Regione del Veneto - U.O. Sistema Statistico Regionale
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Statistical Report 2013
Chapter 8

Transformation and development of tourism and cultural trends

Tourism demand necessarily transforms following changes in people's disposable income and the amount of it they invest in leisure time activities; at the same time, tourism demand also transforms following changes in the habits of individuals and families, most notably the tendency to replace a long holiday period with shorter holidays or out of town weekends. Next to behavioural reactions closely related to this particular period of crisis, duration of vacation stays has gradually and continuously reduced over recent years. In the case of Veneto's tourism destinations, the habits of Italians have changed more markedly within little more than a decade, reducing on average by 2 nights their seaside and lakeside stays, and almost by 3 nights their mountain and spa stays. (Figure 8.1)
In the course of a decade, tourist arrivals in our popular resorts have generally shown a growing trend, which reached its all-time high in 2012 for the lakeside and art cities, and in 2011 with regard to the seaside, spa, and mountain sectors. Attendance, which instead indicates the number of overnight stays, generally shows smaller variations and also reached its record in 2012 for art cities and the lakeside, and in 2011 for the seaside, while in our mountain and spa resorts it has been declining, with its last peak being in 2001. (Figure 8.2)(Figure 8.3)
In addition to coping with growing global competition from emerging Countries, among the challenges that lie ahead, European tourism is facing reduction of season based demand. The current tourist flow seasonal distribution, with a high concentration in the months of July and August, does not only affect revenue: a flow more equally distributed throughout the year would lead to better use of existing infrastructure and staff, which would in turn lead to greater job stability. The European Commission (Note 1) sets the goal of 'facilitating a voluntary tourism exchange mechanism among Member States, making it possible to travel in particular for certain key groups such as young people, the elderly, people with reduced mobility and low-income families, especially during the low season.' (Figure 8.4)
On this front, in order to summarise the current situation of tourism in Veneto with reference to that of 2000, the concentration ratio of tourist arrivals during the months of the year (R) was calculated. This shows the gap between the actual distribution and a perfectly equal distribution of monthly arrivals and takes values ranging from 0, the minimum value indicating no seasonal demand (no concentration of arrivals), to a maximum of 1, the theoretical extreme value that would be achieved if all the tourists arrived in just one month (maximum concentration) (Figure 8.5)
The flow of tourists who chose to spend their holidays in Veneto was characterised by a strong seasonality, especially due to the attraction exerted by the seaside and Lake Garda in the summer and spring, but in the space of twelve years there has been a slight overall improvement. This is because the flows were slightly more equally distributed throughout the year for the lakeside, mountains and spas, while trips to the seaside concentrated even more around the warmer months.
The distribution of tourist flows occurring by year's end depends not only on the type of offer, but also on the attraction exerted by particular events: festivities. By comparing the number of tourists accommodated in our facilities over the past year with the pre-crisis situation, we see that there has been an increase in arrivals in each festive period we analysed (Note 2): Mardi Gras (+6.6 %), Easter (+6.9 %), Ferragosto (mid-August national holiday,+12.6 %), Christmas (+21.5 %). Going into more detail, all destination types had large increases in mid-August (sea +7.3 %, city +15.5 %, lake +19.8 %, mountain +22.8%). There was a strong increase in arrivals in the art cities (+30.9 %) and in the spas (+37.2%) for the Christmas holidays, while in the mountains arrivals fell by 1.1 %. Arrivals increased in the art cities of Veneto also for Mardi Gras (+13.4 %) and Easter (+17.4 %).
It is noted that during the holidays the national component was much more important than for the rest of the year. In particular, the number of foreign tourists decreased significantly in each municipality, allowing then more space to national tourism, with the exception of Venice, which is always visited by a mostly foreign tourist flow (86.3 % of the arrivals recorded in 2012). For example, Italian guests in Lazise, Peschiera and Castelnuovo del Garda, who generally accounted for respectively around 28 %, 42 % and 30 % of arrivals, were about half of the customers during the Easter holidays. Domestic tourism surpassed foreign tourism also noticeably in Jesolo during the week of mid-August (63.4 % versus 42.4 % for the full year). Italian tourists in Verona accounted typically for 39.8% of arrivals, but their numbers reached 54.7 % for Mardi Gras and 57.6 % for Christmas. Italians staying in overnight facilities in Cortina rose from the 59.8 % average annual to 75.7 % in the Christmas period, and from 75.8 % to 85.3 % in Falcade.

Figure 8.1

Average overnight stays (*). Veneto - Years 2000 and 2012

Figure 8.2

Index number (*) of tourist arrivals by district (base year = 2000). Veneto - Years 2000-2012

Figure 8.3

Index number (*) of tourist attendance by district (base year = 2000). Veneto - Years 2000-2012

Figure 8.4

Tourist arrivals by month and district (millions). Veneto - Years 2000 and 2012

Figure 8.5

R concentration ratio of tourist arrivals by district (*). Veneto - Years 2000 and 2012

8.1 Where foreign tourists hail from: confirmations and recent developments

Tourism in Veneto is made up mainly of a foreign flow that accounted for about 65 % of arrivals in 2012. The growth of international tourism has recovered after a period of stagnation in recent years and now makes up for the decreased number of Italians spending their holidays on our territory. Foreign tourist flows are evidently important for our economy. In fact, in recent years there has been a steady increase in spending by foreigners who stay in hospitality facilities for lodging, meals, visits to museums, souvenir shopping, transportation within the town visited, etc. (Figure 8.1.1)
The trend of tourist flows in the Veneto region reflects the economic situation of their Countries of origin: the decrease in Italian tourists (-8.7% attendance), who together reduced their presence also in hospitality facilities abroad (-1.2 %), was clearly due to the contraction in their incomes, while there was an increase of tourists from Countries where the economy held despite the crisis. We note first the increase in tourists from Germany (+2.6 % attendance), the Netherlands (+5.3 %), England (9.3 %), Switzerland (4.8 %), the US (+0.6 %), and Denmark (+10 %), while the Spaniards (-20 %), Portuguese (-11.1 %) and Greeks (-32.2%) dropped rapidly. In some cases, the attraction exerted by the various types of holidays changed over the years. Germans and Austrians, traditional aficionados of our beaches, have been paying greater attention to our lake and art cities: the cities gained 4 percentage points with German tourists, and Lake Garda earned 3 points with Germans and 5 more with Austrians (Note 3). Swiss tourists, traditionally mostly attracted by our art cities (39 % of arrivals), have consistently increased their attendance in lakeside towns and resorts since 2000, increasing by 8 percentage points up to today.
The so-called BRIC (Note 4) areas also continued to climb. Expected to drive significant growth in European tourism in the coming years, they therefore now have the status of new frontiers on which to shape new promotional strategies. Russia (19.4 % attendance), China (+15.5 %), and Brazil (+2 %) this year ranked respectively in 10th, 14th and 18th place among foreign countries for number of overnight stays, gaining 13, 4 and 3 positions respectively compared to 2000. India has been showing significant increases over the years as well, thanks to which it is now in 28th place.
Our art cities were the most popular travel destinations from BRIC countries, visited by over 95 % of Chinese, Brazilian, and Indian tourists, and 72 % of Russian tourists who travelled to our region. In particular, the city of Venice, sometimes included in packages along with Florence and Rome, was a favourite destination for Brazilians (72.7 %), Chinese (41.1 %) and Russians (31.4%), while for the Indians Padua was the largest common attractor (38.7%) next to Venice (33.7 %). The relevance of these flows is confirmed by the places they occupied in the ranking of the Countries of origin by type of tourist offer. Arrivals in the art cities ranked China in 4th place, Russia in 8th, Brazil and India in 9th and 16th. Spa resorts saw Russia in 5th place, China in 6th and India still in 16th. Finally, Russia had certain relevance also for seaside resorts (11th), the lake and the mountains (15th place for both). In all these cases, the climb in the ranking is recent and very rapid: see in this respect the graphs below that show the number of positions gained from 2005 to 2012. Russian visitors love art, culture, food and wine, relax, and seek comfort; in fact, whatever the holiday, they prefer to stay in medium-high class hotels. 91 % of them headed for 4, 5 star, and 5 star luxury hotels (compared to 69% of foreigners in general) if their destination was the spa, 48.2 % if they spent their holidays in the mountains (versus 17.2 % of all foreigners) and more than 30% if they visited our beach or lake resorts (15% for foreigners in general). (Figure 8.1.2)
Beyond the BRIC areas, we have noted the rise also by Czechs and Poles in the foreign tourism ranking for the beach resort sector. They have sometimes contributed to growth more than traditional tourists have: within seven years, the Czechs have moved from 9th to 3rd place, the Poles from 12th to 8th. The same trend has also been noted for the towns of Lake Garda, which have additionally seen a sharp increase of Israeli tourists in the last few years, reaching 13th place.
The Poles have also become relevant for mountain tourism, ranking third among foreigners, although Italian tourists (71.3 % of arrivals) were by far the most numerous. The Dutch and Swedes have settled recently in 5th and 14th place, having shown positive albeit still limited contributions over the years. The strong attraction exerted by our spa resorts on BRIC countries was accompanied by a growing interest by Israeli customers that only last year moved from 18th to 7th place in the foreign tourism ranking.
We need to remember that what motivates people from all over the world to stay in Veneto's tourist facilities is not only leisure and tourism in their most canonical sense, but also business, visiting friends and relatives, religious reasons, health care and rehabilitation services, etc.

Figure 8.1.1

Percentage variation of spending by foreign tourists for overnight stays in hospitality facilities (*). Veneto and Italy - Years 2009-2012

Figure 8.1.2

Arrivals of foreign tourists by tourism district of destination and by Country of origin. Veneto - Year 2012 and comparison with the ranking of 2005

8.2 Development of niche tourism

Veneto offers visitors and residents a complete landscape to admire, experience and enjoy, which is the wealth and strength of our land and transcends the usual five tourist district classification (sea, mountains, lake, art cities and spas). A synergy between public and private is essential to highlighting all aspects of production that make us instantly recognizable, and here is the flourishing of systems that approach the market under the same flag, enhancing however the peculiarities of each participant: congress tourism, Veneto's villas, wine routes and local products routes will provide as examples. The range of offers is however constantly developing to meet the needs of a wider audience and to research the best ways to meet one's expectations:
  • The innovative regional 'Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy' project aims to enable a synergy between the national health system and the spa industry, involving resorts and spas in the network of health care and rehabilitation services. This in view of the increasingly popular niche of health tourism and October 2014, when the European Directive on the free movement of patients shall enter into force;
  • Veneto is the leader in Europe for the promotion of tourism accessible to all, including those who are physically challenged, such as the elderly, children, and pregnant women, but also those who have impaired hearing or eyesight and food intolerances. With a tourist demand that may be assessed around more than one million potential new arrivals (Note 5), focusing on accessible tourism is essential from an ethical, employment and production point of view;
  • The tradition of hospitality, this time provided for religious purposes to pilgrims, finds an opportunity to renew itself, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, by holding four 'Itineraries in the Year of Faith': the 'Way of St. Anthony,' the 'Way of the Popes' of Feltre and Belluno, the 'Great Rogations 'in the Asiago Plateau, the itineraries of faith in Valpolicella;
  • There is an increasing number of Italians and foreigners who choose bicycling to visit Veneto's extraordinary beauty and get to know it better and in a different way. Trails on two wheels in the plains, the mountains, along forest and pastoral routes with different difficulty levels constitute a source of attraction especially for tourists from Northern Europe, very interested in these type of activities;
  • Another sport on the rise is golf, which can count on 45 courses throughout the territories of all of Veneto's seven provinces; some of them are among the most spectacular in the world, and they all feature the international standards demanded by customers attentive to detail and quality. Veneto was awarded the title 'Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year 2013' among the best golfing destinations of the five continents (Note 6). This is an economic growth opportunity for allied industries evaluated in almost 100 million a year (Note 5) taking into consideration only the German, British and Scandinavian speaking markets;
  • A recent regional law (Note 7) has also regulated a new tourist offer: participation of tourists to the fishing activity and the fishermen's hospitality to those who wish to enjoy the conviviality of Veneto's maritime tradition. Fishing tourism and recreation are new proposals that may simultaneously give a strong boost to Veneto's tourism and create an additional source of income for professional fishermen along the coast;
  • The European project 'Adristorical Lands' that involves Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania, aims at the development of historical-cultural tourism on the two shores of the Adriatic, bringing to the fore realities traditionally not included, such as historic towns, walled cities, houses of artists, and historical theatres. This project intends to exploit localities that are custodians of valuable cultural, natural and landscape heritage, capable of developing significant niche tourism opportunities. Therefore, Veneto is considering walled cities such as Cittadella, Este, Monselice, Portogruaro, and Noale, as well as localities along the ancient Via Annia such as Adria, Quarto d'Altino and Concordia Sagittaria (all seats of museums), nearby places of historical and environmental value such as Chioggia and Arquà Polesine, and Venetian isles such as Torcello, Burano, and Mazzorbo.
Congress tourism
Congress tourism constitutes a particular kind of hospitality that has enriched Veneto's multi-faceted tourism even more, an important segment that diversifies and extends the activities of Veneto's tourism system operators, allowing for the organisation of meetings, conferences, and conventions, cultural or corporate meetings in convention centres, historic homes, or tourism facilities. Present in all seven of Veneto's provinces, the 'Venice Region Convention Bureau Network' was established in this context to bring together businesses operating in this sector.
Veneto offers 100 convention centres, 34 historic houses, and 212 hotels whose services provide for conferences and conventions.
The hotels are at least three stars, 74.5 % of them being large-sized 4 and 5 star-hotels with an average of 162 beds versus 69 for ordinary hotels in Veneto. Representing important attraction centres in the provinces of Padua, Vicenza, Treviso and Rovigo, these facilities took in about a fourth of the guests of Veneto's whole hotel sector in 2012, having received in each area over 40% of hotel-bound tourist flows. (Table 8.2.1)
Hotels that are also conference venues are located throughout the Veneto region, generally with a higher concentration around the provincial capitals as well as in Asiago and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The highest turnout of tourists in hotel-based conference venues was registered by facilities in the province of Venice (33 %), followed by those in the province of Padua (24.2 %).(Figure 8.2.1)
Given the motivation for their trip, guests of Veneto's convention facilities stayed on average for a shorter time than generic hotel guests did (2.1 nights vs. 2.7), and this is true of all the seven provinces. Hotel-based congress tourism attracts more of a foreign audience than generic hotels for each province, with the sole exception of Verona. (Figure 8.2.2)
Veneto's villas (Note 8)
The villas of Veneto offer new tourism destinations with top attraction value, able to increase slow tourism, i.e. that kind of tourism focused on discovering the value of the territory, excellence in its arts, architecture, and landscape along with the cultural heritage of those areas that, albeit being part of the territory, cannot be included with traditional offers to tourists. The Veneto's villas thus represent a strength for the relocation and seasonal adjustment of tourist flows.
They are a unique and inimitable phenomenon, made even bigger and famous by Andrea Palladio (Note 9), and they testify to the progress of the long peace brought by the 'Serenissima' (the ancient Venetian Republic): in a land where safety was ensured and roads and waterways, provided excellent connections, the villas were centres for agricultural, artisan, cultural, and civil economic development. They arose as workplaces, economy powerhouses, as social, transit, and trade gathering places. The official list includes 3,963 villas. They were built by Veneto's nobility and wealthy families, and the buildings and architectural complexes are scattered everywhere. 98% of the municipalities in the region are home to at least one, and there is a greater concentration of them in the provinces of Vicenza, Treviso, Verona and Padua, particularly along the Brenta river, on the way from Venice to Treviso, in the foothills in the Euganean Hills and Berici Mountains, and the plains of southern Veneto. The structure and exterior architectural appearance of these historic buildings is very varied, also due to their use at the time they were built. There are monumental buildings such as the Villa Pisani in Stra and jewels of Palladian architecture such as the Rotonda in Vicenza or Villa Piovene Lugo in Vicenza; again others were farms for the nobility, such as Villa Papadopoli in Maserada, or villas functioning as local community development centres, such as Villa Contarini in Piazzola sul Brenta.
The Veneto Region has sought to emphasize today this great heritage by bringing it to the attention of international tourism as its own well-defined 'cultural product,' thus providing the villas with an opportunity to recover an active role within the tourism industry, a real industry that creates wealth and promotes the territory. In order to perform this function and adhering to the Charter of Services (Note 10) adopted by the Veneto Region, villas owners undertake to maintain over time and based on defined standards a determined quality level of the tourism services they offer at the villas. The villas' parks and interiors may be visited following reliable procedures and timetables, tourists have the option to stay and/or enjoy refreshments on their premises with local wine and food products. 141 villas have so far joined the Charter of Services and are as a result included in the regional tourism promotion circuit. 56 of these also offer accommodation, and thus fall within the vast world of Veneto's hospitality facilities. The largest number of visitors in 2012 who have had the privilege of enjoying this particular niche offer was in the province of Treviso (63.7 %), followed by Verona and Venice (12.5 % and 11.1 % respectively). Visitors stayed on average 1.8 nights. Customers who chose Veneto's villas did so to experience a completely different reality from today's world, and they were mainly foreign (68.1% of arrivals). Visitors appreciate entering this magical world and enjoying all its aspects: aesthetic, gastronomic, cultural, etc.
Veneto has therefore made available a 'product' for tourism able to attract new visitors while increasing the quality of the region's cultural offer. This new product (Note 11) was promoted across the UK, Russia, and Germany, and will be included in Veneto's worldwide tourism promotion. Therefore, the number of Veneto's villas owners participating in this initiative will be likely to further increase, as this enhancement project grows more popular, due also to its ability to activate synergies with the hospitality business. (Table 8.2.2)
The routes of wine and local products
The kind of tourism that mixes wine, food, and certification of its offer is aimed at a still niche market dominated by specialists and enthusiasts, but also enjoys a strong and steady growth with real prospects of development despite the crisis. Here is some data that expresses the full extent of this phenomenon: 5.5 millions of Italians planned to venture in a gastronomic and wine tasting tour in 2011; spending grew by 18 % net of inflation from 2003 to 2010; average daily expenditure of 190 € per person.
The answer to the growing demand for wine tourism has transformed in the last decade and is now better organised also due to the significant role played by web-based communications, but most of all to the ability of generating offers displayed by many tourist areas. Within this context, the Veneto Region has long pursued promotional strategies for typical products based on wine tasting and gastronomy tours. Regional Law 17 of 2000 promoted and regulated implementation of the 'Wine and Local Products Routes', which visit areas valued for production of DOC (Note 12) and DOCG (Note 13) wines, as well as other protected designation of origin (DOP) and protected geographical indication (IGP) agri-food products. These Routes engage associations of public and private entities, including farms and agritourism businesses, cellars and wineries, hotels, restaurants and artisan businesses, local organisations and associations. They form trails marked by production areas and places, and offer tourists the opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural resources of the area they are currently visiting. Nineteen of these Routes have been formally recognised, most of them in 2002, the last two in 2007. Collaboration between different entities leads to an integrated promotion of tourism in the territory, which aims to get more and more support, starting from wine and food tourism, which is becoming increasingly widespread and is little affected by economics, income, and consumption. Our collective psyche probably does not see a wine tasting weekend out of town as superfluous consumption, the first to be cut down in times of crisis, but rather as a temporary escape from the anxieties of everyday life.
Facilities located in the municipalities located along the Routes have registered since 2000 a 47.1% increase in arrivals and 21.8% in attendance; more in detail, agritourism facilities went from 11 thousand arrivals 2000 to 130 thousand in 2012. The average stay was about 3 nights in both hotels and agritourism facilities. (Table 8.2.3)(Table 8.2.4)
Veneto offers timeless hospitality for all seasons in places rich in culture and nature. This is also due to the Pedemontana (foothill) area, whose integrated enhancement and promotion aims among other things at getting rid of strictly seasonal peak tourist flows, and inviting tourists any time for spring and fall weekends. Veneto has the potential for 'alternative' type tourism, discovering environments, local traditions, artisan and agricultural products, while surrounded by a precious landscape and cultural heritage, but also wine, since it is the cradle of red and white wines among the best in the world. We thus expect further increases in stays at the facilities located in the municipalities involved, which over the last decade increased especially in the province of Verona.
In recent years, we witnessed the continued strong growth and attraction exerted by the offer of agritourism, which is the best opportunity to experience the rural landscape in its many varieties, thereby fully rediscovering the flavours of the land and contact with nature.
Although the role played by traditional hospitality facilities in Veneto remains fundamental, there has been a vast increase of customers in recent years that chose agritourism facilities to spend their holidays. It is still a niche tourism chosen by 1 % of the tourists who stayed overnight in Veneto, but offers of this type have been garnering preferences at a very fast pace, having recorded in 2012 eight times the arrivals and 12 times the attendance of 2000, and an 8.5 % increase compared to 2011 . (Figure 8.2.3)
One of the primary requirements of agritourism is that hospitality is offered directly in the business premises: in Veneto, tourist lodging was the main agritourism activity in 2011, carried out by 59.3% of the 1,338 businesses, but the licenses granted over the years led to achieving a substantial balance between lodging and catering offer. In addition to getting away from the chaos of city life, guests are seduced by the food, wine, history, traditions, and civilization of Veneto's communities. Second in Italy only to Sardinia, Veneto's agritourism collectively offers 40,522 restaurant seats. (Figure 8.2.4)
44.5% of the cases, in addition or alternatively to the other services, agritourism also offers tasting experiences by administering agricultural and livestock produce that need no processing, such as milk or fruit, and / or produce that require processing, such as oil, wine and cheese.
In Veneto, the highest number of agritourism businesses (24.7%) is found in the province of Verona; however, going into details about the three main types of license, Verona retains its primacy for lodging, but Treviso features a wider range of agritourism businesses proposing catering and tasting, followed by the province of Vicenza.
37.7% of Veneto's agritourism businesses are licensed to also perform other activities in addition to the traditional three, such as horseback riding, hiking, nature observation, trekking, mountain biking, various trails, sports activities, etc. More in detail, 134 agritourism businesses also operate as educational farms, with activities that put farmers in touch with an audience of children and adults interested in discovering that style of everyday life that has been protecting the land since forever. 33.6% of agritourism businesses sells agricultural and / or food products of their own production: this activity is especially widespread in the provinces of Vicenza and Belluno, where more than half of the agritourism businesses are involved.
The Agriculture Census held in 2010 allows us to take in a more detailed picture of farms that operate as agritourism facilities, increasing the added value of the rural economy. Agritourism businesses distinguish themselves from generic farm businesses first for their greater propensity to have other sources of income connected to agriculture, ranging from the processing of vegetable or animal products and initial processing of agricultural produce to the educational farm, the production of feed, and contract work. In addition, agritourism businesses feature a higher dynamism and an entrepreneurial orientation in their agricultural connotation: not only are these businesses on average larger, younger, employing more information technology and better-qualified managers, but they also engage in a greater number of activities beyond traditionally agricultural ones, and have a greater propensity to benefit from rural development support measures. In fact, analysing the main characteristics of these businesses, we find that the owners' average age is almost 10 years less than that of the total number of farm businesses (about 51 vs. 61 years). In fact, although as much as 20 % of the total number of Veneto's farm owners are older than 75, this percentage goes down to 3 % for agritourism businesses. In addition, also almost half of agritourism owners are less than 50 years old, a phenomenon that does not reach 25 % of cases when considering the overall total of businesses. Agritourism business owners are typically also on average better educated.
The structure of the agritourism business is also different and definitely more geared toward entrepreneurship: almost a quarter of agritourism businesses exist under the legal form of simple proprietorship, a percentage that in the overall total of businesses is stuck at 5%. In addition, their average surface area is larger by almost 4 times: 31.6 hectares against 8.4. This surface area is much more often rented than owned: 70% of Veneto's businesses own their lands, while for agritourism businesses this percentage is almost halved (38.8%). Information technology is present in agritourism businesses more than in Veneto's overall total businesses. Almost a third of agritourism businesses use computer equipment (no more than 5 % of the overall total of businesses do) and almost half of them (43.2 %) have a website (as opposed to 2.4 % of the overall total of businesses). In addition, agritourism businesses recur to help outside the family circle more often than other farm businesses do. In fact, for all farm businesses, 81 % of the people who work there belong to the owner's family, while this percentage drops by nearly 30 points (54.9 %) in the case of agritourism businesses. Only 5.4 % of Veneto's overall total of businesses benefited from at least one of the rural development measures in the 3 years preceding the Census, whereas this share reached almost a quarter of the total (23.8 %) for agritourism businesses.

Table 8.2.1

Conference and convention facilities. Veneto - Year 2012

Figure 8.2.1

Hotel conference facilities, convention centres, and historic houses by municipality. Veneto - Year 2012

Figure 8.2.2

Average stay of guests (*) and percentage of foreigners in congress and generic hotel facilities by province. Veneto - Year 2012

Table 8.2.2

Total villas, villas available for visits, villas adhering to the Charter of Services, hospitality facilities. Veneto - Year 2012

Table 8.2.3

Arrivals and attendance in hospitality facilities of municipalities located along the Routes of wine and typical products - Years 2000, 2005, 2012

Table 8.2.4

Arrivals and attendance in agritourism facilities of municipalities located along the Routes of wine and typical products - Years 2000, 2005, 2012

Figure 8.2.3

Index number (*) of tourist arrivals and attendance in agritourism facilities (base year = 2000). Veneto - Years 2000-2012

Figure 8.2.4

Licenses belonging to agritourism businesses. 2011 percentage share on overall agritourism businesses (*) and 2011/06 percentage variations. Veneto and Italy

8.3 Customer satisfaction of foreign tourists

Given the significance of foreign tourist flows for Veneto, foreign tourists' satisfaction is of utmost importance and deserves a special moment of reflection, especially in a period of recession in domestic consumption.
In 2011, Veneto obtained on a scale of 1 to 10 a very high overall average rating of 8.32 by foreign tourists, compared to Italy's 8.16. This rating was given at the end of a series of questions intended to assess the type of vacation and the satisfaction of certain elements, such as courtesy, environment, type of accommodation, art and culture, meals, prices, purchases, information and safety and security.
The age of the respondents, who stayed for reasons ranging from holidays, to study, religion, medical, business, etc., affects the judgment of the vacation just spent: young foreigners gave evaluations slightly lower than the average, and tourists over 65 showed greater satisfaction in absolute terms. This particular trend can be observed in those who visited both Veneto and Italy in general. (Figure 8.3.1)
Employment status undoubtedly affects what type of vacation one may have and how much money one can spend once there, and also affects tourist evaluation; higher degrees of satisfaction were reported by those with more free time, i.e. homemakers and retirees, high-level employees, and the self-employed. Slightly lower ratings, but always with absolute values that indicated excellent satisfaction, were instead provided by blue collars, temporary workers, students and finally, with slightly lower values, by the unemployed. (Figure 8.3.2)(Figure 8.3.3)
The means of transport used for travel by foreign tourists is related to the type of holiday they had, and consequently, to their satisfaction. Tourists who arrived in Veneto and in Italy on a ship or similar means expressed slightly lower ratings, while those who used a road vehicle, which allows for greater freedom of movement, gave the highest ratings.
The motivation for a trip is a further point for analysis: this factor sums up the expectations of foreign tourists and the quality of their experience abroad and as a result has a great impact in the overall assessment. Tourists who travelled for religious reasons, hydrotherapy, honeymoons, and tourism were particularly pleased. Despite a still excellent assessment, those travelling for business or for a study holiday expressed slightly lower satisfaction than those with the previously mentioned motivations, due precisely to their own motivations for staying abroad.
Satisfaction is also affected by the duration of the holiday: the usual 1-2 weeks holiday stays had the highest ratings, with an average of 8.58, while slightly lower ratings were given by those who had shorter stays, due for example to work reasons (8.16). (Figure 8.3.4)
In detail, those who visited Veneto for tourism gave an assessment that was consistently high for all types of holiday (sea, mountain, lake, art, agritourism, sports, etc.), which is due to the excellent and extensive tourist offer provided. Beach tourism was the sector with highest ratings, followed by tourism on the lake. (Figure 8.3.5)
By analysing in a parallel fashion the degree of satisfaction expressed by guests for different holiday aspects and the relative importance of each aspect, we can plot a 'priority map.' This is a matter of identifying relations in the data analysed and reporting them on a Cartesian diagram in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses on which to perform preventative assessments. The y axis shows on a scale from 1 to 10 the average customer satisfaction values for each of the rated areas, while the x axis shows a sector importance factor (Note 14). The origin of the axes is placed at 60% for both scales, so as to delimit sufficiency (values greater or equal to 60 %) from insufficiency (values less than 60 %).
Only the combination of these two pieces of information (satisfaction and importance) can identify the so-called improvement levers dictated by customer satisfaction. (Figure 8.3.6)
Looking at Figure 8.3.6, the upper left quadrant is characterised by a high degree of satisfaction, but not by significant importance, and for this, a possible task would be to enhance the sector concerned and sensitize consumers to feel it of greater importance. The requirement in the upper right quadrant represents the strengths and is characterised by both a high level of satisfaction and a high importance attributed to it. The requirement placed in the lower right quadrant, however, shows a low degree of satisfaction and a high degree of importance. The lower left quadrant is characterised by lower than average satisfaction, but tourists do not consider it too important. The graph shows the priority map with Veneto as destination for the year 2011 assessment. It is interesting to note that none of the various foreign tourist satisfaction aspects turned out to be in the critical and surveillance areas. We now turn to analysing the individual factors. Prices and cost of living recorded discreet average satisfaction well above sufficiency, and at the same time this element has a limited importance on overall foreign tourist satisfaction. It should be recognised, however, that it is the element that is nearest to sufficiency and that any more severe judgments may increase the importance of this component and take this sector into the critical or surveillance areas.
The aspects related to Art, Environment, Information and Purchasing also lie in the area of opportunity: despite having a very high satisfaction judgment, tourists consider them by less important than other aspects for the purpose of the overall assessment. We can trace back a possible explanation to the expectations of tourists visiting Veneto, who take these factors almost as a given and renowned as excellent for the destination area. Any actions should be aimed at their promotion to obtain even higher total customer satisfaction ratings.
The most decisive factors for the overall assessment are definitely Safety, Courtesy, Meals and Type of accommodation. They are the operational levers for the maintenance and improvement of current levels of satisfaction expressed by foreign tourists in Veneto.
This preliminary analysis on such important data already provides us with an indication by which to develop an appropriate strategy in order to achieve better customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty at the local and regional level. This analysis shows that customer satisfaction assessment is a powerful tool to understand tourists and be able to assess an accurate average tourist profile, thus allowing to identify any trends and changes in the evaluation of this important economic sector.
The role of individual factors in overall tourist satisfaction requires a special analysis, since providing quality service in all aspects is essential bases for a generally excellent evaluation, and taking into account the latent value of price and cost of living and the fundamental value of tourist safety and security.
The analysis of the data set regarding international tourism in Italy shows that Veneto is among the first with regard to foreign tourist satisfaction.

Figure 8.3.1

Average rating of overall tourist satisfaction by age group. Veneto and Italy - Year 2011

Figure 8.3.2

Average rating of overall foreign tourist satisfaction by type of profession. Veneto and Italy - Year 2011

Figure 8.3.3

Average rating of overall foreign tourist satisfaction by means of transportation used on departure. Veneto and Italia - Year 2011

Figure 8.3.4

Average rating of overall foreign tourist satisfaction by reason for staying in Italy. Veneto and Italy - Year 2011

Figure 8.3.5

Average rating of overall foreign tourist satisfaction by type of holiday. Veneto and Italy - Year 2011

Figure 8.3.6

Priority map: average score and importance of each sector assessment factor for foreign tourists who visit Veneto - Year 2011

8.4 Tourism in Veneto's economy (Note 15)

An evaluation analysis of tourist spending that includes all the foreign, Italian and Veneto components is essential to completing this statistical overview. To this an economic impact analysis should be added, in terms of added value, employment and imports produced by the entire tourism expenditure in Veneto in 2011, the last year for which it was possible to process direct, indirect (Note 16) and induced (Note 17) effects. According to these estimates, tourism in Veneto generated nearly 11 billion in added value and 370,000 work units, respectively equal to 8.2% and 15.9 % of the corresponding regional totals. About 34 % of the added value effects were generated by foreign tourist spending. The remainder is attributable to domestic tourism, as specified below, including private homes and induced effects.
Data sectoral impact was processed by using national accounts and the multi-sector/multi-region model developed by IRPET, both updated according to the accounting and sector classification criteria required by the new European System of Accounts (ESA 1995). This model allows the estimate of indirect and induced effects in addition to direct ones. The contribution of the tourism sector can then be measured more accurately, enhancing its capability for interaction and activation of the production system.
In addition, consistent with evaluations on a national scale, the estimation for Veneto also aims to detect the economic role of tourism in private homes (one's own, shared with relatives and friends, for rent) and to define the composition of tourist spending and related economic effects by utilising an updated inter-sector structure of the Italian economy. Finally, our adopted methodology allows for comparison with national and regional dynamics.
Tourist spending in 2011
Total tourist consumption in Veneto amounted to 11 billion euros, equal to 11.3 % of overall tourist spending in Italy. Veneto's important role in tourism is at any rate well represented on the international market, where it reached 15.8 % of the national overall total.
After Lazio and Lombardy, Veneto is the region with the most significant international component in terms of tourism consumption, equal to 44.5% of the total, while the remaining 55.5% is for domestic tourism. In this regard, tourism that takes place within regional borders deserves a more general reflection, as it may be considered a good approximation of short-haul tourism, whose role gradually increased over the years in which conditions of uncertainty in the economic environment were strongest both nationally and internationally. On a national scale, Italians in Italy spent in 2011 a good 25,782 of 66,174,000 million euros (equal to 38.9 %) within one's region; Veneto's share of residents with respect to the total number of Italians turned out to be 37%. It is however since the beginning of the decade that this element has been consolidating, probably explainable both by the motivational dynamics of demand and by the specifics of this time period, characterised by significant changes in the directions of flows and behaviours resulting from its peculiar economic and geopolitical conditions. (Table 8.4.1)
The ratio between total tourism spending and final household consumption is shown on Table 8.4.1. It finally allows us to provide a first indication on the sector's role in the regional economy: compared to the 9.9 % national average, the impact of tourism on Veneto was 12.6 %, a slight increase compared to previous years.
Comparing Veneto's indicator to other regions, it is noted that high values were recorded not only in areas highly specialised in tourism -- such as Valle d'Aosta, where at any rate the percentage rose to 41.4 %, and Trentino Alto Adige (32.4 %) -- but also in regions such as Veneto, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. Here the tourism phenomenon is certainly important, but fits within a context of very varied and solid economic productivity (respectively: 12. 6%, 15.7 % and 13 %). In the rest of the North, Piedmont and Lombardy both had a share of less than 6%, whereas in most of the southern regions the effect of tourist consumption was lower than the national average (with the only exceptions of Sardinia with 15.2 %, and Abruzzo and Puglia around the national average).(Figure 8.4.1)
Another important indicator that deserves measuring, especially for the contribution it can make to regional trade balance, is tourism balance, meaning the difference between tourism revenue and expenditure. In the case of regional economies, this balance is made up of two items, the balance of revenue and expenditure for international tourism, which then affects the balance of Veneto's foreign trade, and the analogous balance for tourism inside Italy, which is also relevant due to the trade between Veneto and other Italian regions.
Table 8.4.2 describes Veneto's tourism balance, identifying its two components. Both show a positive balance, for a total value of € +3,960 million euros, with the foreign component determining the most significant surplus, which contributed to the balance with +3,147 millions, or 79.5 % of the total. In the face of Veneto's stronger preference for Italian destinations, this result indicates the robust presence of Veneto on the incoming international market, and on the other hand, the significant interregional movement that in any case still ensured a positive balance (813 million euros). (Table 8.4.2)
Finally, the economic importance of tourism is manifested through its transversal nature, i.e., its ability to involve a multiplicity of productive sectors, through diversification and composition of the basket of tourist spending, which is broadly aligned with the national average in the case of Veneto.
Of the 11 billion euros spent by tourists in Veneto in 2011, lodging and food purchases ('Hotels and restaurants' sector) made up 51.5% of the total, a share that is in line with the estimated national average. After transportation and trade (about 21 % of the total), productive activities that confirmed their importance among others were 'Textile and Leather' as part of the fashion sector (5.2% of spending) as well as 'Other products of industrial transformation,' where purchases of handicrafts and souvenirs of various types stood out most (7.1%). Almost 4% of the spending concentrated also in the purchase of agri-food products, while another 4 % went to 'Recreational activities.'
The economic role of tourism in Veneto
The economic significance of tourism in Veneto was measured for 2011 by calculating the contribution of this sector to the national income and to employment, taking into account the effects generated through the income earned by means of tourism-based activities (Note 18). This estimate also includes economic interactions between regions, and therefore the effects produced in the Veneto economy not only by the spending inside the region, but also by the exports to other regions activated by tourist consumption in those regions.
It follows that the activation effects are quite a composite mixture of 'local' productions (especially services, food farming, and local crafts) and of products that instead have a large market and, when not produced on site, create significant import flows from the outside.
Table 8.4.3 summarises the main results, distinguishing the impacts on regional added value and employment generated by both the international and domestic components. In effect, the total value added amounted to 10.9 billion euro, 34.3 % of it activated by foreign tourist spending, and the remaining 65.7 % by domestic spending. Overall, the wealth created by tourism accounted for 8.2 % of the regional added value, compared to a national average of 7.4 %.
It is important to compare the contribution of tourism to regional added value with that of the other main sectors of Veneto's economy. Thus, we note that tourism added value exceeded by almost three and a half times that of the agricultural sector and also of the food sector. It is worth almost 3 times the wealth generated by the Textiles and Clothing sector (the downsizing of the fashion industry apparently makes for a more overwhelming comparison), it is also equal to 53 % of the income produced by 'Metal products, machinery and electrical supplies,' and 54 % of added value in the Trade sector. The recomposition that occurred in recent years within the production system, therefore, has significantly changed relative proportions. It showed on the one hand the growing role of tourism in comparison with the manufacturing sectors that have been hardest hit by the economic crisis, and on the other, the consolidation of the tourism sector compared to the most dynamic activities of the tertiary sector and, primarily Trade. (Table 8.4.3)
Figure 8.4.2 compares the effect of tourist economy in Veneto and in other Italian regions. Trentino A.A. and Valle d'Aosta emerged with percentages confirmed between 16 % and 22 %. Tuscany, Liguria and Sardinia's percentages ranged between 10 and 11 %. Veneto and Emilia Romagna, characterised by a strong and diverse economic base, had shares between 8 and 9%. Marche, Lazio and Abruzzo's rates were also above the national average. (Figure 8.4.2)
Table 8.4.4 identifies the sectors involved in the creation of tourism added value in the region and highlights the relative importance of each sector.
'Hotels and restaurants' maintained an impact of around 30% of total added value confirming their importance, while a very significant share came from sectors that only intersect with tourism. The trend, already reported on a national scale, toward a progressively lower concentration of tourism added value generated in traditional sectors has therefore been confirmed in Veneto in favour of a greater transversality.
'Renting and leasing of buildings' (15.3 %), which testifies to the importance of private accommodation, food farming (9.5 %), industrial processing products from clothing to crafts (7.7 %), and cultural activities (6.7 %) maintained and strengthened their prominent position among less directly tourism based sectors.(Table 8.4.4)
An analogous evaluation is proposed for tourism generated employment, expressed in equivalent annual work units, a measurement that eliminates the impact of seasonal and part-time employment, which exists in most of the activities in question. Tourist spending in Veneto and the commercial interaction effects produced by tourism in the rest of Italy, generated 370,000 work units in the region distributed in both the core businesses of the sector and the upstream production chains. Overall, the work units activated by tourism accounted for 15.9 % of total regional employment.
In terms of employment, however, the 'Hotels and restaurants' sector took 51% of the total employment engaged in tourism-oriented production.
Given the confirmed significance of the service sectors, there was a greater role for general recreational activities (about 9 % of the total) and the activation of the industrial sectors due to the activation effects received from other regions (about 2 %).
It is important to remember that, according to the estimates presented here, employment levels are generated as a result of tourism related spending and production components. These involve not only traditional and registered hospitality facilities (hotels, resorts, campgrounds), but also non-registered accommodations and second homes, where spending shows very different characteristics, it being composed in large part of goods such as food and furniture, as well as real or figurative rents, and also involve sectors with very high productivity levels.
It should also be noted that, according to estimates conducted recently, 370,000 work units correspond approximately to 500,000 employees, thus considering also seasonal and part-time activities.
Finally, in addition to the effects of tourism in terms of added value and employment, it is also possible to estimate the level of imports required to meet tourist consumption. This component, which is not detected by tourism balance, allows to measure the net contribution of the tourism sector. Table 8.4.3 presents the results of estimates quantifying Veneto's tourism imports as 3,729 millions (equal to 9.2 % of total regional imports), 63 % of which was generated by the domestic component.
The estimates we have presented so far clearly show that, given the strong open economy character typical of Veneto, the activation effects generated by tourist spending in one region spread out throughout the Country with the result that only a part of such activation remains within the area that supports it. Through regional exchanges, each area thus distributes a part of the effects of the spending done within its borders to the others and takes advantage from the spending incurred outside of it.
The quantification of these relationships with reference to Veneto is shown in Table 8.4.5, which summarises 'transmitted effects', 'received effects' and related balance. The first column (transmitted effects) shows, for example, that tourist spending in Veneto resulted also in € 4,396 million euros of added value in all other regions, of which 934 million, equal to 21 %, activated in Lombardy, 757 million in Emilia Romagna, and so on. The second column instead (received effects), indicates that Veneto's tourism production system was activated for 3,905 million euros by tourist consumption occurred in all the other regions. The major benefits of these effects involve Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, and Tuscany, which confirms the significant commercial interchange among these regions.
In general, the size of the two types of effects depends on the amount of spending, the strength of the regional productive apparatus, and the intensity of the trade between the different areas of the Country. Areas with limited tourism but with an evolved production system spread few effects but derive great benefits from spending fuelled elsewhere. This applies, for example to Piedmont and Lombardy, which showed a structurally positive balance.
On the other hand, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, belonging to the group of regions that are both tourism bound and economically strong, showed a structurally negative balance, which however has been gradually decreasing. In particular, Veneto recorded in 2011 a spread of economic benefits to other regions exceeding by 491 million euros the effects it received from the rest of Italy (the same figure stood at -676 million in 2010). In addition to the large amount of tourist consumption carried out in the Veneto region, the above balance can be explained also by considering the region's production system, which is strongly characterised by export-oriented manufacturing. The downsizing in recent years, however, highlighted Veneto's increased capacity to promote its typical agri-food products also before the tourist population, along with items representative of the Made in Italy, as well as of the more traditional artisan production. (Table 8.4.5)

Table 8.4.1

Tourist and household consumption (millions of current euros). Veneto and Italy - Year 2011

Figure 8.4.1

Percentage impact of tourist consumption on overall internal consumption by region - Year 2011

Table 8.4.2

Tourism balance (millions of current euros). Veneto - Year 2011

Table 8.4.3

Effects of direct, indirect, and induced activation of tourist consumption. Veneto - Year 2011

Figure 8.4.2

Percentage impact of Added Value activated by regional tourist spending - Year 2011

Table 8.4.4

Added value activated by tourist consumption demand per sector (millions of current euros). Veneto - Year 2011

Table 8.4.5

Received and transmitted activation effects (millions of current euros). Veneto - Year 2011

8.5 The governance of the tourism sector (Note 19)

The global crisis along with the emergence of new geographic areas where there is still a growing trend in the rates of trade and economic development, are causing global new structures to appear and proposing a rapidly evolving tourism industry scenario as far as demand, but also supply. A growing number of competitors in the tourism destinations supply market supported by an increasingly wide availability of low-cost carriers, widespread web tools used for research, booking/purchasing packages, services and tourism products, have a great influence on which marketing models to adopt. All this is accompanied by a general search for optimal price-value ratio. The steady growth over the past decade of the tourism industry in this international economic environment indicates that tourism will for sure continue to be a vital component in the national and regional economy, and especially in a strongly tourism-based region such as Veneto. This is why the regional authority, probably also with a soon to come new regulatory framework for the sector, will be able to utilize tools to promote 'Veneto' as a tourism brand in the world. Specific new measures will increase the quality of tourism hospitality, enhancing resources and supporting businesses not only with financial support tools, but also by raising the standards of organisational services, facilities and training levels for operators.
The new bill (Note 20) pending consideration by the Council promises the identification of a limited number (compared with the current setup) of Thematic Tours Systems (TTS). The 'thematic approach' will describe a homogeneous territory in terms of types of tourism: it will be a specialised area in terms of specific tourism resources, capable of supporting the development and promotion of a defined range of tourism products. Under the new thematic tourism, activities could be envisaged also aimed at integration and cooperation between the various institutional and private agents.
The regional authority, which has the task of multi-annual programming and annual planning of tourism development, will enable specific activities for each of these themes with the purpose of improving existing tourism resources, granting concessions for the development of tourism offer and for the support of promotion and marketing, in Italy and abroad, of the range of tourism products available.
It will no doubt be able to continue with its intent to simplify the administrative procedures, for instance by reducing to a minimum the requirements and obligations placed on businesses, thanks to the widespread use of the Certified Notification of Starting Activity ('SCIA').
Tourism e culture: new tourism service technologies
The Veneto Region (Directorate for Tourism) participated in the Tech-Tour (Technology and Tourism) project, funded by the European Commission under the CIP 2007-2013 Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme. It has been a year of activities carried out in collaboration by twelve public and private partners coordinated by Unioncamere Veneto. This project wanted to promote a series of transnational European routes based on common cultural and historical heritage, aimed at strengthening the European identity and promoting intercultural dialogue, especially between old and new EU Member States. The development of the tourism industry in the Countries involved was also encouraged by the creation of a network of professionals and entrepreneurs working in the field of cultural tourism.
Thus, 'Tech-Tour' means the use of new technologies for the promotion of routes and services offered, thereby strengthening the tourism potential of the sites concerned. Technology as an aid to enable a better and broader perception of the local context, what is being called 'augmented reality,' aiming at stimulating the curiosity of tourists along well defined itineraries, providing a guide for moving around and exploring, easily finding all relevant information through a smartphone.

8.6 Social, cultural and tourist development

A reference point for European culture for centuries, Italy today focuses its attention on the possibility of integration of two major transformation policies: on the one hand, the preservation of the past, on the other innovation and thus the production of the culture of the future. Conservation is not opposed to development, but on the contrary it is one of the new faces of innovation for contemporary society, a long-term investment. As important as the rediscovery and restoration of works of art, the management of museums and historic cities, and the recovery of the landscape are, so is the promotion of a thousand free and creative cities and villages, of artistic and other traditions reinterpreted and renewed with creativity: from crafts to food, architecture, music, and literature.
Culture means the development of creative activities not only to increase technological innovations, but also to improve the quality of life. At the same time, it is the precondition of economic progress; it is the basis for competitiveness and is closely linked to many economic activities, so as to constitute an engine of economic development that has shown vitality and capacity for growth even in these recent years of deep economic crisis. A broad sense of this term includes opera houses and museums, cultural heritage, art exhibitions, urban as well as rural culture and entertainment festivals, fashion, design, and agri-food.
The consumption and sharing of our culture has also changed its nature as a result of the recent economic and social development. Nowadays, there is a large number of Italians and foreigners who wish to savour a sip of the historical elements that make Italy unique by visiting monuments, archaeological sites and museums and admiring the landscapes, what only a restricted number of educated gentlemen were once known for doing.
A first provisional estimate from the ISTAT Census of museums and similar institutions indicates that the share of foreign visitors in the Veneto region in 2011 was 46%.
Statistics on entertainment events and the response by residents and guests were supplied by the annual Census of the SIAE. As can be seen from the table below, the types of initiatives held in Veneto in 2011 broadly reflected the range of products available in the entire national territory. Predictably, films accounted for more than half of the events; our survey included individual shows. Dancing took up another important share of entertainment, with live and/or recorded music, or bands adding the musical performance element, as is also the case for piano bar performances. This was followed at a distance by theatre, which in Veneto counted 5,571 plays, over 700 circus performances, nearly 500 ballets, more than 400 opera performances, etc.
In Veneto, considering all types of entertainment, the public's response to a range of approximately 331 thousand performances in 2011 resulted in over 23 million admissions. The attractions of traveling shows, whose share of admissions is much higher than the national average (18.5 % vs. 6.2 %), includes both attractions arranged individually and attractions installed inside water and amusement parks enjoyed by Italian and foreign children and adults alike, and in economic terms totalled 23 % of all public spending in Veneto. Spending includes not only the purchase of tickets and passes, but also the pre-sale of tickets, table reservations, cloakroom service, drinks at the bar, etc. Another important slice of spending went to cultural exhibitions (which do not include visits to museums), marketing shows and trade fairs (29.1 % against a national 8.9 %). (Table 8.6.1)
Over the years, in contrast to a decrease equal to -12,3 % of the number of shows (Note 21) offered in Veneto, we have noted in our region a growing interest from the public, evidenced by a 7 % increase in admissions .(Table 8.6.2)
Going by individual type of events, cinema houses have seen their admissions go down after 2010, when peak admissions were recorded in conjunction with the theatrical release of 3D movies. Mass and large events like concerts, sports events and the theatre over the years have recorded an ever greater audience in spite of a decreased number of shows. For theatre events, this trend showed with modern and classic ballet, variety, and circus shows. Theatre in the strictest sense, which includes plays, plays in dialect, Neapolitan theatre and literary recitals, has kept getting more and more opportunities and greater consensus (19.4 % of the shows and +6 % of admissions).(Figure 8.6.1)
Contemporary culture as a factor of transformation and regional development: two examples of good practices (Note 22)
Upgrading the area and offering original perspectives for social, cultural and tourist development through contemporary art; these are the reasons that led the Council for Culture of the Veneto Region to support a network project between two distant geographical regions: the Dolomites and the lagoon. The Veneto Region has thus been a promoter and main institutional partner of a number of initiatives since the end of 2011 and is planning activities for 2013. Simultaneously autonomous and connected, these initiatives have involved the collaboration of the Municipality of Taibon Agordino (province of Belluno) and the Municipality of Venice, with the aim of promoting specific marginal areas as opposed to the large, traditional cultural poles of attraction. This commitment meant the creation of a sort of guiding axis whose significance is cultural as well as land related, crossing the region from south to north by joining Venice and the Dolomites, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The two networked workshop projects 'Forte Marghera - Parco del Contemporaneo' and 'Dolomiti Contemporanee' represent a form of collaboration among public bodies that wanted to network ideas, initiatives, people, and programs thanks to the unifying force of contemporary art. Understood not only as artistic expression identified simply in one or more objects but as a conscious production aimed at creating further connections between different individuals, private and institutional locations, places, spaces, and areas.
In a sort of 'middle ground' between land and water stands Forte Marghera, interesting defensive architecture of the Austrian period that in the Nineties went from being military property to being publicly owned (Municipality of Venice). The land complex (an area of almost 50 hectares) is usually open all year round and is therefore a meeting place for the local population who gather here to enjoy its green spaces. Thanks to the renovation of large interior spaces and the activation of two exhibition areas, the 'Parco del Contemporaneo' made it possible to expand the potential of revitalizing the spaces with specific activities. These included exhibitions, study and research (mainly on the issues of the operation of cultural non-profit organisations and the recovery of abandoned sites), workshops, and interactions between different forms of performance art. The Veneto Region's commitment in backing those who designed and built the project was to create the opportunity for the development of a kind of incubator for innovative projects and subjects.
The 'Dolomiti Contemporanee' project was also born in 2011 with the support of the regional authority. It had such success from the outset that, after the first two editions, it crossed the regional border with the November 2012 opening of a new exhibition space in Casso (in a former elementary school closed for years after the Vajont tragedy) where the municipal authority of Erto and Casso (province of Pordenone) duplicated what may be called the ' Dolomiti Contemporanee project model.'
The strength of this model is the transformation and development of spaces. In the summer and fall of 2012, the former Taibon Agordino Visibilia Factory was transformed into an active space for socialising and tourism due to the cultural source 'Blocco di Taibon.' In those spaces, who had been closed by a decade, 70 artists from all over Italy and abroad were involved in 13 exhibitions within three months. Over 10,000 visited the project's exhibition events in locations such as the Palazzo Crepadona of Belluno and the Museum 'Regole d'Ampezzo' in Cortina besides the exhibition space in Casso. The project's mission was to act upon delocalised contexts and sites, by reactivating old complexes abandoned for years located in marginal areas of the Dolomites, and as such, extraneous to habitual venues.
The number of public and private people and entities involved in various capacities in the partnerships were about 120, many of whom collaborated with financial contributions and also by donating materials and works, thus creating a thick network spread throughout the area. This information is interesting especially considering that the project has been in the media not only as an art event but also as a device for cultural opening and productivity in the area.
Once the last exhibitions moved out, the former Visibilia Factory got a fresh start: several rent offers were launched and a number of tenants have already rented the spaces finally reopened to the public and revitalized thanks to art. Thus, the model inaugurated by Dolomiti Contemporanee sets an example of cultural productivity, capable of causing positive reactions and involving the local authorities who provided labour, materials and know-how to the realisation of the exhibitions. In this way, an open support platform has been put together for the sharing of goods, works and services within a network.
Although different, both projects focused on a strategic and operational vision of art and culture that provides for the implementation of development and incentive programs capable of producing beneficial effects, including purely economic ones, for the depressed areas and sites on which they work.

Table 8.6.1

Percentage of shows, admissions and spending by the public by activity. Veneto and Italy - Year 2011

Table 8.6.2

2011/07 percentage variation of number of shows and admissions by activity. Veneto and Italy

Figure 8.6.1

Types of events included in the 'theatrical activities'superset. Veneto and Italy - Year 2011