We asked Giovanni Berrino, the councillor for tourism in Liguria, how the region reached, in 2016, 15 million tourist presences, a figure registered for the last time in 2002, by going back to being one of the most loved territories by Italians and foreigners.
2017 is the Year of the Villages and of sustainable tourism, what is the Liguria region doing about this?
Liguria is becoming a more and more appreciated destination by tourists from all around the globe in search of authenticity, sustainability and quality of life. They are satisfied by the strong identity of our villages. Our hinterland represents a territory where there is no difference between residents and visitors; actually, the presence of tourists keeps the traditions even more alive and strengthens the identity of every community.
What are the guidelines of your division to make tourist supply and demand meet?
The aim is to widen the tourist destination range to our extraordinary hinterland, adequately renovated and linked to the coast, and to develop with the closest regions some promotion actions for the Ligurian tourist product to place it on the international market. Therefore, we have to enhance the supply for “all seasons” and to use new communication channels for a 360-degrees promotion of the territory.
What are the most urgent problems to take care of to make Liguria more competitive from a tourist point of view, since its particular territory?
The connections, for sure: for too many years, Liguria was isolated from the rest of Italy and Europe. For two years, the regional government has been busy taking this isolation away from the region. For what concerns the rail transport, since January the Frecciargento has been connecting Genoa with Rome in less than 4 hours and we are committed to realize a fast connection between Genoa and Milan; with respect to the airport, 45 million euros have been invested until 2027 to expand it and to make it more efficient.
Tourism in Liguria have registered great results during 2016.
The data of 2016 mark a historical record with figures that were registered for the last time 15 years ago in 2002. The first months of 2017 too have registered more than positive figures. To continue on this path, on the 16th May the Pact for tourism between the Region and 150 Municipalities was signed; we want to improve the tourist attraction even more, by creating resources for the requalification of the environment and the landscape but most of all to work as a team in a strategic sector, the one of tourism, for Liguria.