Faroldi Emilio, Capolongo Stefano, Vettori Maria Pilar, Fabi Viola, Gola Marco, Allegri Davide, Rebecchi Andrea, Brambilla Andrea.
Politecnico di Milano
Thermal facilities constitute a diffuse European asset with high tourism and healthcare potential, embedding the chance to generate territorial attractiveness, strengthen local economies and redesign the identity of contemporary landscapes. Nevertheless, the Italian scenario does not represent a competitive reality in the European panorama, due to: unreliable data; misleading information; lack of specialized centers. The purpose is to define a smart support for the competitive development of Italian SPAs, in the European health tourism offer. The methodological path involves four steps: GIS-based census of the Italian thermal facilities based on databases comparisons and verification; list of evaluative criteria based on macro-areas (management, territory and architecture); setting up the criteria, assigning different weights based on targets and experts in the field; providing a multidisciplinary and multi-scalar tool able to rate the Italian scenario and to indicate specific strategies to foster healthcare specialization and attractiveness. Italian SPAs have been surveyed on a unique digital platform, on the base of a shared theoretical model and providing a deep understanding of the perspectives of development of each SPA to face the touristic market in competitive terms. Furthermore, the method facilitates the cooperation between the different stakeholders, represented by the experts, who validate the rating criteria. The smart multidisciplinary tool, supported by FoRST (Fondazione per la Ricerca Scientifica Termale), will be usable nationwide as internal evaluator of each structure, to improve existing facilities and support strategic planning for health tourism promotion. The digitalization of the system will provide a supportive informative platform, both for the touristic and scientific sectors.
Healthcare tourism, Italian SPAs, Multidisciplinary approach