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Tuesday
13 October 2020

Tourism mindsets

Hubert Kostner, lost and found

As tour operators, it is our duty to make our spaces easily available. This is true. But it is also true that it is our duty to keep the Alpine landscape as simple and unchanged as possible, thus categorically rejecting any excessive showiness; out there, in the nature that surrounds us, is the true reason - nay attraction - that allows us to receive guests. When beauty, in such cases, is outranked by a concept, that is simply not beauty in my mind. The excuse that nature is easily liveable is no more than, on one hand, a kitsch rendering of ecology and, on the other, a pretext to exploit, excavate, deforest and so on and so forth.

The single product is all well and good for a large market but then you need to understand what it means to sell the Dolomites. How to sell them. Are the Dolomites a single product? Are they a large market? And we, tour operators, do we want everything and everyone or would we rather attract specific guests? Woe betide those who transform our habitat into ill-governed lands where anything is possible. Such as Sharm and the indoor ski resort in Dubai. We have no wish to compete, nor should we. And so we must be strong and think about the beautiful things we can offer for if we do not create a different standard then we risk becoming ordinary. And to cultivate such difference, which shall be our salvation in the long term, we must be aware, we must have a vision and we must not cling to a fleeting vice. Turning the Dolomites into a sensation, as though they were a great shopping centre, is not right way forward. It would be a mistake that, within a few decades, would cause us to bitterly repent having gone down that route.

Michil Costa