Dolomiti Paganella: Future Lab

Future Lab was launched to develop a balanced vision for tourism development in the Trentino region that considers both visitors and residents.

The Trentino region has a population of around 5000 people. It stands for holiday and ski resorts for which received tourists during winter, often resulting in crowds and congestion in cities. Luca emphasised the role of DMO as facilitators in the region responsible for acting between residents and the visitors in preparation for and management of the crisis.

Luca D’Angelo, Destination Manager of APT Dolomiti Paganella, presented the Future Lab project during X. Festival. The project was launched to develop a balanced vision for tourism development in the Trentino region that considers both visitors and residents.

The Trentino region has a population of around 5000 people. It stands for holiday and ski resorts for which received tourists during winter, often resulting in crowds and congestion in cities. Luca emphasised the role of DMO as facilitators in the region responsible for acting between residents and the visitors in preparation for and management of the crisis. By doing so, as Luca explained, destinations are not only seen for the sake of industry but as a living ecosystem with attention to social aspects in the area.

Luca shared two questions as primary initiatives for the Future Lab project:

“- Are we going in the direction? Or only following the flow?” The two questions summarise concerns that led to the Future Lab project, a community inspired project for Dolomiti Paganella.

Luca took us on a tour of explaining the development process of the Future Lab project:

  1. The documentary: At this stage, the community played a key role by expressing their views on the area as a tourism destination. It addressed questions on the DNA of the destination, the future generation in the area, climate change and balancing tourism.
  2. The manifesto was inspired by The Charter of Regulations. It presented Dolomiti Paganella’s vision for tourism, reflecting on the value-based relationship between the destination, visitors and the local community.
  3. The project catalogue, an operation guideline to work with stakeholders was outlined as the project outcome.

During the documentary phase, projects aimed to gather local residents’ insights about the DNA that shapes Dolomiti Paganella as a destination. With attention to the local community, the documentary phase explored how the destination can create a space for future generations to get involved in what Dolomiti Paganella offers as a destination. At the documentary stage, climate change was seen as an opportunity to balance the highs and lows of tourism between winter and other seasons throughout the year. Accordingly, balance the number of travellers to the destinations and residents more evenly.

The manifesto of the Future Lab presents a long term vision for destination management based on the information gathered during the documentary stage. It focuses on 10 principles that concern stakeholders in Dolomiti Paganella. It promotes values shared by the community for developing and managing the destination. It gives precedents to locals’ quality of life to growth in tourism and acknowledges that tourism should benefit the community. Additionally, it intends to protect the heritage of the area and sense of belonging to a region in which mountains have long influenced the lives of the community.

The charter inspired creating a catalogue of future-oriented projects. The projects aim to make Dolomiti Paganella a more evenly balanced destination for travellers and residents. The projects each at least reference one of the primary initiatives of the documentary stage questions.

Key Takeaways

1. A balanced vision for destinations acknowledges the tourism industry and actives and the local communities. Its goal is to enhance the life of the local community, minimise disruption and offer economic growth opportunities in correlation with tourism strategies.

2. A balanced vision in tourism can be achieved by engaging the locals and promoting values shared by the community in the destination management strategy.

3. At Dolomiti Paganella, the destination management strategy protects the heritage of the area and intends to promote a sense of belonging to the region and its mountain landscapes.

Published on:
November 2021
About the contributor

Luca D'Angelo

Luca has dedicated his professional life, so far, to the tourism industry. He strongly believes that DMOs need to evolve, shifting their core strategy from marketing to management.