Knowledge, Courage and Humility are the three keywords recently used, which have raised many hopes for the relaunch of the Countries, which seem to inspire the Agreement signed between The Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, the Municipality of Menfi and the Pro Loco of Menfi,
Conoscenza, Coraggio e Umiltà sono le tre parole chiave recentemente utilizzate, che hanno suscitato molte speranze per il rilancio del nostro Paese, cui sembra ispirarsi l’Accordo firmato tra La Rotta dei Fenici – Itinerario Culturale del Consiglio d’Europa, il Comune di Menfi e la Pro Loco di Menfi, with the aim of investing in young people and their competence, as well as developing new strategies for tourism and cultural enhancement in favor of SMEs that are suffering most from post Covid19 with the consequent economic crisis.
The Municipality of Menfi, a member of the Phoenicians’ Route for over a decade, taking a cue from the adhesion also by the Union of the Terre Sicane Municipalities (Sambuca di Sicilia, Menfi, Santa Margherita Belìce, Montevago and Caltabellotta), has thus renewed the collaboration with the international network for the launch of targeted activities to increase the attractiveness of one’s territory and improve the quality of services offered to new tourist flows. This takes place through projects funded by the European Union and new candidacies that are being proposed, the collaboration of national and regional institutions, the involvement of local stakeholders through participatory processes from the bottom (bottom up).
The Agreement provides for the sharing of a common path between the local Administration, The Phoenicians’ Route (as a technical-scientific partner as well as strategic coordinator) and the Pro Loco di Menfi, as a local partner expressing the community and individuals.
Among the activities foreseen, the elaboration of a Cultural and Tourism Strategic Plan of Menfi, networking the territorial assets starting from Pignatelli Palace, in connection with the activities of the neighboring municipalities, which with Menfi share the network experience of the Union of Municipalities.
Cultural tourism, food and wine tourism, school and educational tourism, silver and responsible tourism, experiential and creative tourism are among the target groups. And there is also talk of community tourism.
Sicily hosts 2 of the 5 Routes certified by the Council of Europe with headquarters in Italy: in fact, in addition to the Phoenicians’ Route there is also Iter Vitis – Les Chemins de la vigne.
For this reason, the Sicily Region, through the Tourism Department, has initiated an intense collaboration with both for the development of the typical methodologies of Cultural Routes (currently 38 are certified Routes). Initiatives like this are also useful pilot experiences for the entire regional territory.
Statements of the protagonists
“With this agreement – says Marilena Mauceri, Mayor of Menfi – the Municipal Administration intends to equip itself, through The Phoenicians’ Route, with operational and technical-scientific tools suitable for the difficult time we are experiencing. Focusing on young people and businesses is the obligatory choice if you want to give a competitive future to a territory that has proven to be so and today must be even more so.
Menfi is known for its wine and agricultural productions, for the many qualities of its territory, such as the Blue Flag and more. This quality has been rewarded by a good international tourism movement. Now we intend to aim even higher by enhancing the recent archaeological discoveries and the recovery of identity, relying on the most important “heritage” of our city which is the community’s ability to create a system. This is why we also involved the Pro Loco, which promptly responded to the proposal and we invite everyone to participate in this innovative action to relaunch the territory.”
“With all that is happening, travel and vacation modes have changed, accelerating the implementation of new models that are based on sustainability, experience and creativity” – explains Antonio Barone, Director of the Phoenicians’ Route“. Now it is up to the whole community, and not to the individual operator, to change the reception methods of tourist flows, people who travel for the quality of participation in the lifestyle of the territory, therefore a tourism of motivation and no longer just of destination, a tourism of the people for the people, a tourism of true encounter and sharing. By acting on “destination management“, it is possible to contribute to the growth of the territories in the sense of greater technical competence, hospitality and the service offered to the public, which becomes part of the community during its stay. This is a true process of enhancing the tangible and intangible heritage of a territory. A process that the Phoenicians’ Route can certify and help disseminate.
With this Plan, developed together with private operators and stakeholders of the territory, a series of initiatives will also be launched to increase the appeal of the territory of Menfi, starting from its cultural, natural, rural and landscape heritage, from the numerous know-how, expression of an ancient history of Sicily. Indeed, protection of the property means giving added value to this through the host community which makes it available to all. The aim will be to improve the professional skills of operators, volunteers, young people, also in collaboration with local schools, to increase the awareness and operational capacity of the entire community starting from the younger generations.
These methodologies, typical of the Phoenicians’ Route, find expression in the concept of Smart Ways, paths of excellence in the territory. For Sicily, through European projects, work is being carried out on the enhancement of the Ancient Via Selinuntina, which since ancient times connected the entire southern coast from Syracuse to Erice, like today the SS115 state road, for which Menfi is a candidate as a route hub”.
For the President of the Pro loco, Vincenzo Santangelo, Menfi has a great tourism potential not yet fully expressed. “This agreement represents the prerequisite for giving a new impetus to the local economy, especially in favor of young people who will be able to find new job opportunities in the tourism sector. The Pro Loco of Menfi will make available to the initiative the experience gained in recent years in the organization and management of customer services, enhancement, fruition, supervision and custody of cultural assets, in the management of public services and in the organization of events tourism promotion. The involvement of the whole city will be fundamental for the success of the initiative, starting with schools, tourism operators, shop keepers and artisans of Menfi”.