The project

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Italy's Marina Network as a Gateway to its Natural and Cultural Heritage

The objective of Signa Maris is the promotion and valorization of tourism in Italy, via the sea – specifically, it is the enhancement of access to, and awareness of, the innumerable historical, cultural and natural offerings of the Bel Paese via its ports, particularly those ports in the Southern Regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia (Apulia) and Sicilia (Sicily).

With such a novel objective in mind, Signa Maris interprets the marinas located along the Italian coast as gateways to the territory, and invites tourists traveling by boat to avail themselves of the cultural and natural heritage within easy reach of any given touristic port. 

Signa Maris identifies nautical tourism as a competitive asset that can be expounded upon in the scope of attracting tourists to Italy. Italy’s cultural and naturalistic heritage, paired with the use of the Marina Network, can result in increased numbers of visits – both from nautical tourists already visiting the Mediterranean, and from those tourists who plan travel to Italy at any given time.

Nautical Tourism: A New Approach to Merging Land and Sea

The project envisages the promotion and communication of nautical tourism as the beginnings of an answer to foreign demand, as well as a foundational idea upon and from which sector operators and entrepreneurs can collaborate and benefit. Signa Maris’s aim is to contribute to the organization, information and valorization of services complementary to the traditional touristic website – services that are essential to the best use and regard of our cultural and territorial heritage in each interested Region.

Considering Italy’s natural touristic calling, particularly along the coasts of the aforementioned Regions – Calabria, Campania, Puglia (Apulia) and Sicilia (Sicily) – and particularly given its orography, singular landfalls and moorings, as well as its beaches, gulfs and inlets, the vision is one of highlighting and grouping together: natural, coastal attractions; the quality of touristic ports; and the outstanding local art, customs and culture in each location.

Signa Maris will offer a new opportunity to the Regions of the South to make travelers more familiar with all their touristic destinations and points of interest, and it will do so by attracting travelers to each of the Regions’ seaports as means of access to the beauties, fruits and endowments of their respective Territories. 

Through the project, the supporting institutions – the European Union, the European Fund for Regional Development, the Italian President of the Council of Ministers, and the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Intermediate Body for Cultural, Natural and Tourist Attractions (MIBACT-POIn) – propose that nautical tourism (i.e. the natural synergy between Italy’s Marina Network and its cultural and naturalistic heritage) be integrated into traditional tourist flows.

It is a “win-win” proposal that will allow operators to take advantage of new economic and developmental opportunities, and that can facilitate a re-emergence of local economies by way of Italy’s extraordinary heritage. 

The Signa Maris project, continuing along its natural path of evolution, constantly augments its own value as an integrated system for promoting and raising awareness of national and international tourism, providing support to the nation and, in an increasingly extensive  fashion, delivering an innovative way of presenting  the treasures found across the territories concerned in addition to raising awareness of these areas’ unequalled cultural and natural heritage.

In this way, the technological platform specially implemented for the project and on mobile Apps extends to include new additional content, such as in-depth special reports on the territories concerned, focusing at present on the four regions selected (the Blue Mountains in Calabria, the Bay of Naples, Campania, Salento in Apulia and Greek Sicily) all of which, in addition to seaports, also have regional airports.

Our aim is to provide tourists with an increasingly complete, practical guide, providing information not only on how to access the regions but also on the cultural and natural heritage on offer.  

At the same time, the value of each territory is further enhanced by providing information on the programme of various folklore, religious and cultural events on offer during the current tourist season.
Having concluded this phase, the entire project including all content material to date is being made available in German for the German market. 

In a Nutshell

Adequately appraised and represented, Italy’s network of touristic ports can:

  • Signal an already-existent tool that offers new possibilities in expanding accessibility to Italy’s cultural heritage;
  • Promote not only the ports themselves, but also local entrepreneurial initiative and its synergies between the nautical and the touristic spheres;
  • Capitalize on touristic data from nautical tourism, merging it with data from traditional tourism.

Italy’s Marina Network can become an additional lever in the tourism sector that, if seized upon, is able to bring increased tourism to respective Regions.

Communications Highlights

The purpose of the digital strategy for Signa Maris – an app and social network profiles, in addition to the website – is to further contribute to the creation of a complete touristic offering that is articulated through a singular visual identity able to express the merits and virtues of the Italian ports system.

Additional promotional efforts will include a media campaign, via relevant periodicals and other sector and territorial marketing materials. The strategy should function on a regional, national and international level. 

The goal of the website Signa Maris is that of enhancing the communication and perception of Italy’s Marina Network, so that it comes to resemble a unified system that can be identified and utilized by travelers as a gateway to Italy. It is a way for tourists to become familiar with the magnitude of each Region’s artistic, cultural, oenogastronomic and artisanal excellence, and to find experiences tailor-made for them.

The website is a proposal to develop synergies, in partnership, among nautical recreation and tourism, cultural and natural attractions, and the regional tourism industry.

Produced in Collaboration with:

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