress, have considerably reduced the woody areas which used to cover a large part of the island. The Sicilian river system is mostly torrential, with low flows and limited width. In the Anapo Valley there are the rivers Anapo, Cassibile and Irminio, which flow along the deep valleys of the Hyblaean tableland.


Picture 12 The environmental system

Source: MOTRIS 2004

Sicily has a thick motorway network, which connects the main towns in the region and has considerably contributed to putting an end to the historical isolation of the island centre (Enna and Caltanissetta). The two motorway routes affecting the Anapo Valley most directly, the Syracuse – Catania (due for completion in 2009) and the Syracuse – Gela (whose conclusion has not been set yet) are still near completion. With regard to railways, Sicily has a network which is not very developed yet in terms of capacity and technological adaptation. However, railways connect all the nine provinces nowadays. Electrified railways represent 59% (777, 00 km) of all the railway lines in the region, whereas the remaining 583, 00 km of the line are crossed by Diesel vehicles. Double track lines (with the exception of the double tracks in course of opening) are about 149,00 km long and are partly present only on the main routes, whereas the remaining 88% of the route (1.211,00 km) consists of single track lines. Most present lines date back to the late 1800s, except the route Gela-Caltagirone, which was put into operation in the second half of the ‘70s, and the modification of the tunnel on the Peloritani Mountains, located within the municipal territory of


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The infrastructure system

Messina. Therefore, there is a pressing need for modernization and redesign of the railway itineraries which is not able to take off for lack of financial appropriations, caused by the low relation between users and profit. The large public narrow-gauge railway network, which used to connect a number of minor towns in the island with each other and with the main network, has almost completely disappeared for a few years. However, two lines are still operating: the Circumetnea, which follows the periplus of the Etna Vulcan, and the line of the “Small Baroque Train�, that leaves from Ragusa and returns there after following the route of the Baroque places in the Noto Valley. Picture 13 The road and penetration system

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Source: MOTRIS 2004

As for air links, Sicily has two international airports: that of Catania, fourth national airport in traffic volume, and that of Palermo, ninth Italian airport in number of passengers. Other minor airports also exist in the island today, such as that of Trapani and that of Boccadifalco (Palermo), along with those of the minor islands. Besides, a new airport is in course of opening in Comiso (ex Nato base), which will be able to serve the area of the Anapo Valley directly. The ports of Messina, Palermo, Catania, Trapani, Augusta and Gela are the main reference points for sea traffic. The port of Messina is the biggest natural equipped port in Sicily and is used both as a trade and military port (it is the seat of a historical military arsenal). With an annual movement of about 10 million passengers, this is the first Italian port in the sector. The port of Palermo is one of the most important docks and passenger terminals in the Mediterranean and one of the most


ancient in the island from a historical point of view. The main connections with the Maltese archipelago take place through the ports of Pozzallo and Catania. The enlargement of the former has already been arranged (pict. 16). Picture 14 The transport system

Source: MOTRIS 2004

With regards to the production activities, we identified the ones related to the local resources, which can be defined as dot-like because of their territorial extent. They consist of accommodation micro-activities, traditional craft production, the production from the food and gastronomic sectors and the tangible and intangible resources connected with the identity of the area (history, costumes, traditions, events, etc.). The micro-centralities scattered all over the territory constitute that vital fabric of activities which involve the community and represent the ideal base for autonomous forms of tourism in accordance with the territorial development and able to encourage the establishment of an integrated relational tourist offer system. Sicily has an important vocation for agriculture that dates back to the most ancient history of the island, when a large part of the surface was used for growing cereal


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The production and craft system

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and wheat crops (especially the excellent durum wheat variety) and the abundance and excellent quality of the harvests earned it the nickname of Rome’s granary. About 650 thousand hectares of land are used for growing sowing and 400 thousand are used for permanent crops (olives, vine and fruit, especially citrus). As regards the Anapo Valley, agriculture is one of the great economic resources in the area in spite of the irregular watering. The production of olives is rich and ensures excellent oil production; citrus growing is well-known, especially in the Plain of Catania. Vegetable crops are also present in the island and they have increasingly conquered the market since the years ‘60s, thanks to the spreading of greenhouse growing, especially in the southern area. Dried fruit production is certainly important and that of almonds, nuts and pistachio stands out for its quality. These are the basic products for numerous typical sweets of this land. Chocolate production is a peculiarity of the areas of Ragusa and Modica. It was introduced into the island about five centuries ago, when it was imported directly from South America. Chocolate is still prepared without heating, by following an ancient recipe which makes particular use of both endogenous and exotic flavours and spice and is appreciated all over the world. The traditional vine growing allows the production of fine table wines, both red and white, and sweet wines. Production, though of considerable quantity and quality, had difficulty in getting its own recognized status and thus fitting into the market for years. This was due to the excessive producers’ fragmentation on one hand, and to the difficulty with the autonomous promotion of the product on the other hand. A decisive turning point due to the rationalization of the local market has allowed the revival of Sicilian oenology and the success of numerous wines on an international level. The greenhouse growing of precious flowers is another important sector, favoured by the natural warm/wet weather, which has made it possible to overtake and even surpass other traditional producing regions. As for animal breeding, zootechnical production gives satisfactory results both in terms of quality and quantity. Cattle breeding is the most widespread and the autochthonous cattle of the valuable Modican breed are raised in the province of Ragusa. Very nourishing milk is produced from them and is mainly used for the production of fresh cheese, such as the “provole”, the Piacentino from Enna or the Caciocavallo from Ragusa, the only one of a kind with the DOP trademark in Siciliy.


Picture 15 The production and craft system

Source: MOTRIS 2004

This field still has huge unexpressed potentialities due to the lack of harbour facilities and road lines of communication; this holds back the development of the trade, cruise and yachting sectors. In the area of the Anapo Valley there is a big lack of tourist landing places able to manage the important yachting traffic which gravitates to the Mediterranean, though a tourist port is in course of construction in the present St. Anthony wharf in Syracuse. The port of Pozzallo is worth mentioning again since, along with being used for the transport of goods, it has a number of daily connections with Malta which are already operating. Finally, the construction works of the port of Marina di Ragusa are still in progress; it will accommodate more than 800 berths and will be the third port hub in Sicily. The real problem with the port system in the south-eastern end is often related to bureaucratic reasons (slowness in the approval of town plans) and also lies in raising the necessary funds for the modernization and running of the facilities. The fishing sector is a very valuable resource for Sicily. There are many ports with large fishing fleets. The most important of them is that of Mazzara del Vallo, but this is not the only one. Other important ports are those of Sciacca, Licata, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo and others which are minor in size, but not in value. Tuna, sardines, anchovies, mackerels and other varieties of blue fish are fished, along with swordfish, in the Sicilian seas. This also allows the flourishing of the canning industry for the production of botargo, fish in oil, smoked fish and other products from fish processing.


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The port and coastal system

Picture 16 The port System

Source: MOTRIS 2004

The cultural system The cultural system of the Anapo Valley, like that of the whole island, is very diversified and interesting, both for the cultural contamination which took place through millennia of history and the original manipulation that derived from it, so much so that it has been perceived as “an island in the island�.

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Picture 17 Synoptic table of the environmental - cultural system

Source: MOTRIS 2004


The numerous dominations that it suffered through time make it an interesting area from the historical-archaeological point of view as well. Below is a short list of the main archaeological areas in the Anapo Valley:

As mentioned above, Sicily is a home to a number of sites, nominated for the international Mankind’s Heritage programme. In the area of the Anapo Valley and in the surroundings, we find among the others: the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, nominated in the year 1997; the Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, nominated in 1997 too; the eight municipal districts belonging to the Noto Valley, nominated in 2002; the historic centre of Syracuse (Ortigia) and the Necropolis of Pantalica, nominated in the year 2005. The Sicilian Baroque of the Noto Valley is an extraordinary resource of the cultural system of the Anapo Valley for the unique conditions which generated it and the originality achieved in the architectural language. Indeed, because of the earthquake that struck the Noto Valley in 1693, some of those who contributed to the reconstruction of the towns destroyed by the seism adopted the common Baroque language, recognizable not only by its typical curved lines and very singular decorations, but also by masks, puttos and deformed, grinning and apparently gaudy anthropomorphic images, rarely visible elsewhere. Before this date, the Baroque style had been used in a ingenuous way in the island, rather than deriving it from the great national Baroque architects. The interpretation given by artists to the new style led to an artistic form localized and rooted in the territories of the Anapo Valley (provinces of Ragusa and Syracuse). A fundamental part of the Sicilian cultural identity is handed down in the form of oral tales, fortunately collected by Doctor G. Pitrè in the 1800s. The area of the Anapo Valley was the homeland of one of the fathers of contemporary literature, Giovanni Verga, leader of Verism, who was born in Vizzini, where the family palace has now become a house museum of the great writer and of the folk and ethno-anthropological traditions of the area. Over the centuries, these particular and picturesque traditions, together with the personality, myth and approach to life of the Sicilian people, have created a stereotype that has been described by the word “sicilianity”, in the villages and inland towns, rather than in the big cities. In 2001, the “Opera dei Pupi”, that is the Sicilian puppet theatre, was included in the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Mankind. Gastronomy is the last but not least form of local culture. The Sicilian cuisine is part of a complex and diversified regional culture, which shows the traces of and the contributions by all the civilizations that have settled in Sicily, at least in the last two millennia. 4.2.3 Comparison between Malta and Sicily Since the mapping of tangible and intangible resources is a flexible investigation method, it adapted to the territorial contexts of the Maltese archipelago and the


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> Adranon, Occhiolà, Mount Turcisi and Xiphonia, in the Province of Catania; > Akrai, Cozzo Collura, Eloro, Megara Hyblaea, Neapolis, Pantalica, Villa del Tellaro, Thapsos, Casmene and Leontinoi, in the Province of Syracuse; > Kaucana and Kamarina, in the Province of Ragusa.

south-eastern area of Sicily. The methodology adopted does not really allow direct comparability on the single systems identified, but rather on the three reference macro-systems to which the considerations reported below can be traced back. In particular, the macro-systems considered strategic are: a. historic centres; b. micro-centralities, rurality and environment; c. coastal system and tourist port facilities.

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Historic centres The presence of historic centres of monumental and artistic interest has considerable importance for the strategic development of tourism in both territorial contexts. South-eastern Sicily has a heritage of medieval suburbs and centres of the Sicilian baroque, many of which have been declared heritage of mankind by UNESCO; from this point of view, the Maltese archipelago offers contexts such as the Valletta, Mdina and Vittoria. The reclamation and urban upgrading interventions already carried out have concerned the monumental heritage along with the public space and the small building industry. The first two typologies manage to attract the greatest resources, whereas the third one is subject to slower processes, although integrated relational tourism can mostly develop through it. One of the matters that come up concerns the harmonization of building and tourist regulations. Such formulas as B&Bs cannot always be applied in Sicily within those historic centres with building typologies such as the tower houses. As regards typology, it is also necessary to intervene in the building heritage of considerable dimensions, such as the blocks of flats and the big building complexes, which presumably will be reused for public purposes and reintroduced into the tourist route through the creation of accommodation facilities modelled, for example, on the Spanish “paradores�. It is also important to intervene in the management of urban mobility, in order to create accessible and usable places both for guest travellers and the local community. To invest on the maintenance and revaluation of historic centres and suburbs, along with promoting and preserving the cultural heritage housed in them (in fact most historical and artistic heritage is contained in churches, monasteries and facilities located in historic centres and rural suburbs), can also have an important return in terms of employment. Therefore, active policies should be undertaken, beginning from the cooperation between Regions and other territorial public institutions in the field of the preservation of cultural heritage. Such policies should contribute to identifying the most suitable forms of management, promoting the study and research activities and spreading the knowledge of cultural heritage. Micro-centralities, rurality and environment As regards the macro-system of micro-centralities, the investigations carried out reveal different features in the two areas. They have considerable density in southeastern Sicily and especially in the Hyblaean area, whereas they are less present in


the Maltese archipelago. The island of Gozo, together with the north-western area of the island of Malta, offers optimum preconditions for the development of this strategy, since it already has a good accommodation offer in townhouses and farmhouses. The existing scattered building heritage, which is susceptible of reclamation for accommodation purposes in the two reference contexts, is of a different kind and is concentrated on equally different forms. Indeed, villas and estates predominate in Sicily and especially in the Hyblaean area, whilst farms and small villages prevail in the Maltese archipelago. Coastal system and tourist port facilities Within this macro-system, the Maltese archipelago plays a leading part in the Mediterranean scene both for its infrastructures and diversification of services. On the contrary, Sicily still has a weak offer, in spite of its 1400 Km coasts. From this perspective, a central matter is related to the urban and non-urban waterfronts and to the accessibility and public use of the coasts, which are often made difficult, if not impossible, by the privatization of the entrances to the sea and to the areas that face it. The third part of the research, regarding the identification of the areas with higher relational potential in Sicily and the Maltese archipelago, derives from the considerations made so far. The excluded areas are those where the traditional tourist industry has prevailed. However, this does not exclude that there can be specific realities inside them, which are to be integrated into the IRT offer system in the perspective of a network (pictures 18 and 19).

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Picture 18 Areas with priority of intervention for the construction of the IRT offer

Source: MOTRIS 2004


Picture 19 Areas with priority of intervention for the construction of the IRT offer

Source: MOTRIS 2004

4.3 Presentation of the analysis on relationality

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4.3.1 Investigated dimensions of relationality Relational tourism consists in a series of relationships not only between economic operators, but also between the latter and the final consumers of the service, that is tourists, though we should not forget about the participation of local communities and institutions. Therefore, several aspects or dimensions should be analyzed at the same time, as they jointly contribute to defining the phenomenon. For the measurement of the relationality level existing in the two territorial contexts of Sicily and Malta, researchers used a model based on the multi-dimensional theory of sociological origin and a statistical methodology which allows to quantify and compare the different aspects of relational tourism8. According to this theory, as already pointed out, it is necessary to take proper account of the variety of elements which characterize relational tourism. This implies that the phenomenon that we intend to study needs to be split up into a number of aspects. From a methodological point of view, relationality was split up into a series of dimensions, in turn divided into subdimensions, which made it possible to identify the single modalities (synthetic aspects) of relational behaviour, finally measured through special statistical indicators. Picture 20 shows such a multi-dimensional sequence and outlines the logical route taken for the formulation and measurement of the main dimensions of relational tourism. 8

For further analysis, see G. Ruggieri – Un modello di analisi della relazionalità – in ESTREL Research: La componente relazionale nell’analisi sistemica del turismo – Palumbo Editore, 2007.


Picture 20 Structure of the multi-dimensional model

More precisely, a value is associated to each modality, which represents the most disaggregated level of analysis and measurement of the relational phenomenon. From this value, through subsequent aggregations, it is possible to measure relationality for the subdimensions first and for the dimensions of relational tourism afterwards. The complexity of the studied phenomenon requires a variety of “empirically observable” subjects and/or variables. As there are not and there cannot be fixed rules or unique criteria for the choice of these subjects and/or variables, the analysis of relationality started with the investigation of the relationships between the protagonists of tourism in a particular place. These relationships involve the offer system on one hand, by identifying the internal relationships, and tourists, who create the external relationships, on the other hand. Since tourists often maintain relationships with the “connection” staff, that is all those subjects who assist them and provide them with services, information, suggestions and advice, during the evaluation process it is necessary to consider that the relationship system is multidirectional (one-to-everyone) and has variable intensity depending on the type of relationship, the subjects involved and the reference territorial context. Proceeding from these considerations, we studied the following aspects or items in depth, in order to describe the characteristics, perceptions and relationships generated by each subject belonging to the considered territorial system.


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Source: ESTREL 2006

Table 9 Subjects and items analyzed

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Source: ESTREL 2006

The single aspects (items), which we chose to investigate for each subject identified (tourists, institutions, enterprises and community), were formulated by considering three specific cognitive goals: I. II. III.


Analysis of the structure, characteristics and interactions; internal relationships; external relationships.

After mentioning the multi-dimensional approach for the analysis of tourism and describing the combination of aspects that need to be analyzed within a territorial system, we will illustrate the model used for the analysis of relationality, by identifying the main dimensions and subdimensions of relational tourism. The presence of relational tourism requires the existence of three conditions which contribute to creating a territorial system where a relational pattern of tourism can be set up: 1. an offer system endowed with elements and conditions that can encourage these forms of tourism (e.g. presence of holiday farms, historical and rural houses used for hospitality purposes, etc.); 2. a type of traveller-tourist with a profile, identified through a series of motivations, modalities and characteristics, which should show his/her openness to some forms of relational tourism; 3. interaction, represented by that combination of relationships, contacts and exchanges that take place between the main participants in the offer, that is entrepreneurs, local community, connection staff within tourist information offices and travellers/tourists. The ideogram in picture 21 points out the main aspects which contribute to the creation of a system founded on the concept of relationality within tourism.

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Picture 21 Aspects which contribute to the creation of a relational system

Source: ESTREL 2006


Table 10 Multi-dimensional model for the analysis of relational tourism

Source: ESTREL 2006

Dimension I Offer System, was measured by considering the following subdimensions:

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Internal relationships: we proceeded with the analysis of the relationality between enterprises, institutions and community in each area through the study of cooperation, of the activities carried out for the reciprocal involvement and the effects of such cooperation on the tourist development of those territories; II. Opinions on the place: they were derived from the analysis of service quality, the hypothesis of possible interventions and changes to be introduced for service improvement and the elements considered as indices of tourist attractiveness; III. Governance of the system: the opinion on the cooperation between enterprises, institutions and community, for which we considered the relationality existing between the above-mentioned participants in the system, the limits that obstruct their cooperation, the directions by the coordinators of IRT and


the incentives considered as an essential precondition for the creation of common strategies; IV. Perception of the place: this was examined through the analysis of the quality of the tourist offer and the potentialities of the place. Dimension II Traveller-Tourist, instead, was measured by considering the following subdimensions: I.

Motivation of the holiday: we proceeded through an analysis of the elements which affect the choice of a holiday in general and that of a particular place, in order to understand the travellers/ tourists’ willingness to establish relationships; II. Opinions on the place: they were derived from the analysis of service quality, the hypothesis of possible interventions and changes to be introduced for service improvement and the elements considered as indices of tourist attractiveness; III. Relationships: they were analyzed through the study of the aspects which stimulate tourists to establish relationships with local people during their holiday.

Dimension III Interaction, was measured by considering a unique subdimension, identified as “relational activity�, in order to verify the presence of relationships between tourists and the people in the area. We wish to make reference to the interaction between tourists and local communities/ institutions/enterprises by focusing the attention on the initiatives of transmission of local traditions aimed at knowing tourists and interact with them. 4.3.2 Stages of the investigation The investigation was organized into three stages: a first stage of identification of the sample and construction of the questionnaires, a second phase of provision of the questionnaires and interviews to the proposed sample and a third stage of elaboration and analysis of the acquired data. More specifically, the investigation developed through 5 consecutive phases (pict. 22):

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Picture 22 Direction of the empirical investigation


Beginning from the relationships between the actors of tourism in a specific place, we identified the following units of analysis: tourists, institutions, enterprises and community. The composition of the statistical population in the above-mentioned units of analysis is reported in the following table: Table 11 Size of population

At the same time, we identified the instrument of investigation, that is a structured questionnaire provided to a sample of privileged witnesses during a sample survey. Four different questionnaires were created for each reference group: tourists, institutions, community and enterprises. Each of them investigated the following aspects:

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a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h.

Structure and organization; Perception of the place/tourists’s motivation; Opinions on the place; Governance of the system; Hospitality culture; Interactions; Internal relationships; External relationships.

The questions in the questionnaires provided allow different sorts of answers to which a score on an increasing scale was assigned. This implies that a higher level of relationality for the subjects interviewed corresponds to high scores in the answers: the higher the final score calculated, the higher is the value of relationality. The total score for each area was obtained by calculating the arithmetic mean of the scores assigned to the single dimensions and subdimensions. The score for each dimension or subdimension was standardized with values from 0 to 1. This made it possible to obtain results which could show the higher (values close to 1) or lower (values close to 0) relationality of each area compared to the others, reveal the existing relational gaps and therefore identify the inadequate aspects which require intervention. Sicily and the whole territory of Malta distinguish themselves by a deep tourist-cultural vocation. In these contexts, Integrated Relational Tourism can be the catalyst element able to positively affect the economic-productive development in these two islands. The presence of the features peculiar to relationality in the two territories is a certainty, though it required confirmation in a research action aimed at assessing it with scientific precision.


Below we present the main results of the researches carried out in the islands of Malta and Gozo and in the Hyblean area of Sicily respectively. Relationality was studied by using a measurement model that makes use of the multi-dimensional theory of sociological origin and the statistical methodology which allows to quantify and compare the different aspects of relational tourism. 4.3.3 Results for Malta The analysis of relationality starts with a comparison between the two islands in the archipelago, Malta and Gozo, on the basis of the opinions expressed by the interviewees – tourists, institutions, enterprises and local community – on the analyzed variables. The aim is to reveal the existing potentialities and the variables which need targeted and specific interventions, in order to encourage the implementation of a strategic development plan with a tourist-relational inclination. A comparison between Malta and Gozo based on tourists’ opinions reveals that the latter has higher relationality than the former, as regards both the relationality between tourists and institutions and the relationship established by tourists with the community. It is necessary to point out that a particularly favourable judgement on the place and the relationship between tourists and enterprises emerges for Malta. Relationality does not seem to be a factor that influences the tourist demand, since offer and demand currently do not consider it as a structural component of a destination.


See. G. Ruggieri “Un modello di analisi della relazionalità” in ESTREL Research – La componente relazionale nell’analisi sistemica del turismo – Palumbo Editore, 2008.


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Table 12 Clusters analyzed for the macroarea of Malta/Gozo

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Source: PRISMA 2007

As for the opinion expressed by the enterprises, an appropriate governance system does not seem to be present in any of the two islands. A negative aspect concerns the relationality between enterprises and institutions, indicated by an average score of 0, 40 in Gozo and represented by even lower values in Malta (0, 24). This reveals the separation between the autonomous action of the enterprises and the capacity to establish relationships with the institutions. At the same time, the operators’ opinions on the community do not express positive scores either. Entrepreneurs do not express a positive opinion on Malta as a tourist place (0, 47), contrary to what happens with the island of Gozo. This discrepancy in evaluation is probably caused by the greater economic impact of tourism on Malta, so the themes of infrastructures and services are treated with greater attention by the local entrepreneurs. By taking the answers given by the community into consideration, an overall judgement revealing high levels of relationality emerges in both islands. In this case, Gozo proves to be more relational than Malta, though the lower contribution made by the cooperation between community and institutions comes out. We will report the main results on the three key dimensions of relationality by assembling some of the opinions gathered in accordance with what is displayed in table 12. Besides, through the study of these explanatory dimensions, it will be possible to provide a brief outline of the IRT offer in the studied area. The contribution of each dimension, which is assessed through the use of appropriate statistical indicators, is expressed by a synthetic score.


For this purpose, following the logical route suggested by the multi-dimensional model for the analysis of relationality, we proceeded with the analysis of the explanatory dimensions of relational tourism: 1. tourist offer system: the combination of elements and conditions which can encourage these forms of tourism (relationality between institutions, community and enterprises, cooperation, hospitality culture); 2. travellers/tourists: they are characterized by a profile identified through a series of motivations, modalities and characteristics which show their openness to relational forms of tourism; 3. interactions: they are represented by the combination of relationships, contacts and exchanges that take place between the main participants in the offer, that is entrepreneurs, local community, connection staff within tourist information offices and travellers/tourists.

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Table 13 Multi-dimensional model for the analysis of relational tourism


The evidences emerged from the research show that the island of Gozo is more relational than Malta. More specifically, for the analysis of dimension I Tourist Offer System, the following subdimensions were analyzed: > > > > >

internal relationality; opinions on the place; governance of the system; perception of the place; hospitality culture.

The numerical evidences show that hospitality culture and the perception of the place are the variables that affect relationality most in the two territorial contexts. Though Gozo results to be more relational than Malta from this point of view, both territorial contexts reveal some weak points that require intervention in order to implement a relational tourist development plan, that is to say: > external relationality; > governance of the system. This datum deserves particular attention, since the governance of the system plays a prominent part in the creation of the essential views of development of and increase in relational tourist offer.

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Graph 28 The tourist offer system in the Maltese archipelago

Source: PRISMA 2007


Dimension II, Travellers/Tourists, is the result of the scores obtained from the following subdimensions: > motivation; > opinions on the place; > external relationality. Within this dimension, the considered modalities show values above the average, with the exception of the motivation of the holiday. From this point of view, it emerges that: > relationality is not one of the main determinants of the choice of “Malta� as a destination; > the levels of the relationality between community and tourists are slightly above the average. In the perspective of a tourist offer with relational inclination, it would be necessary to intervene in the following two aspects: > motivation, by identifying the demand which favours interpersonal and environmental relationships; > intensification of the dialogue between host community and tourists, considered as travellers/guests.

Source: PRISMA 2007

The Interaction between community, institutions, enterprises and tourists (dimension III) is a factor of utmost importance for the success of the tourist offer


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Graph 29 Travellers/tourists in the Maltese archipelago

based on relationality, together with the spreading of initiatives which enable the local community to know tourists and interact with them. The achievement of this goal implies the capacity of the different subjects involved to coordinate their choices. In other words, it aims at a synergistic action that gathers particular prominence in the context that we are studying. Finally, it is necessary to point out that values above the average appear for all the considered modalities in dimension III, Interactions. These are indicative of an unexpressed relationality which should probably be directed and ruled in such a way as to emerge as a strategic occasion for the development of this territory. On the basis of these observations, a comparison between the two territorial contexts seems to be appropriate in order to reveal congruence and/or differences related to relational tourism. Graph 30 Interactions in the Maltese archipelago

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Source: PRISMA 2007

The following graph, based on the observation that the process of relational tourist development takes place through the consolidation of “cooperative� relationships, makes a comparison between the subjects that interact within a relational tourism context in the two areas.


Graph 31 Dimensions of relationality in Malta and Gozo

Source: PRISMA 2007

The research results reveal a higher level of interaction expressed by the community and lower levels, though above the average, expressed by institutions, tourists and enterprises. It follows that positive evaluations of the relationships between communities, institutions, enterprises and tourists can be made in the studied contexts. The offer system has relationality contents in both islands, though this is not one of the main sources of influence on consumers’ buying behaviour. Institutions have only recently felt the need of implementing a development plan which meets the emerging requirements of the relational tourism model. Graph 31, which takes account of dimension III, Interactions, reveals levels of interaction above the average in both areas. Therefore, a strategic direction that is basically valid for both territories seems to emerge: to stimulate and support strategies of tourism development by following a relational approach.

The survey10 results carried in the Anapo Valley in Sicily are shown below. They stress the relational character at the level of the offer-demand-offer relationship. Through the multimedia model the survey pointed out the opportunity to join together private and public operators directly and indirectly involved in the touristic 10

ESTREL - The relational component in the analysis tourism system– Edited by A. Purpura, F. Naselli, G. Ruggieri – Palumbo Editore (Palumbo Publisher), 2008.


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4.3.4 Results in Sicily

sector and the local communities, in order to lay out and develop an articulated relational tourism offer. From the point of view of the tourist, the Anapo Valley (Val d’Anapo) is perceived as an adequately relational destination. This result is due to: > a demand that favours a type of holiday where the relational component is a determining factor when choosing a destination (motivation for choosing the vacation site); > a greater relationality level between Tourists and Communities; > a greater number of tourists interested in knowing and interacting with the territory (relational tourism).

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Table 14 Tested Clusters in the Anapo Valley; Sicily

Source: ESTREL 2006


The agency relationality estimations in the in The Anapo Valley show a perception score greater than the tourists’s. As far as the touristic firm estimations on the considered variables are concerned, there are not substantial differences on the profile of interactions and relationality among firms and between firms and tourists. In fact a governance system has been working in this area for more than ten years. The firm-agency score around 0.29 related to relationally indicates that collaboration, although is nowadays increasing, will have to grow more. The site perception score results positive as well. The results given by the community are relatively high, yet the relationality scores between communities and enterprises and, above all, those on the site are not very high. Below relationality is analysed through the study of its explicative sizes to summarise the salient characteristics of the demand/offer relationship. The multidimensional model used for Malta, whose results are synthesised in table 15, was also used in this context.

Source: ESTREL 2006

The research results show that, from the point of view of the tourism offer and interaction, the Anapo Valley turns out to be relational enough. The graph shows how the Anapo Valley tourism offer system is strongly characterized by a form of relationality tied to the following aspects: hospitality culture,


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Table 15 Multidimensional Model for the analysis of relational tourism

site perception and estimations. The governance does not produce very high inner relationality levels, in spite of the strong determination in incrementing the aforementioned scores. This aspect deserves particular attention since the system governance is essential in building adequate overviews when developing and consolidating a relational tourism offer. Graph 32 The Tourism Offer System

Source: ESTREL 2006

The tourist-traveller profile in the Anapo Valley expresses average relationality levels in all three explicative sub-dimensions: motivation, outside relationality and site estimations.

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Graph 33 The Tourist-Traveller

Source: ESTREL 2006


Therefore the tourism demand seems to be adequately satisfied in terms of services, interaction and involvement in the tourism sites. The survey results reveal how the interaction level claimed by the community, firms and agencies is higher than the tourists‘s. Graph 34 Interactions

Source: ESTREL 2006

The scores of the three explicative dimensions investigating relational tourism permit to delineate the following synthesis (graph 35)

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Graph 35 The relationality dimensions

Source: ESTREL 2006


The relational offer is to be reorganized and this process has been on its way for several years in order to increase the interaction level among all the parties present in the area.

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4.3.5 Comparison between Malta and Sicily Integrated relational tourism, as clarified in paragraph 4.1, is a multidimensional activity characterized by many aspects interacting with different subjects and with many economic activities that are different from each others. The study of the dimensions and the distribution of the types of relational tourism permits to develop the following synthesis on the relational characterization of the tourism offer in the two study areas: Anapo Valley (Regione Siciliana –Sicilian Region) and Malta Archipelago (Republic of Malta). This research shows that the offer system in Malta Archipelago presents, so to say in an unconscious way, discrete relationality contents in both islands although, according to the estimations of tourists, agencies and local community, the island of Gozo is considered more relational. However, relationality does not seem to influence the tourist buying behaviour; this is explained by the fact that offer and demand at the time being do not take into account relationality as a structural component in the amalgam of the vacation site. Malta institutions have only recently felt the need to put into action a development program able to satisfy the requirements emerging from the relational tourism model. The realization of an integrated relational tourism offer needs the intervention through specific actions both on the motivational front – intercepting that part of the demand that favours interpersonal and environmental relationship, and by tightening the dialogue between the accommodation communities and the tourists – that are to be understood as traveling guests. Instead both the insular territories present some faults in the governance area that result more accentuated in Gozo. This factor deserves a particular attention since the governance of the system has a relevant role in building shared views on the development and consolidation of the relational tourism offer. In fact, the path to relational tourism development can only be undertaken by consolidating the cooperational relationship among the parties interacting within the system, that is, communities, agencies, firms and guests. It can be said that the results from our research highlight how both areas in Malta show positive community/agency/firm/guest relationships; yet, at the same time a certain roughness can be detected between the autonomous action of the firms and their ability to interact with the institutions. In spite of what the businessmen claimed, the surveyors that carried on the poll found a poor collaborative attitude among tourism businesses. Therefore a substantially valid strategic indication seems to emerge for both territories: relationality must be addressed and governed in such a way to let it emerge as an integrative chance for the development of this territory. The data gathered on the Sicilian territory –matched with the results and the mapping from Motris and ESTREL research, show how the tourism offer system in the Anapo Valley overall results more relational than in other Sicilian areas. Although on one hand the studied area has a local community with an active relational touris-


tic role; on the other, it presents some critical elements referred to the governance of the system. The above indicates a scarce collaboration among tourism firms, agencies and economic operators as well; therefore it is important to act on these aspects to grasp the opportunities coming from an increasingly less conventional demand requiring tighter ‘familiar’ relationships. A demand requiring, relationality, needing marked truthfulness, territory and environment familiarity and interaction, to the point to become one of the main reasons for choosing this or that vacation site. Motivation together with governance that in this territory should favour a convergence between institutions and the productive system can turn out to be the right choice for the territorial and touristic development of the area. When comparing the research results with the scores from the three dimensions used to analyze relational tourism it is possible to come up the following synthetic picture (graph 36). The graph shows that the demanded and offered relationality levels are substantially the same in both studied areas. Graph 36 Relationality scores in both areas: Anapo Valley and Malta

The mapping carried on Malta Archipelago and the south-western Sicilian territory had the purpose, as mentioned before, to introduce an effective way to rebuild the local know-how in order to intervene and set up an integrated relational tourism offer. The mapping shows how the IRT offer may be realized in the three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, according to distinct schemes and by developing it on convergent strategic systems: Malta could provide a strategic stone route, the archaeological route and the one of the knights and historical sites and centers, it could also exploit the coast and its nautical facilities; Gozo could set strategic routes making use of both the coast and the country side, while Comino


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Source: PRISMA 2007

should make the most of its coast line. The mapping points out how the IRT offer could also apply to Val d’Anapo, based on strategic routes pertaining to: > Coast and ports, as entrance points to the inland, which are more consistent, richer with values and resources to be further appreciated. > The great variety of small centers and historical sites. > The agricultural produce, typical food and wines.

research project

The entire popular culture with its traditions and the specific local identity may contribute to promote the offer. As far as some recommendations are concerned, being the co-operation between the public and private sector a priority, Sicily and Malta need to promote reciprocal trust to achieve of development – their common goal. Mobility as much as accessibility – particularly lacking in Malta, together with interventions on the city and regional public transport, the road sign and directional system need to be improved. Since water is scarce, a careful management of the water cycles is needed in order to sustain tourism offer, likewise new construction works should be inhibited – above all in those areas that could gain prestige from the new forms of tourism– and careful policies should be enacted when licensing coastal state properties: traffic should also be prevented on wide coastal areas without penalizing sustainable transit alternative to combustion-engine transportation. In cities and towns and in particular near historical and cultural sites, A greater control is needed on the typologies and the allowed maximum density of buildings as well as on the city decorum in general; control is also needed on signs and on the broadcasting and networks facilities (cables, antennae, satellite dishes and so on). Waterfront improvement must be considered with particular care, since it involves many meaningful entrance sites to the islands. Malta is celebrated for its history; however outside those attractions promoted by mass tourism is little known. It is important to highlight that the current information tools available to visitors are mainly divided in internet, brochures and generic information. These tools are becoming inadequate for the more flexible kinds of tourism that are nowadays emerging in the market. The most obvious advantage for Malta, due to its small size, is hindered by the great bulk of the potential touristic resources spread across the island. No relevant action to catalog the island resources has been taken; this constituted a serious obstacle that had to be dealt with during the PRISMA survey. The only relevant work carried out through GIS involved organizing the data gathered by the Malta Environmental and Planning Authority (MEPA) and CHIMS recently activated by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (SCH). As far as the catalogued and updated resources are concerned, the mentioned agencies deal only with data important to their legal status. It is important to stress that a lot of the data required for an adequate understanding on tourism was not in a GIS format. This led to subdivide the mapping of the


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tourism resources in smaller phases, that is data collection and then putting them in a GIS format. Data collection was carried out according to purposes identified in the PRISMA project that were considered relevant for the micro-centrality concept. Thanks to the remarkable work of the PRISMA researchers, enough relevant data, useful to get a realistic current image of Malta islands, were gathered in Excel format. The conversion from Excel to the more widespread ESRI ArcGis format, allowed to geo-referredly load all the data.



5. Goals and actions of the marketing plan

5.1 Current Policies In order to propose Malta and Sicily as a ‘single tourism vacation site’ it is needed to lay out an operative action project starting from the cardinal concept of integrated relational tourism. In fact, this new form of tourism finds solid references within the current policies on tourism development undertaken by the authorities in Malta and Sicily. In Malta all this has generated and accentuated a growing interest towards the emerging touristic dynamics such as independent and cultural tourism. In the Sicilian context innovative forms of tourism in general, and in particular Relational Tourism, have a remarkable importance, to the point of being instituted at a legislative level by Regione Siciliana (The Sicilian Region) (L.R. n. 10/2005 Art. 16). IRT seems to be the ideal solution for tourism development policy guidelines but there is more, as specified by the European programming drafts. 5.1.1 Malta tourism policies

> Monitoring tourism on Malta and Gozo according to sustainable development principles; > Keeping and conserving the environmental and socio-cultural resources, key elements for Malta touristic products; > Incrementing tourism income and creating added value; > Sustaining the current employment and creating new one; > Realizing a just income allotment by incrementing the competitive advantage and developing, through its own characteristics, a specific touristic product; > Making tourism flows more yearly homogenous by reducing seasonal peaks; > Incrementing Malta accessibility; > Maximising the co-operation between tourism stakeholders in Malta and those from other European Union member States. Malta policy has planned a certain number of initiatives particularly adequate to IRT realization: > Controlling and evaluating the environmental, economic and social impact, limiting the damage risks for the environmental and socio-cultural resources;


goals and actions of the marketing plan

The tourism projects on Malta islands, as emphasized by the official documents (Tourism Policy for the Maltese Island; Malta’s National Tourism Plan), laid out the main guidelines on the decisions and actions concerning tourism in Malta for the five year 2007-2011period. Malta tourism policy is governed in the context of the strategic economic framework that, since the country entrance in the European Union, follows the tourism guidelines set by the European government. The tourism policy goals in Malta are:

> Increasing the value of the offer in Malta by investing in quality proposals; > Realizing and creating market researches to increase tourism added value, also by proposing genuine and innovative products; > Keeping under control the competition from nearby regions; > Identifying adequate sites for touristic development by investing in different areas; > Organizing initiatives and events in low seasons; > Introducing Gozo on the market as a site characterized by its own rural and cultural activities; > Incrementing web visibility and online initiatives through booking and the possible greatest information availability. The current approach turns its attention also to ‘cultural tourism’, pointing out that it is a widespread event since it includes both tourists that visit museums or sites, and those who go to cultural performances. This way Malta aims to support and boost cultural tourism, trying to appeal to both the tourists that are looking for experiences tied to understanding and culture, and those who are only partly interested to those experiences. The development of new products could increment the cultural tourism market in Malta. Two are the activities to be realized for this purpose: promotion and realization of ad hoc offers. The request for goods and services tied to history, traditions, art and anything that is culture could be widened through adequate promotion: The fruition of cultural initiatives could be facilitated by the development of packages. The following joint packages could delineate the aforementioned package offers:

goals and actions of the marketing plan

> Cultural items of the same sort (e.g. museum packages) > Cultural items of different sort (e.g. traditional sites and cuisine) > Cultural and non-cultural items (e.g. culture and relax). 5.1.2 Sicilian tourism policies The documents in the Programmazione siciliana (Sicilian Program) 2007-2013 contain several references on an adequate policy for relational tourism development. Its general and strategic development guidelines propose an involvement for an integrated action plan to strengthen and consolidate the local systems. In particular the ERDF Operative Program 2007-2013 (European Regional Development Fund) sees in the integration with the policies for territory tourism improvement and in the definition of the local tourism offer and its marketing machine, one of the operative strategies to be realized, as a coherent continuity with the preceding 2000–2006 program. Such a strategy can allow to put together the components of a cultural offer with the other resources present on the territory through the realization of local structures characterized by a unitary management that identifies in them a common cultural topic. In tight correlation with the indications and contents of the Regional Law 10/2005 “Norme per lo sviluppo turistico della Sicilia e norme finanziarie urgenti”


(Regulations for touristic development of Sicily and urgent financial regulations), it results necessary to reconsider the tourism sector as a strategic element for the island economic development, recognizing the central roles of the territorial local agencies in territory improvement. The contents of the regional norm subtend a process –relative to initiatives to revive tourism flow through the integration of a ‘system aggregation’ logic and a greater co-operation between sector operators and local public agencies, already in progress in other Italian regions.

Furthermore with the Regional Law n. 10/2005 here referred, the Sicilian Region individuated the Tourism Districts, by dividing them as ‘the homogenous or integrated contexts including territorial zones that can also be part of several provinces and characterized by qualified offers of tourism attractions and/or cultural, environmental assets, also including typical and local agricultural and/or craft products’. This is an innovative change in the organization of the regional tourism sector, since the territory itself becomes its own promoter. The same article 16 of the Law n 10/2005, introducing the concept of relational tourism, highlights the importance and the strategic value of the MOTRIS Project promoted by the University Board ARCES, with the scientific collaboration of the CUEC – Cattedra Universitaria Edoardo Caracciolo – Dipartimento di Storia e Progetto dell’Università degli Studi di Palermo (University Chair Edoardo Caracciolo Department of History and Project of The University of Palermo), that allowed the Mapping of the Offer of Integrated Relational Tourism in Sicily. In fact, Motris defines an idea of tourism that seeks to stimulate the local territorial economics by bringing back the meaning of reciprocity between people and territories placing particular attention to the study of the inner Sicilian territory which, instead presents receptive structures, tourism infrastructures and services –seriously inadequate for the potentialities that the very same territories are able offer. This research has as purpose the increment of the peculiar island micro-centralities, creating a connective network to develop integrated relational tourism, by reviving the huge amount of assets present in the Sicilian inland made of bagli (old fortified farms), masserie (farms meant as agricultural firms), casali (country houses with farms), old mills, small historical centers and rural boroughs that could help to double the number of bed places currently available. MOTRIS stresses how today investments are needed more than in the past to improve the remarkable cultural and environmental resources of the region for touristic purposes, especially to revive the flows both inside and outside of the island. Returning to the improvement guidelines for the next regional program, in line with the Inter-regional Program, the ERDF Operative Program 2007-2013 focuses


goals and actions of the marketing plan

Such forms of synergic collaboration, in view of sustainable development, have allowed the realization of Sistemi Turistici Locali (S.T.L.) – Local Tourism Systems (LTS) –, forms of ‘superior touristic products’ particularly characterized by innovative product solutions motivated by the concept of ‘sustainable tourism’, meant as ‘a long lasting tourism offer able to keep its qualitative and quantitative levels, that is, to let the expectations of the local inhabitants coexist with those of the tourists without lowering the qualitative level of the touristic experience and without damaging the environmental setting of the territory involved in the event’.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

its action on the improvement of the cultural, natural and tourism assets having local and regional importance. The III Axis in particular, in line with the national tourism policies, is committed to set favourable conditions to the progressive removal of social and territorial degradation through the improvement of minor systems, in order to promote an all-year-around tourism flows and to balance out the dichotomy existing between inland and coastal areas, between cities rich of art and historical boroughs. Furthermore, the regional approach, in a complementary way to the action of the Operative Intervention Project “Attrattori culturali, naturali e turismo’ (cultural, natural and tourism operators)”, plans to improve more the Region cultural assets, to promote and spread understanding as an essential requirement from growth and development of the whole regional community. The main cultural attractors on which the cultural tourism flow has been directed up to now, represent the ‘excellence’ of the offer that thanks to the interventions realized in the preceding programming cycle has grown rich and keeps on growing richer with more sites organized in meaningful local circuits and routes. Moreover, the initiatives proposed within the Programma Operativo Italia– Malta (Italy-Malta Operating Program) are here pointed out; they aim to improve the selected territories through the joint promotion of forms of sustainable tourism on one side and joint innovative and environmental interventions on the other meaning to strengthen the action of the ERDF OP in line with the specific objectives 3, 2 and 3, 3 and in close association with the action taken by MOTRIS and the past program. The eligible territory in the new Italy-Malta Program for trans-border cooperation, made of the entire State of Malta and the provinces of the south-eastern coast of Sicily, provides a large amount of natural and cultural resources such as to prefigure common growth based on the improvement of the mentioned endogenous potentialities. The aforementioned program is committed to setting up in the two trans-border territories an effective integrated tourism offer and a stable cooperation net between private and public tourism sector workers. At last also the SWOT analysis of 2007-2013 MED Operating Program evidences the role of the strategic knob of the Mediterranean islands, then of Sicily, for trade and tourism routes and emphasizes the need to improve in a sustainable way, the integrated local, cultural social and naturalistic systems. All the actions for protection, improvement and development must be supported by adequate national and transnational policies as the realization of coordinated forms of collaboration between private and public workers.

5.2 Sicily and Malta Joint projects The active interaction ripened between the scientific and academic world and the territory operators involved in the PRISMA strategic marketing plan allows to condense at the closing time of the activity the combined outcomes from the scientific research and the current program actions, from the shared contribution between operators and business firms in the two territories, from the public administrations involvement in supporting and encouraging, and from a joint local governance architecture.


This last phase turns into a chance to introduce further proposals in operating terms, such as:

The PRISMA Project has identified in the localities of Birgu, Rabat and Gozo as the potentially best for IRT development. The available variety of product offers in these sites represents good perspectives for an effective integration according to IRT. Most of the tourists take from half to a whole day at the most to visit Birgu, Rabat or Gozo. Currently few tourists choose to stay in the accommodation facilities present in those areas. This is also due to the limited availability of the facilities. Malta has focused in developing tourist accommodation facilities along the coast and most of the facilities are in Malta center zone, Sliema/St. Julians and in the northern part, St. Paul’s Bay, Bugibba, Qawra and Mellieha. The characteristics of these three localities – the beauty of the area, the cultural offer, the opportunity to relax and interact with the local community – give the possibility to satisfy the expectations of ‘the relational tourists’. However the problem of the limited number of the accommodation facilities present in those areas should to be tackled. A possible solution could consist in stimulating the owners of uninhabited houses to invest in the property to make them available for touristic purposes. A complex partnership is already on its way in the Anapo Valley that, together with the characteristics of geographic-cultural homogeneity, provides similarity and uniformity to the cluster of the interested towns. This allows to treat the area as a single set without having to choose characterized subsets. By acting on this homogeneity, local towns organized themselves in the Val d’Anapo LAG partnership and the valley became a center of initiatives to develop and harmonize activities among the local agencies including private operators as well. As said before, this perception of a common identity is the base of the resources motivating the proposable and proposed initiatives in the south-east Sicilian territory and that sees in the Baroque of Val di Noto and in the post earthquake reconstruction the current renewal for most of the communities. The beauty of the artistic and cultural sites matches well the surrounding environment and the landscapes of the unique areas –coast included, with its natural reserves and protected areas on one side and an extremely particular rural system on the other. Tourism is increasing in this area and during the last few years an effort has been truly put in incrementing the receptivity capacity of the accommodation service that


goals and actions of the marketing plan

- finding out possible improvement ways for the local micro-centers; - illustrating the locally offered opportunities as well as the problems involved; - creating wide nets of SMB concurrent in forming an integrated product; - creating an overall offer having a trans-Mediterranean span; - starting policies for participated, integrated, complex projects at a supraregional scale; - setting up long economic nets at the Euro-Mediterranean level; - finding out innovative ways in order to undertake marketing initiatives on relational tourism.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

in 2006 reached levels never reached previously, above all with a thick and wide accommodation network of small and spread out accommodation facilities (B&B, farm holidays, etc), favoring and stimulating the increment of presences. Besides the already known traditional tourism targets, like Siracusa, Ragusa and Piazza Armerina, the rural inland, rich in history, traditions, art, culture, forests and naturalistic basins, has seen the number of visitors and presences grow thanks to an intense marketing activity and also to the fame obtained from some success television serials (above all ‘Il Commissario Montalbano (Montalbano the police superintendent)’. Because of this partnership, Malta has had through PRISMA the opportunity to come in contact with places, structures and persons that are part of the programming and operating system in Val d’Anapo pilot plan along with the relative support and governance structures. Likewise Val d’ Anapo LAG, through the new relationships interlaced with Malta various operators (using PRISMA and LEADER integrated financing services), has been able to deepen aspects not commonly seen through the ordinary statistical data. Among those we find: - the realization that the marginality of the position due to the European ultraperipheral setting of those territories and the road network ‘lacking in highspeed connections’, do not represent inhibiting factors for tourism development (and for the related products and services), since the potential users of the Sicilian and Maltese archipelago are not only the European markets, but the world’s; - the newly grown awareness for Malta and the confirmation for Sicily that the infrastructures cannot keep move slowly but need speeding up leading to relative sustainable and reactivated functionalities (as it is happening in Val d’ Anapo with il Piano Integrato di Sviluppo Sostenibile – Sustainable Development Integrated Plan –); - the understanding that the participation strategy for the mutual development of the two islands cannot be sectorial, instead it must be an integrated and jointly governed in a single organic and synergetic way; - that IRT with the pilot plan contributed to shape the architecture for the interactive involvement of public and private operators in Val d’ Anapo; furthermore, in more general terms, the local development process must be spread to every Maltese and Sicilian area, as to give rise to an active interaction. This way, the PRISMA plan has pointed out that LAG should take the opportunity to intensify its own inner activity on particularly complex and strongly correlated initiatives, leading to the following objectives: 1. Pinpointing the Cluster of products, goods and services useful to favor sustainable IRT development in the area and, through it, speeding up the territory revival and economy reintroductive processes; 2. Activating the government center for the different qualities of those products, goods and services functional to IRT development; 3. Boosting the formation of the second degree Consortium representative of the


In light of what has emerged, through the identification of the initiatives relative to the program for a ‘Sicily-Malta strategic plan’ –natural evolution of the completed initiative, the PRISMA plan results suitable to widen at a transnational level the common base strategy for the new working phase, needed to cope with the relational tourism marketing problems at international level through the identification and adoption of a strategic vision on the integrated tourism in Sicily and Malta that leads to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean net. A series of proposals to strengthen the integration between Malta and Sicily through a list of joint proposals, some already experimented in the two areas is reported below. a. Organic agriculture and authenticity of local productions A widened net system of meetings and visit exchanges between Sicilian and Maltese businesses specialized in organic agriculture and autochthonous productions has been set to share reasons, cultivation and transformation techniques in the territories of Sicily and Malta. The amount of know-how in the LAG businesses, is particularly important especially when, for example, a great part of the Italian organic produce is concentrated in Sicily. The encounters have offered the possibility to create an initial dialog so that, supported by a system of confidence and innovative proposals, it could lead to collaboration and condivision for the creation of manufacturing chains and to favor active exchanges among nets of local producers and business specialized in tourism (integration). The idea, which promotes effective collaboration proposes opening up firms and entire territories to visitors and offering them local produce according to the principles of integrated relational tourism.


goals and actions of the marketing plan

Club to introduce online manufactures, goods and services by sharing the governance rules of the process in action; 4. Activating a computer operative model to promote and commercialize in a preferential way the Integrated Relational Territorial Offer, through the adherent club members, in order to certify the quality of tourism services, cuisine and crafts, related to this context; 5. Putting back to work the structures and infrastructures present in prestige environmental public areas and predispose management plans involving the excellence Club members mentioned above, in order to use in sustainable ways those public assets such as additional facilities in the Club micro-centers (bagli, masserie, farm holidays, etc) making their local identity recognizable in a globalized market; 6. Reorganizing and incorporating local know-how in environmental and historicocultural contexts, to allow the club members and the community in general to better grasp their local identity; 7. Promoting innovative educational information campaigns for the children of the PSL area, with the purpose of making grade school children aware of their identity and potentialities of their own land as well as of the several safeguard systems and sustainable management measures for the local resources.

b Living in the ancient “port cities” The presence of two business ports laden with history and immaterial resources, in Siracusa (Ortigia) and Malta (Valletta and Birgu), together to the port of Pozzallo that represents the main marine connection between the two Islands, gives the possibility to experience the genuineness of the Mediterranean port cities. The presence of the Museum of the Sea in Birgu is a chance to offer the islands’ guests a much more oriented IRT product and to strengthen its role. For example, the creation of relational tourism forms linked to sea places passes through the transformation of buildings in the historical centers in accommodation structures for visitors. All this, through the commitment of the local administrations and other organizations including the private ones, is a way of building up sets of topic routes dedicated to the maritime insular assets, with a detailed attention to marketing and traditions. c. The crafts of the stone The project concerns the town of Siggiewi in particular, one of the most ancient in Malta, along with the caves in Ispica in Siragusa inland. The presence of these ancient caves, that already have been proven useful in attracting tourists, have been considered the base to start thematic routes for the travellers. These places can be exploited as central points for the tours that are being envisioned for these towns. The crafts of the stone and how it has been used throughout the centuries is evident in the different architectonic languages left by the different traditions for working the stone.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

d. Cousine and wine Nowadays as in the past the oeno-gastronomic tourism has a powerful unifying and involving content, mainly for the islands and their trade. Among the participants to the initiative there is the Viticulture Association of Malta, that it comprises approximately 80% of the entire wine production in Malta. The possibility to promote tour packages to wine cellars, vineyards and production areas has been tested and it has also been suggested that some typical cuisine should be included in these initiatives. Moreover the presence of the Val D’ Anapo LAG and the existence of producer consortia allow to imagine initiatives shared by businesses that want to build up their joint projects. e. Ample hospitality Another initiative considered a priority is the development and the increment of tourism accommodation facilities linked to the idea of integrated relational tourism. This initiative is turned to the identification of those facilities, not only specialized in accommodation, where travellers can be boarded – houses, apartments or rural lodgings having a particular value –, but that are also managed by operators from the local community according to the typical Mediterranean hospitable manners.


These forms of hospitality are quickly incrementing in Val d’Anapo already, while the need to exploit this resource is being recognized in Malta and in particular in Gozo, where, on the wake of the Sicilian example, forms of hospitality in apartments, cottages and rural buildings start to emerge, in fact some lodging has already been lent to the island visitors. Naturally the involvement of local administrations is essential both in terms of financial and legal facilities and, in terms of the elaboration of an organic development projects.

The present plan wants to promote IRT as a new way to make tourism that promotes the local activities as resources contributing to the tourism sector. Therefore IRT can bring new lymph in the territories by recuperating the historicalarchitectonic assets and promoting the hospitality culture in the Mediterranean. The Sicilian Region is developing Local Tourist Systems; IRT can take part in this project. In fact, IRT, among its outcomes, can lighten tourism flows on the coasts and attracts new ones inland. It is equally obvious that just for the intrinsic characteristics of IRT, every initiative can never be identical to another; every IRT plan must be shaped according to local outlines and elements then from an intellectual, organizational and commercial point of view it cannot be set up through imported models. Naturally this affects the quality and the amount of working people. IRT needs wide and localized territory receptivity where the businessmen live and where the holiday is spent. The entrepreneurs need assistance, advising and information, as well as financial resources. The general objective of this marketing plan is the development of an integrated relational tourism between Malta and Sicily. This strategy is based on the analysis carried out as an initiative of the Work Package n. 1 plan (mapping the offer) and on the study of the integrated relational tourism systems in Malta and in Sicily. This objective can be reached by acting on the following aspects: > Economic and territorial: it is necessary to link the integrated relational tourism to the sustainable initiatives that are part of the territory (cuisine and wine, arts and crafts, etc); > Cultural: ‘in synthesis, the integrated relational tourism experience should be entirely based on the spirit of innovation and on the symbols of relationality, in unison to the local11 culture’. In this case the relationality experience as a new tourism product should allow the workers of the sector to transform the daily routine in Malta and Sicily in symbols as to increment the value of their culture to invest on it;


From “A Policy Document on Integrated Relational Tourism in Malta - The contribution of local entrepreneurs and public officials to implement IRT in the Maltese Islands during a Seminar held on the 12th January 2008” Paragraphs 9.17 and 9.18 - Institute of Tourism Studies, 2008, Malta.


goals and actions of the marketing plan

5.3 Overall objectives in the strategic plan

> Relational: this aspect is based on the “principle of participation”. It is necessary a wide involvement of all the public and private stakeholders committed to integrated relational tourism, whose main operators will be the local public agencies and the suppliers of tourism services; > Information and communication: the net system must be addressed to both inside interlocutors (local stakeholders) and to outside interlocutors (tourists).

5.4 The main initiatives of the strategic plan 5.4.1 The governance system a. The base work group

goals and actions of the marketing plan

Governance is a fundamental component for the coordinated management of integrated relational tourism in a territory. Governance results from the interaction among time space and relational dimensions. basically, the territory is the current fruit of a crisscross of generations, cultures, places and above all, relations. There is a large consent among both the academics and the policy makers in thinking that good governance is the corner stone for economic development. IRT requires good governance in order to support coordination and coherence among the workers of the sector. The district of Val d’ Anapo – the nearest to Malta, is the Sicilian territorial unity with a relational tourism offer – even if at a potential stage, whose realization requires local governance. However on Malta, based on the key considerations in the preceding sections, the selected area fits to the islands of Gozo, Birgu and Rabat. In those areas the proposed governance model has its foundations on the local communities with a shared approach and a synergy between public and private dimension. The operators who take part in the governance system come from the public and private sector, non-governmental organizations, specialized groups and the community at large. In particular the Public Administration takes care of the organization of policies and governing programs. The government and to the local administrations are asked to take care of the visitors’ requirements and to trust the mechanisms based on the market when providing public services. This new form of management for the public sector asks the Public Administration to change its own culture, be flexible, innovative and oriented to problem-solving. Good governance facilitates IRT development by improving the collaboration of the public-private sector and adopting a holistic approach through the involvement of citizens and specialized groups. The role of the local government is essential in facilitating IRT development. The first step to be taken is the acknowledgment of the concept of IRT in tourism policies, in order to confirm the government commitment to develop this type of tourism. Moreover, the role of Public Administration is to guide investment


opportunities and to invest in offer development and marketing initiatives. A successful promotion provides offers able to widen the market substantially and attracts travellers interested in ‘IRT’. The offer of ‘cultural products’ with other `cultural’ and `non-cultural’ products lengthens the stay and the expenditure and maximizes benefits without incurring in huge marketing costs. In light of the above, the ‘base work group’ should facilitate the link between suppliers and tourism products. All this can help reduce competition, increase the perceived value, the distribution efficiency and broaden the market and the tourism season. b. Local governance organization

> favoring the synergy between all the tourism operators, the private and public sector, the service suppliers/ local operators, the local agencies and the local community; > enhancing the understanding and the comprehension of IRT among tourism operators; > identifying and implementing the development of products and IRT marketing initiatives; > providing guidance to the tourism operators on ways to benefit from this particular area; > promoting the cooperation and the sharing of the best practices between Malta and Sicily. The ‘base work group’ should encourage innovative product development practices, marketing and integration of the initiatives and resources on the territory. The local governance instruments, tested for decades in the area of Valle dell’Anapo are many, but two among them appear particularly useful to the purposes set in this part of the PRISMA project: the Integrated Territorial Plan ITP (Piano Integrato Territoriale PIT) and the Local Action Group LAG (Gruppo d’Azione Locale GAL). The here proposed type –fruit of past considerations and the contribution of the local Maltase and Sicilian administrators, and of many experts and scholars as


goals and actions of the marketing plan

A structure based on a ‘holistic approach’ must be established to develop this type of tourism. This can be done through a base work group formed by the main political economic and social operators. In Malta, the involved parties could be: the Tourism Secretariat, Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), the Ministry of Gozo, the Association of the local agencies and the local agencies of the identified territories, the Institute of Tourist Studies (ITS), the Tourist Association of Gozo (GTA), the Association of category of the travel agents and tourism (FATTA) and the Maltese Association of the hotels and restaurants (MHRA). Sicily could have the Sicilian Region (La Regione Siciliana), the Province of Ragusa and Siracusa (La Provincia di Ragusa e Siracusa), the Local Agencies in the area of the Val d’ Anapo and the relevant social entities in the territorial tourism sector. The ‘base work group’ should involve other tourism operators such as `the Heritage Malta’, the Chamber of Commerce and `the Malta Crafts Council’. The main functions of the ‘base work group’ should be the following:

well, integrates the two models (ITP and LAG) in a third figure. The three dimensions, which are the base of this type of organization, are: the territorial, social and economic dimension. In the first case the territory includes the cultural and natural dimension of a well identified space: in our case the territory is supranational and links the Anapo Valley and Gozo. The social dimension is the relational base of the proposed organizational model starting with the relationships among the various workers in the territory to end up with the relationships between formers and travellers. At last the economic dimension is considered with respect to the planning and the impact on the financial and real terms of the integrated relational organization on the tourism in the two areas. The proposed final organization also sees an Agency for the Local Governance (Agenzia per la Governance Locale) to be formed with a single management board distinguished in two territorial branches (Malta and Sicily). This board has the task to delineate the management development policies for integrated relational tourism with all the three aforementioned dimensions (territorial, social and economic) in sight. The two territorial branches have the task to enact, with a large margin of freedom, the chosen policy guidelines. The board will be made of ten equally divided Maltese and Sicilian members; they will be experts from the Sicilian regional government and Malta national government on the subject of tourism, territory and transports, from the local government authorities, the sector businessmen, accommodation and travel services, product and service suppliers near the tourism area, communities, cultural and environmental associations and centers for the research and the study on integrated relational tourism.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

5.4.2 Labor Relational tourism implies the participation of a certain number of stakeholders. Local communities, entrepreneurs, paid workers, tour operators, local agencies, non-governmental organizations and local producers could provide the human resources needed to start working on the relational offer system. An investment is required in local education, in the training, and the development of skills at all levels to win this challenge in order to give input to integrated relational tourism. This implies the training of people already employed in the tourism industry, both in the public and private sector and of a stock of potential employees. Also the local community must be trained on what is implied by this new concept of tourism that often overlaps with areas not directly engaged in the traditional tourism industry. Training initiatives It is possible to undertake a series of formative actions according to the various users. > Sensitization Campaigns for local communities


The local community has a key role in building Integrated Relational Tourism. Consequently the local government, through the local agencies, requires a certain degree of skill development in order to increase the understanding on this new concept of tourism. Workshops for the local community should be set up in order to create know-how and prompt inhabitants in consultations and in sharing the decisional processes whenever initiatives involving the local communities are organized and developed. The local community participation can also help maintaining the genuineness in every initiative undertaken by the public agencies. Moreover the production and the distribution of informative material would favor the increment of IRT comprehension within the local community. > Student Education and formation Teaching tourism in primary and secondary schools can help to give rise to know how on this important economic sector. Teaching games and activities could facilitate the learning process and help understand tourism among students in an early education phase. This could include a series of teaching resources to be used during lessons or recreation times. Children activities that put together ‘playing’ and ‘education’ could be introduced like, treasure hunts. This way several aspects of tourism, connected to history and culture in particular, could be introduced to the children through animation. These initiatives could be arranged by the local Education Boards and/or Agencies. Moreover, Integrated Relational Tourism can be introduced among young people and the future entrepreneurs undertaking post-secondary level education in Tourism Institutes through the development of or specific IRT modules. At last, masters or MBA could be offered on IRT specializations.

Tourism institutes can have an important role in skill development through the construction of an informative skill program. Such programs could include the formation of an IRT website that works as a platform for networking and e-learning. A distance training program (DTP) can be built so to include an instruction handbook; its main purposes would be: Training public agency staff on this new concept of tourism and at last promoting and supporting IRT plans; Educating micro-operating, small and medium businesses (SMB) (Italian: PMI) in every locality on the fundamental aspects to carry out IRT plans and/or activities. Joint seminaries and focus groups can be proposed to local businessmen and public officials. These would facilitate the dialog among the various participants and the creation of synergies among tourism operators. Such initiatives aim at keeping ties among the local inhabitants, the entrepreneurs and the public officials, who would benefit from the positive experiences of full participation and from the commitment of all the tourism workers. > Spreading understanding and information


goals and actions of the marketing plan

> Training for employee, local and smalls tourism businessmen

E-learning modules developed by Tourism Institutes would act as platform to spread IRT on a wider consumer area. Moreover the available IRT tools would be supplied through a better interface. For example, the know-how generated through GIS mapping could be exploited for an interactive website, easy to use as to supply detailed information on every aspect of the local culture. This type of platform could interact on request with portable telephones or similar equipments, for a total territorial informative interactivity. > More training for tourism workers Other training programs, supported by the local governments and public agencies, could be addressed to tourism operators. These programs could be distributed in the form of: - Educational workshops in different zones; - Thematic Seminaries on the sector; - Seminaries/workshops between Malta and Sicily.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

Such initiatives could be useful to consolidate communication and ties among workers. Moreover the workers could share experiences and benefits from the socalled best practices for IRT plans. Also the trans-customs workshops would further build up bonds and exchanges between Maltese and Sicilian businessmen. The IRT tourism leaders both in the private and the public sector, can offer entrepreneurial counseling to small businesses, for example by assisting them in setting up packages for suitable IRT products or supporting small businesses in pinpointing potential resources and in transforming IRT in market opportunities. They can also supply indications on how to develop marketing projects. For such a purpose, the tourism leaders could prepare a reference framework and make it known among the workers. > More sensitization campaigns addressed to the different stakeholders IRT education, training and sensitization campaigns could be developed through a multimedia approach (including along a set of texts, audio, visual tools, DVD and animations) able to cover a vast area, including local workers and communities. Educational material could be printed in order to promote greater understanding. Active workshops, seminaries and training courses promoting IRT would ulteriorly support the communities, the initiatives and the others stakeholders in developing competitive products. 5.4.3 The informational system The success of IRT development depends on the ability of the local operators to optimize the present resources and competences. This implies that a system promoting these relations could be created in such a way to allow continuously and effectively passing on information, both inside and outside the system. However initiatives finalized to create and to support informative flows must be planned and


this is the main objective of the marketing initiatives in and out the system. > Inside Marketing Inside Marketing is an important IRT implementation tool, since it favors communication and synergy among all the stakeholders. IRT success depends on setting up working interactions and strong bonds among the interested tourism operators. It takes a remarkable effort committed to the alignment, the motivation and the empowerment of every operator to manage the dynamics inside the tourism reality present in Malta and Sicily, in order to give satisfactory experiences to relational tourists. To assure coherence to such relational tourism experiences, the inner marketing must be willing to put in action the following:

This path passes necessarily through the constant involvement of operators, both in Malta and in Sicily, through constant dialog and meeting programs, information exchanges and involvement. Some of the initiatives that can be proposed for the inner marketing are listed below: - web platform applications A website can be used to allow a steady information flow to all the parties involved, since it can provide one of the best inside marketing platforms among the regional, national and international operators. The web promotes communication learning processes and an unbroken and quick information exchanges. Among the web tools that can be used Intranet and/or an inside website could provide the following: > > > >

E-learning Programs; On line Events; Expertise Community; Subject Forums and e-commerce exchanges.


goals and actions of the marketing plan

> Constantly develop and promote processes with relational characteristics inside the system; > Align stakeholder behavior to IRT concepts; > Motivate (empowerment) interested tourism operators in a stable and continuous way promoting both formal and informal communication among themselves; > Supply specific information on everyone’s role (role-specific) reminding and spreading good procedure examples; > Strengthen the ties between local and international tourism operators, increasingly based on unique and continuous relationships, so to make them last with renewing confidence.

Intranet and websites can build a virtual community within the net, allowing users to work in a faster and more collaborative way. In principle, IRT helps to form personal relationships between the visitors and those who offer determined services in vacation premises. These tools work particularly well for relational tourism, since those travellers who are independent and particularly close to relational tourism use the new communication and information technologies. In this case, Internet becomes the main tool to communicate with independent travellers who want to experience tourism in a different way and are constantly searching news in order to organize their journeys. The second reason why Internet is suitable for IRT consists in its entrepreneurial nature. Since, in principle, IRT is a new form of tourism that involves in its productive dynamics both micro and small businesses in the tourism and accommodation sector, Internet can become a way to give shape to “domestic’ nets for inner and outer marketing initiatives. Also, it must be considered that working on the web and using Internet as a marketing tool decidedly costs less than working with traditional tools. Moreover the current trends in using Internet, with tools like Web 2.0, with social communication websites like Facebook and MySpace, multimedia contents set up by consumers like YouTube and Flikr and specific contents generated from tourism consumers like, can be exploited by local micro and small businesses to raise interest towards their own products/services. Furthermore the application of these technologies allows businesses to exploit the software for inside marketing reasons by saving and updating data banks on offers, supplying information on activities (business intelligence) and on the market (market intelligence). This way the inside management platform of the system would allow businesses to develop competences to mutually support each-others and keep in contact with important institutions.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

> IRT Informational Material for local workers The production of informational material explaining the concept and the opportunities associated to IRT is important to increase the understanding for those operators who want to set up a local Tourist Offer in relational terms. Ideally this material should be available in paper and electronic format to be sent to specific sectors: businesses, public tourism agencies, local communities and tourists. It should contain the IRT principles and the main working outlines to work according to IRT concepts. At last, the possibility to join a specific product club should be given to those manifesting interest in this initiative. > Market Intelligence Market Intelligence, that is understanding the market, is necessary to acquire data on the profile, the behavior, the expectations and the satisfaction levels of the ‘relational traveller’. Measurements of the integrated relational tourism performance to monitor the relationality level required by the customer are also needed. Generally tourism public agencies, competent in the above-mentioned task, carry out these surveys.


> Outside Marketing As far as the relationships with the international markets are concerned, marketing has a determining role for IRT since it is oriented to give shape, consolidate and maintain long-lasting and stable relationships between relational travellers and local operators. These aspects are also mentioned in the relational marketing concept, based on a new viewpoint highlighting the role of the relationships between businesses and markets. This type of marketing is most apt for IRT workers since it facilitates integration among workers and between workers and relational travellers. Turning to the marketing initiatives, it can be sustained that relationships with the travellers can also be undertaken through the use of the classical marketing tools, with some changes with respect to traditional tourism marketing. Advertisement and public relations represent the two communication tools used in marketing campaigns to develop recognition, understanding, interest and motivation among the addressees of the messages. > IRT Communication through the MEDIA

> IRT Communication through the WEB Internet advertisement is one of the most exploited instruments mainly because independent tourists use the web widely. The opportunities offered by the Net are infinite and comprise advertising nets, advertising banners and ppc advertisement (pay for click), just to mention some. Concerning Malta the website and the sites of the respective local tourism agencies and businesses can be set up to promote IRT concepts and opportunities in Malta, while specialized workers have the possibility to link theirs own websites to those of other local and international operators. Concerning Sicily the Region website (, can be adjusted to communicate new tourism offers based on the concept of relationality, favoring diffusion and recognition in the market and to the other operators. > Information and advertizing material The e-Brochures on web are the equivalent to the traditional brochures. They can


goals and actions of the marketing plan

Internet advertisement is the fastest growing system at the moment, in spite of the predominant role still occupied by printed advertisement. The main advantage of advertisement and advertising articles on printed magazines consists in reaching a specific public seeking detailed information and suitable informational sources to program their journeys as independent tourists. People expertise and the micro centralities present in the vacation sites and the predisposition to make rich, intense and real relationships with the travellers are the main messages to be communicated. This is very useful to IRT since editorial articles addressed to relational travellers, mainly on Internet and specialized magazines, are able to provide information difficult to communicate through other tools.

be sent to potential and habitual customers via email in an instantaneous way, eliminating printing shipment and administration. The production and the distribution of e-communication tools could be useful for IRT outer marketing processes. Moreover, the production and the development of detailed interactive maps become necessary to communicate to travellers the available IRT offers in the various territories. For its nature, IRT demands an extremely specific and selective approach to marketing, which makes promotions, prices and product and/or service distribution easier and more effective. It is also the key factor for the success of micro and small businesses, on condition that operative projects for joint marketing are set up.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

5.5 Recommendations Integrated Relational Tourism develops when within the market new models of tourism emerge. Models like sustainable tourism, responsible tourism, the tourism of the historical centers and nautical tourism, take shape and align to the increasingly pressing will of a traveller that demands forms of genuineness built through relationships with the territory and with the people living on it. The tourist today is much more aware, so much as to ponder on the very same meaning of the journey. Such thoughts and considerations have clear implications on the way of planning the holiday and acting in order to gain immediate gratification through the ritual of the journey –fundamental characteristic of the contemporary tourist. Most of the interviews gathered in the course of the PRISMA survey, showed that in Malta and in Sicily the tourists present in some areas scarcely visited by mass tourism wanted to be independent in their travel habits and they meant to know and to visit territories and people with a certain degree of autonomy and freedom. This market trend must be associated to the main IRT purpose that is to conserve and improve the natural and cultural resources, favoring the socio-cultural exchange between tourists and local populations. Nowadays proposals for farm holidays, ecological truism, hiking, cultural tourism and much more have increasingly consolidated in many islands of the Mediterranean. IRT is another form of sustainable tourism finalized to the promotion of rural and/or cultural tourism in the internal territories. The main objective of IRT is to develop ‘quality’ attractions like tours in small centers, coastal cities and historical areas. The main strategy is to make people participate, allowing them to integrate and promote their local cultural resources. The residents have an important opportunity; they can let their own culture be known by catching the occasions coming from tourism. Examples of this new way of organizing tourism are today experimented with success in Sicily in the territory of Val D’ Anapo. The creation of a tourism offer system of the relational kind could be realized jointly between Malta and Sicily on condition that there be a system of governance adequate enough to manage this process. At the local level, the ‘base work group’ must be able to offer great opportunities in order to elaborate new initiatives. The group members, together with the representatives from the private sector, should actively participate to carry out the op-


erative plan whose guidelines have been shown in this relation. The practical organization of the base work group must be committed to motivating the local community to seek new forms of innovation, to stimulate team work and to use the local know-how, actively promoting identity sense and the proper cultural planning. This way the town or the city acts as place of exchange for the local culture among the community, the businessmen and the tourists. IRT offers possibilities in the diversification of the cultural tourism product, on condition that the local community is in the position of having a full understanding of its own local culture, and that it is able to truthfully transmit it to the visitors.

The communication initiatives actively promoting IRT must be undertaken at the local level and directed outside the Sicily-Malta system. The way to spread information concerning IRT, through mass media, or other communication systems, must clearly contain recommendations concerning people involvement –an important IRT prerequisite. The media can turn out to be very useful for this type of plan. It is worth taking the time to consider in depth the use of the media in IRT promotion and sensitization campaigns: their concrete use, above all of the radio, TV and digital mass media (that is Internet) can result indispensable at the launching stage. Moreover, complementariness between the media and other promotional initiatives is equally crucial. If mass media were ever to be used, customized channels should be used. As pointed out before, it is necessary to establish contacts with traditional leaders so that they can accept the ideas of the program. The challenge is to elaborate a communicative strategy well adapted to the new IRT development philosophy. The media can be very effective in recognizing IRT and in promoting new skills and know-how at the community level. Such an intuition is simple as well as fundamental and the fact that promotional activities can produce good outcomes should be emphasized. At the same time, communication represents an indispensable tool in order to change.


goals and actions of the marketing plan

Participation is an important element for IRT promotion in Malta and Sicily. This means that the base work group must be actively involved in decision making. In order to achieve sustainability in tourism areas it is fundamental to coordinate the strategies of the various organizations and the various participants at the local and regional level. Therefore it would be worth taking the time to consider well the preliminary conditions to launch the IRT program. Without the active participation of the hosting community in the planning process, IRT strategies cannot be effective and the base work group cannot produce results. Therefore stimulating people motivation and interest in IRT is fundamental at the launch phase. The local action group (LAG) in Val D’ Anapo, Sicily should guarantee the social and economic development of the area through local community participation. This mechanism stresses the participative approach in order to promote native production, through the cooperation of various subjects, both at the public and private level, and by establishing an overall grasp of the potentialities of the local resources. Therefore the governance system in Val D’ Anapo guarantees an active participation to achieve the development of a form of sustainable tourism.

Through IRT the local community has the opportunity to: - invest in a new sector; - be stimulated to creatively develop new products; - produce income growth; - eceive customised, competent and technical assistance. Then this new tourism perspective must begin with the understanding that changes in a community involve the participation and the empowerment of the local residents.

goals and actions of the marketing plan

IRT allows to employ a great deal of resources to measure the results of specific programs. This means that appraisals can be made on small scale as a program for common action is being developed. By extension, therefore, it can be expected that the IRT strategic guidelines between Sicily and Malta be followed by an operation plan able to delineate for both islands the action map to be followed for new forms of tourism centered on Integrated Relational Tourism.



A very hearty acknowledgement, for the key contribution to PRISMA Project, to all the Functionaries of Public Administration, both from Sicily and Malta, who participated to the (In)formation programme of the project, taking part – in the bargain – to the preparatory and intermediate focus groups of the research: Concetta Monia Amato – Town of Licata: Finance and Planning Department Pietro Caruana – Industrial Development Area: Palermo Angelica Caspanello – Town of Roccalumera: Europe Office Giuseppa Chiaravalle Fava – Town of Roccalumera: General Business Santo Ciccarelli – Autonomous Company of Sciacca Thermal Baths Antonino Cilluffo – Town of Terrasini: Europe Office Davide Crimi – Town of Catania: Comunitary Policies, Antenna Europe Direct Giuseppe Dentici – Regional Tourism, Communication and Transportation Department: Touristy Harbours Area Lucia Di Martino – District of Ragusa: Economic Development area Gandolfo Ganci – Regional Tourism, Communication and Transportation Department Maria Grazia Iacono – District of Ragusa: European Citizenship and Agency Internationalization Office Mario Leotta – Town of Zafferana Etnea: Town Planning Area Daniele Licciardello – Regional Tourism, Communication and Transportation Department: Touristy Harbours Area Gaspare Nicotri – Town of Catania: General Secretary Antonio Perrera – Town of Palma Di Montechiaro: Economical Development and Cost-effective Activities Area Elisabetta Piazza – Cultural and Environmental Heritages Local Authority: Comunitary Relationships Area Italia Maria Romeo – Town of Belpasso: Sport, Tourism and Entertainment Area Giovanni Salemi – Territory and Environment Local Authority: Town Planning Department Rosamaria Sanguedolce – Town of Militello: Culture, Sport and Turism Service Giuseppina Alessandra Sidoti – Town of Belpasso: General Secretary and Director Francesca Terranova – Cultural and Enviromental Heritages Local Authority: Planning, Restoration and Natural Sciences Department Marta Terranova – Forest Agency Department Filippa Daniela Torcetta – Town of Castel di Iudica: Sport, Entertainment, Tourism and Culture Department Rosa Vitanza – Town of Misterbianco: Public Happenings Area Francis Mary Azzopardi – Executive secretary Rabat Local Council John Boxall – Major Vittoriosa Local Council Pauline Dingli – Malta Tourism Authority Joseph Galea – President Association of Manikata Farmers Victor Gilson – Malta Tourism Authority


John Mary Magro – Executive secretary of the Association of Local Councils Joseph Micallef – Permanet Secretary of the Ministry for Gozo Mario Spiteri – Ministry of Rural Affairs Even all the entrepreneurs, both from Sicily and Malta, who took part to the (In)formation programme of PRISMA Project bringing their fundamental contribution on the dialogue within Private and Public sector and basic information and cues for this marketing plan, are given a very special thanks. Manuela Burzilleri – Spazio Sensoriale Pinella Costa Attaguile – Gusto di Campagna Stefano Gallo – Associazione Culturale Sgumma Marcel Gribling – Sicily Tourism Gabriella Gulisano – Azienda agrituristica Fondo Cipollate Salvatore Lentini – Accademia srl Concetta Militello – Ceramiche Militello Salvatore Russo – Natura Express Joseph Borg – Organic Farming Joseph Borg Millo – Agrarian Society Country Walks Mario Cardona – President Manikata Agrarian Community Lino Farrugia – PSK Limited Stephen Galea – President Viticulture Association Joan Gilson – Artisan Arnold Grech – Bee producer Aaron Rizzo – Marsovin Winery Gerald Vella – Secretary Viticulture Association For the steady technical and administrative assistance, a special thanks is given to the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Interreg IIIA Italia-Malta Programme, in particular to doc. Loredana D’Arrigo and doc. Angelo Strano.


Prisma UK  

Researchers ClaireBriffaSaid TaniaSultana ARCESUniversityBoard-Palermo MaltaTourismAuthority InstituteofTourismStudies-Malta Vice-president...

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