Etna, "Unesco effect": increased tourism flows by 49 percent

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The world of research, the associations between wineries, accommodation and restaurants, administrations, the testimony of wine producers and tour operators, the contribution of operators from Trentino and Tuscany. Also this year ViniMilo, through the mayor of Milo, Alfio Cosentino, gathered institutional and private actors around a table, in two meetings open to the public and very participated, to talk about enotourism and sustainable development of Etna. A site that, as Agata Puglisi (Parco dell'Etna, also present with the volcanologist Salvo Caffo) explained, "with the entry into the UNESCO Heritage List (2013) within three years saw an increase in tourist flows by 49% (148,536 arrivals in 2016, while in the previous three-year period 2011-2013 it was down by -16%: 82,946 in 2013) ". "The profile of the typical tourist who goes to Etna – he said – is that of a sportsman (also a cycle tourist), a lover of nature and trekking, excursions (paths and route to the summit craters) and outdoor activities in the mountains ". Every year in Italy, wine tourism travelers are about 14 million: "A true heritage – emphasized Paolo Corbini, of the 'Città del vino' association – both because through wine a territory is told, and because it is about tourists with high spending power and who move out of season, allowing companies to seasonally adjust the activity ".

Gina Russo, president of the Etna Wine Roads, an association between wineries, food producers, restaurateurs and small hoteliers, who in recent months has activated an app to report the horrible microdiscariche in the Park, illustrated 'Crossing Etna': "A project of communication that involves tour operators and the Italian and foreign press to get to know the offer of Etna and the companies of its territory where, in collaboration with the FCE, we also organize tours on historic trains, from Riposto to Randazzo with various stops and visits to the cellars ". The Emblematic community project, on the other hand, has been concluded by the Gal Etna Alcantara, as explained by the referent Martina Indelicato: "We have carried out an eco-itinerary, 'The path of the brooms and vineyards', which goes from Nicolosi to Castiglione, and includes various naturalistic and gastronomic stops. We will present it in the fall on Crete, together with other European partners, including the University of Barcelona ”. Francesco Antoniolli (Trentino Wine Roads) told how they managed to aggregate small villages, cooperatives and individual producers, bringing together all the events and offerings under the aegis of the Viaggi del Gusto. For its part, the Department of Economics of the University of Catania is monitoring the companies of Etna in terms of environmental sustainability, as reported by the teacher Agata Matarazzo: "It is fundamental, for a solidary and credible image, to build a business healthy over time, accessing new capital and new markets, reducing costs, waste, environmental risks and protecting landscape and cultural resources ".

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