ERIH Italy: Concepts for industrial (heritage) tourism

Industry and industrial culture as a key tourism factors, regional linkages between industrial past, present and future, and combined tours to industrial monuments and traditional cultural highlights – these concepts were presented and discussed at the recent ERIH Italy meeting. The current newsletter provides a summary of the presentations with examples from Portugal, Spain and Italy and also presents their hands-on implementation based on a selection of examples.

Alexandra Alves presents an original project, called “Industrial Tourism” and launched in 2012, that makes S. João da Madeira, a Portuguese city of approximately 22,500 inhabitants, a pioneer in the development of industrial tourism. This project offers visits to living and heritage industrial sites, showing the different ways of working in sectors such as footwear, hat making, pencil making, mattresses, labels, textiles, tanning, car industry, leather goods, etc. The highlighting of traditional local industry and new technological and creative industries addresses precisely what makes up the city's identity.

Josep Maria Pey Cazorla introduces the work of "El Generador", a Catalan consultancy, production and management company for tourism and cultural projects, specialized in the industrial tourism sector. Among other things, it organises training activities, both at university level and at the level of professional training for tourist guides or for companies who may consider to open their doors to visitors.

Francesco Antoniol, head of the Italian Network "Tratto Punto", illustrates a proposal for a “Grand Tour” of the Italian industrial heritage, which integrates the visit of industrial heritage sites with other destinations of traditional cultural heritage. In this context, tourists will be able to benefit from an in-depth visit promoting values linked to the industrial past, combined with other attractions of the region, be they, for example, sites relating to history, art or food and wine.

ERIH Italy Newsletter No. 3