Il turismo sostenibile nel Salento: il caso del Parco Naturale Regionale di Portoselvaggio e Palude del Capitano
Abstract: Sustainable Tourism in Salento: the Case of “Porto Selvaggio-Palude del Capitano” Park
Is now well recognized Apulia’s strong tourist vocation, particularly the one in Salento, part of a region where substantial natural and environmental resources assume extremely different aspects and confi gurations among them, passing from the stocky Gargano Peninsula – the so-called “Italy’s Spur”, till reaching the very tip of the “boot”, commonly indicated also as “finis terrae”. This research retraces the slow and troubled journey that Porto Selvaggio’s Park has faced from a sustainable and environmental tourism perspective: in fact, for over twenty years, there has been a long season of lost hopes and vain expectations. Environmental protection, fundamental asset of the community, has in Apulia his initial legislative drafting in 1980, with the approval of the regional law n. 21 that triggered the Natural equipped Park of Porto Selvaggio-Torre-Uluzzo, in Nardò’s municipality (LE). It had to be wait however until 2006 when with the regional law n. 6, the park was expanded with the inclusion of the protected Palude del Capitano. Already identifi ed by the regional law n. 19/97, and it assumed its current name of “Regional Natural Park of Porto Selvaggio and Palude del Capitano”. Tourism is an essential opportunity for the Salento’s development but requires a careful strategy based on the principles of sustainability: in this perspective, the Lecce’s Province has fi nally embarked on a virtuous path with the creation of the Park System of Salento (consisting of 6 protected areas), the acceptance of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas and the certifi cation achievement by Europarc Federation. This initiative would allow the local tourism sector to fi nally break free from the marked seasonality which still continues to characterize it.
Keywords: Salento, sustainable tourism, environmental protection.