Observatory for sustainable tourism (ODT)

last modified Dec 09, 2013 10:01

Logo Regione Toscana Logo UniSI Logo Metodia NECSTour

Regional project "Touristic & Sustainable Tuscany"

Creation of a regional network of touristic destinations to test the NECSTouR model

The Observatory for the sustainable tourism OTD (Tourist Observatory of Destination) of San Gimignano began as a pilot initiative within NECSTouR, a network of European institutions organized and supported by the European Commission in its promotion of sustainable and competitive tourism development.

The Observatory for Sustainable Tourism of San Gimignano OTD was created with the scientific collaboration of the Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Siena, and the Research Society Metodia.

The network NECSTouR presents itself as:

  • An instrument for the promotion of a process designed starting from the demands of civil and local society, (so a bottom-up and shared project), towards a more sustainable tourism involving an open group of regions, other local governments, businesses, social forces, universities, research centers, consumers;
  • a permanent laboratory of debate to activate and improve communication and the comparison between the various economic and social components involved in the phenomenon of tourism seen as cultural and social product of local societies;
  • a platform for creation and sharing of good practices through the creation of innovative projects;
  • a virtual place for the exchange of experiences, testing of sharing models of measuring phenomena and social dialogue.


The network has identified the coordinates to follow, and has organized them in "ten pillars" (PDF in italian), consisting of indicators and measures to be updated annually. The list of the pillars and indicators is available in the Related Documents section:

The project of creating a network of Observatory for sustainable tourism OTD involves 50 municipalities at high tourist value that together account for 60% of tourist destinations in the region. San Gimignano is one of the first 10 municipalities to be involved in the project.
The Observatory for Sustainable Tourism focuses the issue of sustainability of tourism both in relation to the ten pillars, and in the aspects more closely linked to local, economic and social policy.

Its activity includes:

  • Creating tables for meeting and discussion between the administration and the local community;
  • Identification of a set of indicators for the study and measurement of phenomena related to tourism in San Gimignano;
  • Connection with other municipalities involved in the project and with the Tuscany Region.


The Observatory is therefore a permanent site for local observation of the phenomenon of tourism (both on the demand side and the supply side) and comparison with other neighboring or similar places. It becomes a support tool for future tourism policies decision, and a place of encounter and exchange between all stakeholders in the tourism development of San Gimignano.