domenica 5 giugno 2016

SCATTERED HOTELS, A 'MADE IN ITALY' OFFBEAT EXPERIENCE


Vi propongo un articolo in inglese del 2012:
    (ANSA) - Sant'Agata Feltria (Rimini), January 10 - Italy is
dotted with hundreds of remote, sparsely populated historic
villages that have fallen into disrepair as new generations
moved to the cities to find work and live modern lifestyles.
     Enter Giancarlo Dall'Ara, a marketing professor at Perugia
University who has long been convinced that these villages, with
their medieval architecture and fast-disappearing popular lore,
are worth saving. A proponent of alternative approaches to
hospitality, who uses key words like Memory, Gift, Storytelling,
and Webs, he came up with the ingenious idea of the scattered
hotel (albergo diffuso), a simple, non-invasive and sustainable
concept in tourism. 
     Dall'Ara's notion is that rooms are scattered in different
buildings within the town, but run by a manager working out of a
central reception area, who is on hand to answer questions, make
recommendations and arrange bookings. The guestrooms are all
within walking distance of the concierge and common areas, while
traditional meals may be served at a café or delivered to
guests' rooms. This allows visitors to imbed themselves in
village life, while enjoying all the amenities of a hotel.
     Scattered hotels, says Dall'Ara, are healthy for the host
villages, because they act as social, cultural and economic
stimuli. He calls them ''drivers of development,'' because
everything is sourced on site, involving the residents and local
producers, and preventing depopulation. 
     Scattered hotels are also ecologically and culturally
sound, because they don't call for new construction, but rather,
for the restoration and preservation of centuries-old
architecture. ''Reconverting an existing room into a hotel room
is far more sustainable than building a new hotel. Of course all
renovations try to be sustainable, and to preserve the original
materials as far as possible,'' said Dall'Ara, founder and
president of the National Association of Scattered Hotels
(Associazione Nazionale degli Alberghi Diffusi - ADI). ''A
scattered hotel generates a local chain of production, keeps the
building stock viable, and brings tourists in as temporary
residents, not just visitors passing through".
    The remoteness of these villages, which once drove the
younger people away, has now become their strength, says
Dall'Ara. Here is where some of the old ways of cooking,
weaving, and storytelling are still preserved, and this cultural
wealth is the mother lode for unorthodox travelers, who yearn
for authenticity and like to move off the beaten paths. Many of
them, says Dall'Ara, are from Northern Europe and the US.
Tourist operators in Germany regularly organize stays in
scattered hotels, which are also featured in guides like Lonely
Planet and Guide Routard.
     Sardinian regional authorities first recognized scattered
hotels in 1998. Eleven years later, a UN Development Programme
(UNDP) convention in Budapest gave Dall'Ara's concept an award
for best economic growth practice capable of being transmitted
to developing countries.
     In Assisi in 2010, ADI received a prize for Italian
responsible tourism, and in London, Dall'Ara garnered the World
Travel Market (WTM) Global Award, given yearly to original
thinkers in the tourism industry. In June of this year, the
Touring Club published the first national guide to scattered
hotels.
     There are now 56 official scattered hotels in 16 Italian
regions, up from 47 in June, with 100 more in the works,
according to Dall'Ara. He added that the concept has begun to
spread abroad, in places like Croatia, Switzerland, and the
former Soviet bloc countries. His hope for the future is that
the government will take it on as a 'made in Italy' model worth
promoting.

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