Conceptual works on tourism destination competitiveness affirm the central importance of planning the process of value creation within destination. Italy is an emblematic case of why and how a leading tourism destination may lose competitiveness along the years. Up to the 1980s Italy was in fact the top international tourism destination, but then such ranking gradually decreased, because of more complexity of sector and, over all, because of marginality of tourism in the government agenda and more in general of the country. After years of strategic myopia, Italy finally has a tool that formalizes its vision and indicates the key factors that can be leveraged in order to regain ground. In 2013, Italy adopted a National Strategic Plan. Therefore, this paper aims to describe an important turning point in tourism policies for the economic and cultural development of Italy. The research highlights the problematic areas of Italy’s tourism industry and explains how a new approach should make the Italian destination able to successfully compete on the international tourism market.
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