Sustainable Tourism in Italy's Marche Region
Marche is a region in the central area of Italy on the east coast. Thanks to its natural and cultural beauty, the touristic sector has had a huge increase in the last few years. Characterized by national parks, mountains, countryside landscapes, and beautiful beaches, Marche has mainly developed outdoor tourism, often respecting sustainability standards and being recognized as one of the most sustainable regions in Italy, both in the offer of experiences and in the accommodation facilities. In the 2014 edition of the Ecotourism Oscar organized by Legambiente, 38 touristic premises in this region have been awarded. In this positive context, two weaknesses need to be pointed out. On the one hand, the weak role of Ancona, the principal city which is inevitably the hub of arrivals but which lacks services and infrastructures; if it will not work to change these dynamics, it will risk being left out of the touristic development and the city will be relegated to the role of port and train station. On the other hand, there is the exclusion of a whole category of tourists, the young people. Young people tend to look always more for experiential tourism but need other kinds of facilities compared to families. Public transport connecting Ancona with the countryside and cheaper accommodation with a focus on young people, always respecting the needs of communities, could be a first step to act on both these gaps.