Manageritalia Lombardia, ‘Heritage Lab’ project to enhance 58 Italian Unesco sites

Paolo Scarpa, president of Manageritalia Lombardia and Gianni Canova, rector of the Iulm University, launch Heritage Lab an initiative in which managers and students collaborate to devise new ways to enhance the jewels of Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The ‘Heritage Lab’ officially starts, after the presentation last October 19th at the Iulm University and the immediate creation of the first design laboratory which, with over 60 students, three managers and the coordination of teachers Martha Friel and Nicola Bellini, will work on the pilot project dedicated to complex of the Sacro Monte di Varese, one of the nine Italian Sacred Mountains. The results of the work will be presented in January 2022. Subsequently, other working and design groups on Lombard and Italian sites are already on the launch pad.

The objectives of the initiative are manifold. Italy is, in fact, the first country in the world with 58 sites included in the Unesco World Heritage list and Lombardy is the region that has the most. Bringing together students and managers at the university to conceive new management models for the Italian cultural heritage it becomes a way to multiply the value of training and knowledge, share it and put it even more at the service of the community.

The students of the master’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management of the IULM University, accompanied by the manager-mentors of Manageritalia Lombardia and the IULM teachers, will work on managerial aspects of tourism-cultural enhancement processes of the site chosen for this pilot project, arriving then to present a series of enhancement proposals that emerged from a careful assessment of the current state of the site and from a benchmark analysis with other Italian and international sites.

The analysis will also check the state of tourism in the Varese area and the relations with the operators of the surrounding area, identifying partnerships and opportunities that can help internationalize the local tourism system. The project will end with the presentation of a series of operational proposals to make the Sacro Monte di Varese even more well-known and accessible on the national and international cultural tourism market, a site that is unique in terms of historical, artistic, and naturalistic value.

It will be crucial the identification of critical areas, the proposition of managerially feasible solutions, compatibly with the available resources, e the involvement of local stakeholders. The guidelines that emerged could then constitute a research and operational model for many of the Unesco sites in Italy and also for the many territories that need to be better exploited in terms of destination management.

“Bringing the skills and value of managers to the local area at an economic and social level by communicating with the main stakeholders is one of the cornerstones of our mission. Heritage Lab does this with Iulm University, one of our established partners. In this way we value our historical heritage, our young people, our centers of expertise and the role of management identifying critical issues and proposing innovative and sustainable solutions that arise from the skills and know-how of Manageritalia Lombardia associates and their stakeholders “, declared on the sidelines of the signing of the agreement Paolo Scarpa, president of Manageritalia.

The rector of the Iulm University, Gianni Canova that “many territories in Italy today find themselves having to review their tourist offer strategies, identifying new ways to narrate their cultural and natural resources, innovating services and methods of use, managing flows in a sustainable way. These are some of the challenges to which we prepare our students in IULM, on the one hand with a solid basic training in the classroom that combines economic-managerial and humanistic-media dimensions, on the other hand with a constant comparison and exchange with the world of business and professions. comparison is enriched even more today thanks to the collaboration between the Heritage Lab of Manageritalia Lombardia and the master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management ”, he underlined.

For Damiano De Crescenzo – general manager of the Planetaria Hotel groups, member of the board of Manageritalia Lombardia and coordinator of the Heritage Lab Group together with Silvestro De Bolfo and Mario Mazzei – putting together the different excellences of the territory is the real strength of the Heritage Lab Group: “In collaboration with universities, institutions, A consultancy company, the Group develops, with a specific research and communication laboratory, activities aimed at analyzing relationships and the opportunities to develop managerial skills and territorial management models of the tourist, cultural and environmental heritage. The goal is to support and assist, together with young university students, as Advisor the Lombard territories in the management of heritage cultural, environmental and touristic. We start from Varese, but soon we will also go to other territories ”, he underlined.

For Manuela De Carlo, coordinator of the master’s degree course in hospitality and tourism management “the degree course in Htm is characterized by an active collaboration with companies and institutions in the tourism sectors to ensure a continuous updating of teaching contents, a focus on the most sought-after skills, an active contribution of students to the development processes that the sector is undertaking living to prepare them to be protagonists of this transformation. The collaboration with Manageritalia Lombardia is part of this path “.

In summary the objectives of ‘Heritage Lab’: create models and examples of cultural management capable of bringing innovation (including technological) to favor the tourist and cultural development of a site; promote the best management of economic, financial, organizational, legal and marketing aspects to support the safeguarding and promotion of an artistic and cultural heritage; make system. In a nutshell: ‘create places that are among the destinations to visit in the world’.