Chairs: Luigi Mundula (Università per stranieri di Perugia, Italy), Marco Mazzarino (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Italy) and Giuseppe Borruso (University of Trieste, Italy)
Ports are natural interfaces between sea and land, therefore as important nodes developing territorialization processes. Ports have been historically coupled with the development of cities and their regions, particularly in terms of industrial, social and cultural development, and their growth, in size and importance is generally seen as a measure of an increased importance and impact on their related territories. Little attention has been drawn, however, to small, specific tourist ports that, on the contrary, currently can be considered as important drivers of new forms of development, not just as small-size, niche phenomena, but as multifunctional centres, capable of triggering stronger sea-land relationships, in terms of coastal organization and, also and importantly, connection with inner areas. The role of tourist ports, marinas and the nautical sector for the national economy is fundamental, as well as for the development and enhancement of the territory from an environmental point of view. Tourist ports and marinas are in fact complex and high quality types of ports for nautical tourism, facilitating additional nautical and leisure activities that can become attraction points themselves. They create also the demand for nautical and other tourist services, facilitating the connections between nautical and coastal tourism. Furthermore, important questions and challenges arise in the potential of these areas of triggering coastal – inner areas relations, therefore fostering improved levels of accessibility of these latter areas, starting renovated process of spatial development.
However, these areas are characterized by a fragmented offer (in terms of type of tourist ports and services), resulting from the lack of common management through coordination initiatives and of an overview of policies, especially for optimizing the existing offer. Similarly, they are currently segmented (in terms of differentiated needs – user profiles with differentiated needs, boats and licenses) and poorly informed demand that generates sub-optimal choices of users (who are also those who spend their money on these services). Contributions on geographical aspects of the tourist ports and marinas in terms of their potential for triggering a local sustainable development, of both coastal and inner areas, but not limited to these topics, will be welcome and appreciated.
Keywords: marinas, inner areas, tourism, heritage, accessibility