The demand is moving towards a new way of conceiving travel, one that avoids chasing all the attractions and crowded places and prefers outdoor activities, which are capable of creating connections with local people and their culture (Booking, 2020). For these reasons, and also considering the tourism potential of this area, the project has the ambition to consecrate a new travel idea, based on three main concepts:
- well-being: the research for mental and physical well-being, in its most holistic forms, that can be found in slow actions and in the ability of enjoying the moment;
- freedom: the travel becomes a means to escape from the routine and challenge your limits. Freedom of breathing, of moving, of running. Cuore di Marche strives to become the outdoors paradire of the Marche region;
- sustainability: traveling also means being mindful of and have a passion for the environment, as well as building an authentic relationship with local communities and their products.
The project identifies three transversal principles:
- Accessibility: every visitor has the physical and virtual opportunity to access the natural and cultural heritage of the area and to acknowledge its complexity – cultural permeability;
- Networks and synergies: being willing to entertain a networking strategy where all private and public parties are involved, to strengthen even more the focal features of the area;
- Transformation: the ability of the journey to transform the traveler and the community.
In a nutshell, we want to achieve the following objectives:
- Enhance the cultural and natural heritage of the area
- Perform an integration of the local services, such as cultural, culinary, craftsmanship, hospitality services
- Increase the communication, information, and tourist accessibility services through the ICT
To do this, we implement the following actions:
- The realization of the www.cuoredimarche.it web app to upload contents and information about the project, together with a DMS (Destination management system). The DMS is interactive and user-friendly and mobile-friendly, both in English and Italian. Thanks to this technology, it will be possible to access the Unione Montana cultural and natural heritage, as well as a series of local services and products connected to said heritage;
- Realization of visual and textual contents (points of interest, arts & culture, sports & nature, food & wine, hospitality, experiences, tourist bundles, etc.);
- Realization of a innovative and integrated tourist offer through a series of public meetings on the local territory, open to local tourism purveyors and other businesses. The goal is to create new contents (experiences) to enrich the tourist offer, though food & wine tastings, original workshops etc. This should enact a collaboration with local operators, also possible through the DMS software;
- The development of a virtual tourism helpdesk thanks to mentoring and e-coaching session in the sector of tourism, regarding the creation of innovative products and tourist services, marketing, promotion and internationalization. The helpdesk is a tool for all local tourism purveyors to be supported with practical guidance, information and other tools to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and their competitiveness. The virtual helpdesk is also able to support purveyors of hospitality and reception, restaurants and local farms, as well as cultural sites, local promotion organizations and all the aspiring local operators. Mentoring sessions will focus on tourist reception, experience design, online & offline communication, copywriting, pricing, marketing channels, internationalization, etc.