My role is Tourism Development Strategy Coordinator for the Monti Dauni area in Puglia, Italy. I carry out this task for Meridaunia scarl.
Meridaunia was born as a Local Action Group (LAG) to manage, as the implementer of the Leader II Community Initiative, the community funds aimed at the development of rural and marginal areas with economic development problems in the territory of the Monti Dauni Municipalities. It's mission is to be a real "Development Agency" of the territory, with an overall function of support for the development and creation of business and employment.
Meridaunia's institutional task consists essentially in the elaboration and implementation of territorial development strategies, through the involvement of the largest number of local socio-economic actors (public and private) as well as local communities.
Among my main tasks within the company structure: positioning of the Monti Dauni brand on the tourist market; creation of new products; identification of new marketing tools and channels; destination communication (storytelling); organization and management of events; marketing of experiences and packages; participation in fairs and tourism exchanges; etc ...
My main research interests concern experiential tourism, especially for niche and authentic destinations, where the visitor can genuinely get in touch with the local culture.
As an architect I am interested in cultural tourism and, having held the role of director of the first environmental experience center of the Puglia Region (in Roseto Valfortore), also in the forms of ecotourism and sustainable environmental tourism.
I consider the Dark Skies Ecotourism project an incredible tool for strengthening and qualifying niche tourism systems naturally predisposed to slow and sustainable forms of tourism.
The Monti Dauni, as a remote rural area, far from large urban agglomerations, preserve intact environmental values, cultural authenticity and obviously ample possibilities for developing forms of Dark Sky Tourism.
At the moment, most of the ecotourism experiences offered are daytime, with the exception of some glamping proposals, night hiking and environmental education appointments with sound calls for birdlife (birds of prey) and nocturnal fauna (wolves).
However, the interest and potential of the area is demonstrated by the increasingly frequent images posted on social networks of starry skies taken from the peaks of the Dauni Mountains.
Therefore, outlining a strategy for the development of forms of nocturnal ecotourism and dark sky activities is extremely interesting for the territory Meridaunia deals with.