We have planned this initiative thanks to the awareness that the rural tourism can represent the key factor in the integrated economic development and sustainable of the rural areas. Everything is in close connection with the activities available locally (agricultural, craft, trade, tourism etc … ), and in keeping with the spirit that gives life to the programming model and the agricultural and rural development of Regione Sicilia.
Precisely rural tourism, if conducted according to strict criteria of conservation of natural and cultural resources, thanks to its character of horizontal activity, can give new life to areas otherwise not competitive against the market dynamics and the evolution of agricultural policies, thereby fixing new and competitive marketing territorial strategies.
In the places interested in our initiative, included entirely in D area of the territory of LAG (Local Action Group) Rocca di Cerere (Agira, Aidone, Assoro, Barrafranca, Calascibetta, Cerami, Enna, Gagliano Castelferrato, Leonforte, Nissoria, Piazza Armerina, Pietraperzia, Regalbuto, Santa Caterina Villarmosa, Troina and Villarosa), we have thought about the possibility of developing a form of rural tourism linked to the use of some routes. We have referred to paths of natural interest, artistic and historical paths, traditional events of the local culture and typical products of quality.
This possibility, not supported over the years by an adequate communication campaign, aimed at promoting the territory and its resources, has determined not much notoriety and lack of growth of the visitors as well as the non-activation of those good procedures necessary to the creation of tourism services useful to strengthen the action of a socio-economic development.
The inability to make a real marketing action, like a real sale of the territory and its resources, in the absence of some actions aimed at reversing this trend, runs the risk of becoming, over time, a spiral of involutional growth.
Our initiative proposes to offer a large contribution to that fact, and then determine immediate solutions.
We have thought about a series of interventions to requalify the existing services of tourists, proceeding to the activation of innovative communication channels available directly both for Italian language users and for those ones of foreign language. We have embraced a very large and new basin, with the awareness that the identification of a niche, in the context of the consolidated tourist market, does not represent a pure utopia but a real opportunity.
We have created instruments ad hoc that can form (and not just inform) tourists and visitors in general, verifying the possibility of integrating rural tourism of the internal, the remarkable historical-architectural heritage and natural areas present.
Between these, a website and applications for smartphones/tablets, which are supports with double value: informative report and social, contemplating the possibility, for the users, to interact.
The website structured according to the principles of Web 2.0, applications developed according to criteria of simplicity and intuitiveness.
Our intention is to let them acquire the awareness of the available resources and to direct the activities of operators towards a new approach to the tourist/visitor, a precious and indispensable resource.
We can surely say that our initiative is very innovative because is not a set of activities “fallen from the top”, but actions identified taking into account the specificities, needs and opportunities expressed by territories involved by adopting an approach “from below”. A method strategically placed inside the “bottom up logic” that characterizes the L.E.A.D.E.R. approach, acronym from the French Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale (links among actions for the development of rural economies).
We are waiting for the generation of good praxis to promote a durability of the intervention over time, contributing significantly to stimulate and push the action of socio-economic development, making sure to use only the logic of quality and of the continuous improvement.