Since the 90’s, the world looks astonished at the power of culture as a strategical tool for the development of entire economies and territories. However, in last years, culture, and better said, cultural economics in Italy (but not only in Italy) is really changed. It’s clearly visible: look at the symposium, look in the universities. The great giants of this discipline are fading away, great entrepreneurial groups are changing their focus. Even the group I represent changed its primary market from a consulting to an advisory business model, in order to match the new set of needs that this market is now showing. Nowadays, cultural economics is a more mature market and there is a need for new and specialized skills: be able in designing cultural projects is no longer enough, now, who’s in charge in providing services in this cluster have to be able in funding projects too, or made them sustainable in the short period. This is the evidence that shows how We’re experiencing a great switch of the market. This kind of changes happens when a sector shifts from an emerging stage to a consolidating phase.
In a fragile political and economic framework, the attention to the role that culture can play in creating the bass for the future of Europe is growing rapidly. This paper investigates the impacts that culture create in several aspects of our lives: from the social cohesion to the economic development, from the mechanisms through which culture shapes our cities to the awareness of the sense of our lives resulting from knowledge. Finally, in this paper we would like to point out the links that relate culture, economic development and intangible assets such as feeling of identity and trust. The paper compare the evidence emerging from a recent paper commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee with the insights provided by several literature reviews and the results of specific projects dealing with culture and social dynamics. In the first chapter, we present the study, comparing several ways to look at the phenomena involved in the process of trust building; in chapter 2 we will underline the relevance of intangible assets such as social cohesion, in Chapter 3 we will analyze, more in detail the necessity of a sustainable economic growth. Our conclusions will show how cultural interventions within the city territory can foster social inclusion, cohesion, and trust.
Abstract This paper aims to analyse the promotion development of Menfi’s territory. This paper fits the scientific debate about the critical role that Destination marketing and management play in the development of marginal destinations. This paper moves from a geographical approach and, trough a Stake Holders perceptions analysis, wants to emphasise the role of territorial milieu for Menfi’s competitiveness. Introduction To describe the theoretical horizon of this paper, we want to focus on the scientific debate about territory, the proactive space where the society acts (cfr Castelnuovi, 2002; Cusimano, 2003; Cohen et al., 2011; Dematteis, 1996; Farinelli, 2003; Landini, 2007; Loda, 2008; Olsson, 2003; Vallega, 2008). This definition of territory grounds on two crucial concepts of our research: territorial identity and territorial governance, meant as local development drivers (cfr. Buttitta, 2003; Dredge, Jenkins, 2001; Governa, 2005; Healey, 1997; Jessop,1995; Rossi, Vanolo, 2010). We have particularly stressed the strong link between identity – the image of a proper cultural, historical, traditional system- and territory. Territorial milieu (or genius loci) is the synthetic theoretical concept of our research. It represents the strongest element that allows to define a sustainable strategy for local development and to boost the competitiveness of a tourist destination (cfr Caroli, 2008; Carta, 2005; De Spuches et al., 2002 Ercole, Gili, 2005; Giliberto, Panetta, 2009; Haughton, Counsell, 2004; Kavaratzis e Ashworth, 2005; Martini, Ejarque, 2008; Pastore et al, 2002 ; Pioletti, 2006; Valdani, Ancarani, 2000; Williams, Millington, 2004). Tourism represents the social and economical phenomenon that, more than others, is referred to those elements. A tourist destination is bounded in a place (cfr Lozato Giotart, 1999) and represents a specific territorial organisation that needs a proper development strategy and involves the material and immaterial resources of the territory, the society and the inner community (cfr Bramwell, Sharman,1999; D’Angella et al., 2010; Dredge, 2006; Gulotta et al., 2004; Ritchie, Crouch, 2000). We have faced the governance of marginal territory issue (cfr Amin, 1999; Amato, 2014; Aru, Puttilli, 2014): we have chosen Menfi (in Sicily) as case study to describe the development of the tourism destination. Menfi is an interesting territory to be analysed. It has a specific geomorphological connotation, a specific productive branch and its public and private Stake Holders have convergent interests in its promotion and development. In this paper we want to describe the quantitative dimensions of tourism in Menfi and the destination management and marketing policies. We have also wanted to show the Stake Holder perceptions in order to understand how the local offer is going to be structured and to know which possibilities of local development can be implemented. We have supposed that in Menfi there is a shared vision and a strong synergy among the Stake Holders for the local development. The governance of Menfi can represent a good example of marginal destination management. The quantitative analysis has been based on Agrigento’s District data. The qualitative analysis on Stake Holders perceptions (cfr Corbetta, 2003; Hay, 2005; Phillimore, Goodson, 2004) has been implemented with semistructured interviews. The interviews have been copied and interpreted through a comparative approach (cfr Cusimano, Sabato, 2014, 68-84).