I Relational modes of tourism and culture-informed placemaking dynamics

What is the role of responsible tourism in building stronger and intercultural communities? Two case studies from Italy

Pierluigi Musard and Melissa Moralld

Introduction: conceptualizing responsible tourism

While travellers continue to buy products, as in the traditional approach to tourism, responsible tourism can offer alternative insights in meeting with otherness. Considering that tourism is a “form of encounter” (Crouch, 1999, p. 1), the main characteristic of responsible tourism is to create an experience “capable of bringing together, in the short and long term, the expectations of residents with those of tourists without decreasing the quality of the tourist experience and without damaging the social and environmental values of the territory” (Bianchi, 1998, p. 35).

The concept of responsible tourism draws from a long process of awareness originated in the 1970s, and developed by practitioners and academics worldwide (e.g., the founding of the journal Annals of Tourism Research and the creation of Agenda 21 for the Tourism Industry in 1992) and was defined internationally for the first time in 2002, during the Cape Town Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, held in Johannesburg. The Cape Town Declaration defines responsible tourism as a form of tourism that minimizes negative impacts from an environmental, cultural, social, and economic point of view, generating greater economic benefits and improving the well-being of the local community, involving it directly within the decision-making processes, and promoting mutual respect between tourists and locals (www.capetownde-claration.org). Responsible tourism is not a specific type of tourism, but an approach where the principle of responsibility towards the environment and the host community remains central. Harold Goodwin (2011, p. 14) describes it as an opportunity' to “create better places to live for people and better places to visit for tourists,” while the Italian Association of Responsible Tourism (AITR) suggests that responsible tourism is developed according to principles of social and economic justice and environmental respect, recognizing the centrality' of the local community and its right to be at the centre of the sustainable development of a territory (www.aitr.org).2 When tourism is developed through a responsible approach, in fact, it can enhance sustainable local development, which contemplates not only the economic dimension but also social, cultural, and environmental aspects, paying particular attention to preserve actual resources for future generations (Telfer and Sharpley, 2008).

Moreover, there is an overlap between the figure of the responsible tourist and that of the responsible individual who is conscientious about cultural and biological diversity and the protection of natural and social resources both at home and on holiday, and who embodies an “attitude of respect for the places and people we meet” (Canestrini, 2003, p. 9). Despite the growing number of individuals who are sensible towards the environmental, social, and cultural aspects of travelling, responsible tourism implies a radical change in the attitude and behaviour of both tourists and the local community, and this fundamental change can only take place gradually and in the long term (Krippendorf, 1984).

If today, “the increased mobility of people on a global scale and the increased physical and cultural availability of goods from all over the world, has made the boundaries with the other and the elsewhere much less distinct than ever” (Aime and Papotti, 2012, p. 75), at the same time every tourist experience includes an encounter with otherness that may lead to potential misunderstandings and stereotypes, or to moments of exchange. In the first situation, the meeting may be characterized by the search for an exoticism out of time, a neo-colonial nostalgia of the past, and may reinforce identity mechanisms that are at the base of asymmetric relationships (Coles and Church, 2007). In the latter situation, the encounter represents an act that forces the tourist to reread, in comparative terms, himself and his usual places. As Aime and Papotti note, this aspect is linked to what could be defined as the ‘pedagogical’ side of the tourist experience: “the willingness to meet the other is not only necessary to satisfy exotic curiosities on the distant other, but also to propose questions, and hopefully some direction of response, towards the identity of‘us’ and of the ‘here’” (p. 191). Tourism is therefore one of the important intercultural experiences that characterize current reality. Ethnic restaurants, grocery stores run by people from the most diverse areas of the world adorned with iconographic symbols that they bring with them, intercultural hotels, and tours in ethnic neighbourhoods can constitute the premise for the creation of a greater and new awareness and contact with the other.

Moving from these premises, this chapter reflects upon the contradictions of the process of globalization and localization through an analysis of the relation between tourism and migration as two interrelated phenomena concerning human mobility. Through a cultural perspective on responsible tourism, it aims to shed light on how tourism plays an essential role in local development processes, as well as in the social and spatial dialectic that gives meaning to places (Rojek and Urry, 1997). Two empirical case studies from Bologna, Italy, are presented and analyzed: the festival of responsible tourism, IT.A.CA’ and Bologna Migrantour, a project promoting intercultural urban itineraries in European cities. The final part of the chapter explores the role of responsible tourism in building stronger and intercultural communities (Bauman, 2000), encouraging inclusive participation and intercultural encounters.

Human mobility: migrants and travellers

Drawing upon the idea that tourism and migration are the two main interrelated dimensions of human mobility, the new mobilities paradigm (Sheller and Urry, 2006) focuses on the connections between different forms of movement that link people, places, and human activities. Within this paradigm, both tourists and migrants actively participate in processes of symbolic and spatial negotiation concerning human mobility (Rojek and Urry, 1997) through their performances (Schatzki, Knorr Cetina, and von Savigny, 2001).

At the same time, human mobility needs to be considered from a critical perspective as the right to move appears as one of the most significant elements of contemporary social stratification (Mezzadra and Neilson, 2013). Mobility and the absence of mobility are the two opposing poles of contemporary society', highlighting the emerging processes of space—time compression over the last 50 years. Particularly revealing is the distinction proposed by Bauman (2002) between tourists, who take advantage of globalization, and vagabonds, such as migrants, asylum seekers, or other vulnerable people forced to the local dimension - one the alter ego of the other.

Moreover, while tourism is often associated with the creation of income and jobs, public rhetoric and political discourses depict migrants through a dual perspective: as ‘non-persons’ (Dal Lago, 2009[1999]) in need of help, without a voice, specific skills, or decision-making power, or as ‘invaders’ (Cotesta, 2002) and criminals (Vaughan-Williams, 2015). Both approaches tend to convey' forms of spectacularization of migration, while the effectiveness of social integration processes tends to be more symbolic than real (Musarô, 2016; Agier, 2016).

Analyzing tourism and migration as interrelated phenomena represents a challenge to this stigmatizing vision, giving life to new behaviour models, new communication codes, and new metacultural instruments. Despite the limited inclination of public discourse to highlight the interconnections between the two phenomena, several bottom-up initiatives are emerging (Moulaert et al., 2013). Such innovations associate migration and tourism in creative modalities.’’ Nonetheless, signs of encounters, collisions, conflicts, and exchange between tourism and migration are also part of our daily' life. One of the clearest examples is the involvement of migrant workforce in the system of touristic production (Britton, 1991), or the cases of terrorist attacks against tourist destinations — as happened in Yemen in 2008, in Tunisia in 2015, and in Barcelona in 2017, in the city’s most touristic area. Apart from these conflictual examples, the intersections between tourism and migration can also generate a variety' of spaces of enriching encounter and exchange - for example, food (Bloch-Ray'mond, 2005) and cultural/artistic experiences (Moralli, Musarô, and Parmiggiani, 2019) can also provide an interesting chance of meeting someone or provide something completely different from our daily' life routines.

As the paradigm of new mobility argues, responsible tourism play's an essential role in the social and spatial dialectic that gives meaning to places, experiences, and behaviours (Rojek and Urry, 1997). According to this perspective, responsible tourism not only represents a driver for regional competitiveness (Zan, Bonini Baraldi, and Gordon, 2007) but also an instrument to promote intercultural dialogue. From this point of view, places become symbolic and physical spaces for fostering social relations. This last aspect is fundamental when tourism entails diversity, permitting a shared construction of the tourist experience and influencing the making and unmaking of tourist destinations.

When responsible tourism intervenes within the space of cultural negotiation and promotes social and economic inclusion, it can be a lever of inclusive territorial development. In this case, an alternative model of sustainable local development based on a ‘bottom-linked’ dynamic (Miciukiewicz et al., 2012; Garcia, Pradel, and Eizaguirre, 2013) involves both private and public sectors playing fundamental roles. According to this approach, the needs of local citizens and their capacity to participate in decision-making processes in the field of tourism are at the centre of local development, generating benefits for the local communities.

From theory to practice(s): two cases from Bologna, Italy

Drawing from the perspective of tourism as a negotiated cultural practice (Shelter and Urry, 2006) that can influence intercultural dynamics and promote inclusive and sustainable development in local areas, we investigated its consequences at local level. In which ways can tourism foster stronger intercultural communities through sustainability and networking? How can tourism intervene in local dynamics of identity construction? How can it be experienced as a cultural practice by local actors? To explore these aspects, we undertook two ethnographic research studies4 in Bologna, a metropolitan city located in the northeastern area of Italy. The choice of Bologna as the analytical context is due not only to the growth of tourism in recent decades (+45.7 percent in the last ten years), but also because Bologna is an ‘access door’ for people from all over the world, who arrive in the regional territory for tourism, business, or study. Furthermore, Bologna is peculiar for its high level of social capital and social cohesion, for its high number of innovative experiences in terms of reciprocity and deliberative democracy, and for its particular attention to sustainability. In fact, since the Second World War, Bologna represents a particularly dynamic territory in which social modes of regulation and arrangements are continuously modified. Elements ‘embedded’ in the regional development trajectory include: the presence of cooperatives or mutual aid societies, which foster collaborative dynamics; an economic structure based on industrial districts, which sustain exchanges of know-how; an integrative governance structure that allows the local community to participate in decision-making processes concerning local development; the presence of antagonistic social movements and creative capital linked to the University of Bologna; and geographic centrality. This type of context has contributed to the emergence and diffusion of creative projects, especially in the recent period of economic crisis, characterized by a reconfiguration of social arrangements (Moralli, 2019). Among these innovative practices,

Role o f responsible tourism 25 the two case studies presented here can be useful in order to better understand the contributions of tourism to building strong intercultural communities.

ITA.CA’migrants and travellers: festival of responsible tourism

IT.A.CA’_migrants and travellers (www.festivalitaca.net) can be considered a good practice in which tourists and local communities co-create socially innovative projects, contributing to the development of the territory in a sustainable way. Focusing on the issue of responsibility in tourism, the festival has evolved over ten years of programming, with more than 400 events organized every year, intended as opportunities to encourage participants to reflect on alternative ideas of tourism and local development. Among the main events, the festival includes guided cultural tours, debates with experts, seminars, experiential dinners, writing contests, and photo exhibitions. The festival aims to create a network of different organizations involved in responsible travel and to engage participatory experience. It is the result of a long process of collaboration among different local organizations (e.g., associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social enterprises, and cooperatives), supported by regional, national, and international institutions. In 2018, IT.A.CA’was selected by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as one of the most innovative projects in the world working in the responsible tourism field.

The festival originated in Bologna in 2008 through the work of three NGOs (Yoda, COSPE - Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti, and Nexus Emilia Romagna), with the support of the AITR, the Municipality of Bologna, and the Emilia-Romagna Region. The Bologna festival currently involves more than 200 organizations operating within the fields of responsible tourism, international cooperation, and social inclusion. Last year, the festival took place in ten cities and reached 15 different territories. The national network includes more than 600 actors: local organizations, universities, municipalities, and local and international public institutions. In 2018, these actors organized more than 400 events that involved tourists — who the festival considers as ‘temporary citizens’ — and local communities. What draws these numbers? As the festival co-founder affirms,

We do not ‘export’ the festival, we just engage and support the people who decide to adopt the format because they share our philosophy and the friendly atmosphere of our events. Passion, enthusiasm, ethical values and the pleasure of sharing local authenticity. These are the keys of our success!

(Sonia Bregoli, interview, March 2018, in discussion with the author)5

In ten years, a bottom-up festival has become an innovative platform where people meet, debate, discover, and experience what responsible tourism means. The events are opportunities to live in a place hand-in-hand with local communities. More specifically, the festival has created a system of synergiesamong different territorial actors that continues even after the events are over. Reflecting on the impact of the festival, the manager of the IT.A.CA’ national network underlines the “daily work with local actors, encouraging them to cooperate and promote their territories in a simple and authentic way, telling their stories, sharing their traditions, including guests in their daily life” (Simona Zedda, interview, May 2018, in discussion with the author). The same vision and methodology' is expressed by the co-founder: “We do not aim at attracting tourists to visit, buy souvenirs and sleep in a place. For this reason, we usually say that we don’t do incoming but becoming” (Sonia Bregoli, interview, October 2018, in discussion with the author).

More specifically, the festival is configured as a network of actors that interact in innovative and creative ways, co-designing content and participation methodologies as well as synergic and integrated communication practices (Musaro and Moralli, 2019). All these actions take place in a context of sharing, coplanning, dialogue, and experimentation. Beyond the festival, IT.A.CA’ has become an innovative platform of information exchange, debate, collaboration, and networking in the field of responsible tourism and sustainable local development.

In recent years, different projects have focused on intercultural heritage linked to migration, considered as a tool for better understanding local dynamics, and projects that foster a de-bordering of the barriers between tourism and migration. For example, with the aim of challenging the borders between migration and tourism, the festival has organized public debates on mobility and geopolitical relations, intercultural dinners, and guided tours of ethnic neighbourhoods as well as concerts, exhibitions, and film screenings related to the issue. An example is the conference “Innovative Practices of Integration and Intercultural Hospitality,” organized in Bologna in 2018, where international actors working in this field presented various good practices. Or the presentation of the outcomes of a laboratory of intercultural writing organized by professor Fulvio Pezzarossa in 2017 and 2018, which represented a space of experimentation that helped participants to look beyond the stereotypes of an epic of migration through the recovery of stories, tales, and plural narratives.

As the communication strategist of the festival underlines:

Our aim is to explore the visible and hidden sides of the journey, and ‘migrants and travellers’ is our subtitle. Thousands of years ago, there was no distinction between migrants and travellers. Our name, IT.A.CA’, recalls Ulysses’ island and his return voyage: a hard and long journey. Like Ulysses, the pilgrims and Christopher Columbus where neither migrants nor tourists! Nevertheless, nowadays these phenomena — migration and tourism — are presented as completely distinct and we have lost the awareness that they are just part of global human mobility.

(Ivana Celano, interview, September 2018, in discussion with the author)

Migrantour Bologna

In the Migrantour project (www.mygrantour.org), migrants are the guides who organize intercultural itineraries in ethnic neighbourhoods, giving value to the cultural diversity of places and people who live and work in the area. Aware of the growing interest of tourists in visiting ethnic neighbourhoods and of local institution in valorizing these areas - considered as a potential force for socio-cultural and economic enhancement (Wood and Landry, 2007; Vietti, 2019) - Migrantour represents a good example of interstitial tourism (Urbain, 2003), reinventing the gaze of tourists and their experience of diversity without the necessity to travel long distances. The network draws its origins from a creative writing laboratory in 2007 in Turin. Between 2010 and 2014, it expanded into other Italian cities, attracting over 11,000 people - mostly secondary school students but also curious citizens, tourists, groups, and members of civic associations. Following the success of this first phase of the project, the Aera Foundation and Viaggi Solidali supported the development of a European network of Migrantours in other European cities, co-financed by the European Union. Currently, the network proposes responsible urban itineraries accompanied by migrant guides who are the mediators between tourists, shopkeepers, restaurateurs, pedestrians, and other people they may encounter during the urban walks. According to the Migrantour website, “the objective is to support the integration of migrant citizens into the participating cities, building mutual comprehension and respect” (no page).

Migrantour represents a case of responsible tourism dealing with intercul-turality in urban spaces, where the voice of the ‘other’ is taken into account, as explained by a migrant guide interviewed in Bologna:

Sometimes it happens that Italians pass by a butcher shop or other shops that sell usual things. Maybe they also sell Barilla pasta, just to say. . . . But, usually, although Italians need pasta and it is Sunday, they do not dare going in an ethnic butchers shop, because they do not know what to expect. We help the interaction, because after the walk, they discover that the person who is selling is a normal person, who usually knows the Italian language very well and who can give explanations or even recipes. And maybe the day after they enter again. We also help teach some foreigner words, in Arabic for example . . .

(Ali, interview, March 2016, in discussion with the author)

In Bologna, the Migrantour project was created in 2015 by Next Generation Italy, an association that works in the field of digitalization linked to second-generation migrants and Oxfam Italia. The first itinerary was organized within the IT.A.CA’ festival, which participated in the first phases of the project. Migrantour Bologna presents different itineraries through the city combining local heritage with stories narrated by migrant guides, who also co-create the tourist itinerary, as explained by a co-founder:

one of the innovative aspects of the project is the process that involves directly different people to create an itinerary . . . going in the neighbourhood, asking shopkeepers or restaurateurs and doing research about the place make the migrant guides an active figure in the process.

(Siid Negash, interview, September 2015, in discussion with the author)

Migrantour consists of urban trekking organized both in central and peripheral areas where signs of recent migrations are evident. An example of an itinerary is the tour of religious places located in different spots in Bologna, providing an opportunity to representatives of various religions to talk about their traditions and the history of Bologna as a crossroad among cultures. This itinerary is also accessible to blind people, thanks to a collaboration with La Girobussola, an association that organizes responsible trips for blind people. This case clearly shows the power of responsible tourism as a local force of participation, collaboration, and inclusion. As we will explain in the next section, more than being a tool to promote incoming, tourism can be a means to facilitate the feecoming of a territory and its local communities.

The role of tourism in building stronger intercultural communities

The two case studies presented in this chapter show how tourism can play a fundamental role in inclusive and sustainable local development processes. These projects deconstruct mainstream perspectives and narratives on migration and tourism, which typically depict tourism as a positive force for communities and migration as a negative phenomenon. Challenging this polarized and stigmatizing vision of what we consider two sides of the same coin, IT.A.CA’ and Migrantour aim at re-constructing different narratives on diversity through the active participation of migrants and asylum seekers.

Seeking to challenge a stigmatizing rhetoric, IT.A.CA’ gives migrants and refugees the possibility to express themselves through cultural and creative projects (e.g., concerts, exhibitions, debates, etc.). Similarly, the migrant guides who work in Migrantour represent stories linked to migrants living in the city in different ways. Local cultural heritage is presented in combination with distant traditions and ethnic neighbourhoods become part of the tourist experience by presenting the lives and stories of the people who live and work there. As Battilani, Bernini, and Mariotti (2018) maintain, “heritage is a fundamental part of a place culture and plays a key role in promoting cultural diversity” (p. 1).

On the tourism side, the responsible approach explicitly recognizes that tourism is not always a positive phenomenon for territories.6 Considering

Role o f responsible tourism 29 sustainability (Mowforth and Munt, 2003) as a starting point to analyze the effects of the two innovative practices presented previously, our research showed that the promotion of sustainable mobility or the de-localization of tourism flows into peripheral areas directly influenced the environmental dimension of local development. Both the IT.A.CA’festival and Migrantour aim at promoting decentralized areas as potential tourism attractions, contributing to a better balance in terms of carrying capacity in a city where the number of tourists has been constantly growing and threating the liveability of the historical centre (Aytar and Rath, 2012). From an economic point of view, the promotion of forms of reciprocity and redistribution (Fraser and Honneth, 2007) of tourism revenues involved local actors previously excluded from tourism dynamics. Here, tourism becomes a vehicle for promoting the economic inclusion of marginalized subjects, especially thanks to the redistribution of tourism incomes to local associations and cooperatives. But the consequences of the responsible tourism approach are mostly visible on the socio-cultural dimension of tourism development. From this perspective, IT.A.CA’ and Migrantour demonstrate positive impacts on local communities through two main processes: networking and the promotion of interculturality.

On a first level, the participation of a heterogeneous network of local actors (associations, institutions, universities, social enterprises, citizens, etc.) enhanced the production of “enabling social capital” (Granovetter, 1973) within the local context. Through a process of co-creating projects, events, and itineraries, local actors started to collaborate on the basis of shared values (e.g., sustainability, equality, social justice, etc.), which represented the cultural horizon (Appadurai, 2004) where local subjects performed and acted together. If social relations — even within tourist experiences — are always characterized by power balances/imbalances (Crouch, 1999), in both case studies analyzed, this symbolic space of collaboration is related to a shared cultural identity linked to the local territory. This “conscience territoriale” (Klein, 2014) emerged from a process of conflict, negotiation, and accommodation among the local actors who participated in the networking processes promoted by IT.A.CA’ and Migrantour. By doing so, these two initiatives promoted new capabilities (Sen, 1985) and empowerment (Friedmann, 1992) of marginal subjects. These practices involved social actors’ creative capacity, generating different consequences from the socio-cultural and economic point of view and influencing local sustainable development.

Following the conceptualization of responsible tourism as a social force (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2010), IT.A.CA’ and Migrantour aim at empowering travellers and migrants, helping them to understand that their voice is incisive if combined with that of others. Adopting the definition of social innovation given by Moulaert et al. (2013), we can see how the two practices presented here manage to reshape the host—guest relation, having a positive effect on the territory and fostering social inclusion. For example, functioning as a platform, the festival transformed diversity from a problem to an added value for localdevelopment. As the co-founder of the IT.A.CA’ festival highlights, the initiatives have demonstrated impacts

... in raising awareness on the role of sustainable tourism as an instrument of local development, in reducing the gap between institutions and bottom-up initiatives, in building stronger local communities, in empowering institutions and citizens, and in creating new economic opportunities.

(Sonia Bregoli, interview, October 2018, in discussion with the author)

Hence, as a platform that acts on the relational level, IT.A.CA’ valorizes local resources (not only cultural heritage or environmental resources but also social and relational aspects) as well as different competences and knowledge, while supporting small enterprises and other local experiences.

On a second level, these projects shift the dominant perspective of tourism as a tool for the promotion of cultural heritage to generate a perspective of tourism as valorization of «Mtercultural heritage. In the case of Migrantour, for example, the migrants have the opportunity to narrate their daily life in relation with urban spaces (Moralli, 2016). The valorization of (unexpected) resources within the neighbourhood and the active participation of the local community’ permit the creation of a sense of place7 which is experienced and thought about in two ways: first, the relation between the motherland and the ethnic neighbourhood and, second, the relation between the ethnic neighbourhood in relation to the city, which narrates the new identity of migrants as Italian ‘citizens’. Migrantour is a clear example of this double process of identity construction, since migrants’sense of place refers both to their past and their present, as one of the migrant guides explains:

We try to integrate all levels: the past with the present . . . the reality of what this city has received from abroad and what it has given to foreign countries. There is a great exchange; we try to make this connection both in the past and in the present and between cultures. I am not able to enter a museum and talk about da Vinci’s paintings, nor do I like doing it. But what I like is talking about human relationships, and I like it a lot. ... A very nice thing is that I also discovered my country better. Because I did research about this connection between Italy and my country . . .

(Maria, interview, October 2016, in discussion with the author)

These processes of symbolic construction and re-appropriation of a shared identity are not fostered through the transformation of the ethnic neighbourhood into a tourist space, but through the creation of new perspectives related to the narration and representation of the place complexity. As underlined by another interviewee, “you can experience different realities within the same place where you live . . . realities that you would never have imagined, and I am not talking about a single place, but about what has been built inside this place” (tourist, interview, April 2017).

One of the mechanisms that facilitates the social construction of intercultural identity through a ‘sense of place’ is the role reversal between migrant guides and tourists: on one hand, the migrant becomes the guide, the person narrating the ethnic neighbourhood, and, on the other hand, the citizen turns into the ‘other’, the person who desires to experience the city in different ways. During the urban walks, the past relates socially and spatially with the present and with the city as a whole, while tourists and migrants change their role from citizens to foreigners and vice versa. Thanks to these projects, migrants create their own narratives, their own symbolic meanings, and their geographies ‘from below’ through building a dialectical dialogue between the ethnic neighbourhood as a ‘hybrid’ space and the rest of the city.

Moreover, one of the main aims of these projects is the creation of the basis for intercultural exchange in ethnic neighbourhoods.8 During the urban walks, Italian citizens can converse not only with migrant guides, but also with shopkeepers, restaurateurs, pedestrians, activists, and other people who live or work in that urban area. Consequently, the members of the local community in the neighbourhood can likewise be involved in the process of identity' construction generated through Migrantour (Moralli, 2016).


The analysis of these two innovative case studies showed how tourism, if developed through a responsible approach, can lead to the co-construction of stronger, intercultural communities. In both the IT.A.CA’festival and Migrantour, the process of identity construction through networking and the active participation of different local actors has promoted the co-construction of a “heritage from below” (Robertson, 2012). Thus, responsible travel becomes a way' to reconsider local policies and adopt a bottom-up approach (Moulaert et al., 2013), it can be a vehicle for strengthening social capital (Granovet-ter, 1973; Putnam, 2000), and it can improve the governance of the territory through a flexible process of collaboration among tourists, migrants, and citizens (Swyngedouw, 2005), since all these subjects take part in the process of tourist development.

Inspired by Lefebvre’s famous concept of the right to the city' (1968), these initiatives promote intercultural dialogue and, on a broader level, local development, which we can define in terms of a ‘double right to the city’. This right reveals itself in the (re)appropriation of physical and symbolic spaces where social relations are located and where shared projects are elaborated. In these spaces, the whole local community' has access to participation, redefining norms and values at the basis of exclusion (Garcia, Pradel, and Eizaguirre, 2013) and supporting the ‘capacity to aspire’and the ‘voice’ (Hirschman, 1982; Appadurai, 2004; Couldry', 2010) of the subjects of the territory'. These symbolic and physical spaces of encounter become innovative spaces where local communities evolve thanks to the presence of cultural diversity'.

If tourism and migration are two sides of the same coin, in these two projects the borders between home and away are also reduced, promoting not only a new sense of place but also an alternative perspective to citizenship (Isin and Nielson, 2008), overcoming the juridical vision. It is not surprising that one of the claims of the IT.A.CA’ festival is: “responsible travel starts from home and arrives at home (it a cd means ‘Are you home?’in the Bolognese dialect)” (www. festivalitaca.net). To conclude, as Borghi and Celata (2009) underline,

The very essence of alternative tourism has much to do with the search for a ‘sense’ and with the attempt to give meaning (alternative) to one’s trip, to the place of destination and to the very fact of traveling. Both in its meaning of research of the authentic or of discovery, and in its more recent declinations, alternative tourist practices always involve an ethical dimension that has to do in part with the place you visit and in part with the identity of the traveller.

(p. 22)


  • 1 Pierluigi Musard worked on sections 1 and 2, Melissa Moralli worked on sections 3, 4, and 5.
  • 2 All translations of non-English sources were made by the authors.
  • 3 Some examples are: Magdas Hotel in Vienna, promoting refugees’ economic inclusion, refugees’ restaurants (e.g., in London or Brussels), and intercultural co-housings such as the CUKANT house in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • 4 The first period of research, conducted between 2014 and 2016, focused on the case study of the Migrantour Network and consisted of exploratory ethnographic research, combining interviews with migrants and other participants in the project and participant observations. The second period, conducted between 2015 and 2018, aimed to understand the dynamics of collaboration within the IT.A.CA’ festival and its role in local development processes, through interviews, focus groups, and participant observations.
  • 5 All interview quotations have been translated from Italian by the authors.
  • 6 These impacts concern, for example, the destruction of biodiversity or pollution (environmental dimension), the instability ofjobs or leakage (economic dimension), the commodification of local traditions (cultural dimension), or the diffusion of intergenerational conflicts (social dimension).
  • 7 As dell’Agnese (2001, p. vi) asserts, the notion of‘space’ can be considered a social construct and should be analyzed as a discursive practice rather than a coherent and absolute interpretive scheme.
  • 8 In this chapter, the concept of interculturalism is distinguished from multiculturalism and assimilationism, placing more emphasis on the relational dimension of social agency and exchange (Abdallah-Pretceille, 2006; Cantie, 2012). Hence, by increasing the intercultural dimension of a process, it is possible to generate innovative intercultural dialogue and broaden individuals’ global perspectives.


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