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Albergo Diffuso,developing tourism through innovation and tradition

A new tourist is now approaching global tourist markets. The “third-generation” tourist. The “first-generation” tourist, was he who in the 60’s initially conquered the “right to take a vacation”, and who was not focused on the type of structure he was being hosted in. The “second-generation” tourist, or the “mass – tourist”, was he who was interested in standardized services and in finding everywhere in the world the same comforts he had at home. This new tourist whose relevance and presence on the international tourist markets is rapidly increasing, on the contrary, has the desire of living a unique vacation, experiencing new and different places, receiving personalized services and looking for authenticity and immerging him/herself within the local cultures, in unique situations, difficult to be replicated. He is not only interested in visiting a new place, but also in living it. The third-generation tourist wants to experience the possibility of establishing new relations, not only with the other guests of the hotel, but mainly with the residents of the locality, adding the search for warm and sincere relations to the privacy anyone of us wants when times come to relax and spend free time.

An Albergo Diffuso responds perfectly to the needs of the “third-generation tourist”. It is a particular type of hotel conceived to provide to the guests a unique experience of living a historical centre of a town or of a village. It provides all the services of traditional hotels (welcoming, assistance, common spaces, meals), although the rooms are scattered around the historical center, within a radius of approx. 200 meters from the centre and the heart of the hotel (the reception, the common spaces, the restaurant). The rooms and/or apartments are set within palaces and apartments which, being part of the historical centre, and being appropriately restored according to the local culture, immediately provide the sensation of “being local”.

An Albergo Diffuso represents also a unique development approach which doesn’t carry negative environmental impacts. To create it nothing has to be newly constructed, since it is just necessary to restore and recuperate existing houses and apartments according to the local cultural and historical backgrounds, and to network what already exists.

Often it acts as the most relevant stakeholder on the territory stimulating the local existing and potential entrepreneurs in creating new businesses associated to the increased tourist demand that it brings, mainly in the most traditional sectors such as local gastronomy and handicrafts. It promotes and manages, together with local municipalities and the other existing actors, new activities capable of re-positioning the territory on the tourist market, such as events, specific training courses in traditional sectors (local cuisine, local sport events, artisanship, etc.). New businesses are hence generated which associated to this new form of hospitality provides visitors more an experience of “temporary residents” of the area rather than that of “traditional tourists”. An Albergo Diffuso in fact, thanks to its authenticity, to the vicinity of the structures that compose it, and to the presence of a lively local community, more than a period of pure holiday, proposes the acquaintance of a new life style. This point of strength is capable alone to generate enough economic turnovers because it “de-seasonalizes” demand contributing to the emergence of new tourist destinations that usually are off the beaten track.