Co-evolutionary prospects and sustainability
The aim of this chapter is to explore the co-evolutionary effects of the relationship between tourist destinations and their territory. The following research question is addressed: Can the “albergo diffuso” Italian hospitality model be considered as a prototype of co-evolution and sustainability between the tourist destination and its territory? The qualitative research methodology adopted uses a multiple case study approach (Yin, 2009) based on the analysis of four “alberghi diffusi” located respectively in the Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Sicily and Molise regions of Italy. The results are studied using a model of co-evolution. A survey was carried out by administering a questionnaire to the hotel owners and stakeholders of the local tourist destination. The ability of tourist enterprises and tourist destinations to create relationships within the geographical area they belong to, in order to increase the level of attractiveness of the territory, allows us to place the investigated “alberghi diffusi” within one of the four quadrants of the co-evolutionary model. The survey shows that in a competitive environment, tourist destinations and tourist enterprises have to diversify their technical-managerial models of tourist offer, taking advantage of the relationships initiated with the stakeholders of enterprises. Therefore, the competitive advantage of tourist destinations and of tourist enterprises depends on the ability to efficiently and effectively manage this network. The relatively small number of case studies represents a limitation of the present chapter. Hence, with a view to subsequent future research, we will continue the proposed analysis by extending the analysis to the population of “alberghi diffusi” operating in Italy while not underestimating the tourist analysis perspective. The chapter is the result of the pursuit of previous research carried out in recent years on “alberghi diffusi” (Valeri, 2013; Valeri and Paoloni, 2017).