First summit of Italian seaside resorts discusses resources and sustainable development

Gianna Zamaro

For the first time, representatives of seaside resorts of 7 regions in Italy gathered to discuss the current opportunities open to, and the challenges faced by, seaside resorts. The event held on 5–7 September 2018 in Bibione, Veneto Region, Italy, provided a platform for sharing best practice in this area and for drawing up guidelines related to sustainability, innovation and strategic planning.

Pasqualino Codognotto, Mayor of San Michele al Tagliamento (Bibione), commented, “This occasion gives the mayors a unique opportunity to analyse, together, problems related to local tourism development for which they are responsible. Starting here, we must identify concrete solutions for the national and international levels.”

The Municipality of San Michele al Tagliamento (Bibione) organized the event in collaboration with Bibione Live, the Consortium of Tourism Promotion. The intention is to repeat the event on an annual basis in venues along the coast of the Italian Peninsula.

Political and technical representatives explored the following 6 overarching themes through 16 interactive panels:

  • the management of seaside destinations;
  • financing and resources;
  • the environment;
  • sustainable development;
  • services (health, water and waste management); and
  • infrastructure and beaches.

“Bibione is proud to host an event that sets these important goals for the future of tourism,” concluded Giuliana Basso, President of Bibione Live. “It provides an opportunity not only to study, but also promote our territory, which is full of peculiarities and always ready to stimulate action that brings value to the tourism economy.”

This is not the first time that Bibione has taken the lead as a driver of innovation. In 2011, the resort started a pioneering initiative to make its beach smoke-free. The initiative, entitled “Breathe by the sea”, used a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to addressing the common public health challenges of smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke in public settings. Fully in line with the WHO European policy for health and well-being Health 2020, the initiative positioned Bibione not only as an enjoyable place for family recreation, but also as an innovator for sustainable development.