Sustainable tourism

The Adamello Brenta Nature Park is committed to promoting a type of tourism which is both sustainable for the areas involved and attractive for the market. It is based on three principles:
  • The participation and active involvement of all parties with interests in the tourism district
  • Protection of diversity and therefore the safeguarding of existing motives for tourism;
  • Promotion of diversity, namely the discovery and invention of new opportunities for tourism.
The Adamello Brenta Nature Park has been strongly committed to sustainable tourism and associated issues from the 2000-2005 legislature until the recent signing of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. This tool provided the Park with a positive experience of dialogue with the local community, with whom it identified a joint strategy for sustainable development. Dialogue between the Park and the tourism sector is almost obligatory, given that the protected area includes three of the most important winter tourism districts in the Trentino (Madonna di Campiglio-Pinzolo, Andalo-Molveno and Folgarida-Marilleva), together attracting a quarter of the province's entire flow of tourists each year. It is becoming ever more a mass tourism pattern, with seasonal peaks of very high numbers concentrated in limited areas. The Park's efforts are aimed at promoting different ways of offering tourism and enjoying a holiday in the mountains.

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism
The Adamello Brenta Nature Park signed the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism on 23 September 2006 in Oxford. After the Monti Sibillini and Alpi Marittime parks, the Adamello Brenta Nature Park is Italy's third protected area to obtain this important certification, confirmation of the validity of the work carried out since spring 2004 by the protected area and "its" 38 municipalities and more than 50 local partners to define a sustainable tourism policy.

What is the Charter?
The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST) has been drawn up by the EUROPARC Federation, a politically independent pan-European organisation of management authorities and specialists from more than 400 national protected areas in more than 35 countries. The European Charter reflects world-wide and European priorities as expressed in the recommendations of Agenda 21 and represents the obligatory reference point for a tourism policy in the European Union's protected areas. The ECST is above all a procedural tool to define guidelines and correct procedures for encouraging a type of tourism which is both sustainable for the protected areas and attractive for the market. The Charter's ambitious aim is to make park managements, municipalities in the protected area, local tourism service providers and tour operators dialogue together in a joint project. It is a real challenge. Signing the European Charter enables the area to harmonise and develop the various types of economic activity present and guarantee an adequate quality of life for local residents.

The specific significance of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST) depends on the natural and human characteristics of the Park, its management and development model and the structural situation of the territory concerned. The Park decided to join the ECST on the basis of three considerations:
  • In areas exposed to heavy environmental stress deriving from skiing infrastructure and associated building    development, concern for the environment is now so intense that it has become necessary for the responsible institutions to intervene. In the minds of local residents, the environment as a resource has therefore become something which requires safeguarding and the Park must take great care not to disappoint this expectation.
  • In areas where the pressure from tourism is lighter, the Adamello Brenta Nature Park is seen as a possible promoter of development. Residents are proud to have a chance of making their still largely unspoilt nature a potential product for promoting tourism. In these areas, the Park is therefore seen as a great opportunity and this role does not meet with resistance from the other existing tourism promotion and          development institutions.
  • Before initiating the Charter procedure, opportunities for dialogue between operators and the Park were infrequent and the Park's communications activities were addressed mainly towards initiatives for tourists. In other words, considerable energy was invested in communicating with the end user, without considering    certain forms of indirect communication which could heighten awareness of the Park among operators and local residents. The way in which the Park communicates with hoteliers and other tourist service providers does not induce the latter to actively promote organised initiatives among their customers. Direct contact with providers could on one hand improve legitimisation of the Park and, on the other, reach customers indirectly.
These reflections suggested the need to define a sustainable tourism policy. It is also part of a park's work to improve tourism management by encouraging good sustainable development practices. The Park cannot escape dialogue with the tourism sector which represents the main socioeconomic growth factor for many municipalities in the area, with great potential for supporting traditional economic activities and improving the quality of life for residents. Tourism is also a valuable tool to make large numbers of people (from visitors to residents, tourism service provides and the institutions) more aware of the need to respect the environment.  


The primary objective the Park set itself by subscribing to the ECST was to work together with local stakeholders towards more sustainable tourism development in the area, taking account of the environmental, social and economic impacts which tourism can generate and at the same time considering the needs of visitors (current and potential), businesses, the environment and local residents. This type of policy required consolidation of the Park's role as an active participant in local tourism policy and development of forms of cooperation and co-planning between the parties involved. To define its policy, the Park committed itself to achieving the following objectives:

  • to identify the stakeholders and survey the local resources according to the logic of the tourism sector
  • to define tourists and visitors to the Park according to their behaviour, lifestyles and spending power
  • to verify that the Park's tourism offer was in harmony with the main principles of the Charter
  • to promote forms of co-planning and partnership between the various socioeconomic stakeholders active in the Park area, in harmony with the principles of the European Charter
  • to identify five-year development guidelines for sustainable tourism, an action programme and the procedure to follow
  • to indicate potential sources of financing at local, regional, national and European Community level
  • to prepare a communications tool to make the policy adopted by the Park accessible to and supported by stakeholders and to play a role in internal and external marketing.