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Cultural and Rural Tourism: Potential Synergies for A New Economic Development Pattern. The Italian Case


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Keywords : Cultural tourism; growth strategies; agritourism; art heritage cities;

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Thanks to its important naturalistic, historical, cultural and artistic heritage, Italy is one of the countries with the greatest tourist vocation in the world. Consequently, tourism is the most important productive sector in the Italian economy, with an impact just below 12% on GDP. During the long period of economic crisis that affected the major world economies, between 2008 and 2014, some parts of the Italian tourism, including seaside for example, declined. This decline, at an aggregate level, has been however balanced by the development of cultural tourism. About 37% of external demand is attributed to expenditures for holidays in art heritage cities, representing the most dynamic part of Italian tourism. Although with more modest absolute values, agritourism and food and wine tourism are dynamic parts of the Italian tourism too and, sometimes, they are linked with cultural tourism. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the development of cultural tourism, agritourism and food and wine tourism can be a single goal of economic policy aimed at creating new growth strategies in order to overcome the effects of the economic crisis. Organizing as a single economic system the different parts of Italian tourism can be the most coherent action in order to cope with the different development needs and potentialities of Italy, whose economic system is traditionally linked to the territorial values.

Last modified: 2019-07-02 22:24:23