Allegrini 2018

Michil Costa: respect for young people and the planet, new economic models, no to tourist monoculture

Reflections on the future of hospitality, a highly relevant topic for rural areas, at the meeting requested by Zenato family
Michil Costa with Nadia Zenato

“We need to give the entire tourism sector a new meaning, one of genuine encounter rather than exploitation”. Respect for work and for people is needed: young people, for example, have been exploited by the tourism sector, which no longer has an appeal for them. We have consumed the planet, young people need other values, to find other forms of the economy to be happy. A new economic model is not only necessary but indispensable and possible”: this is the thought of Michil Costa, hotelier-ecologist, visionary, and author of the book “FuTurismo - A heartfelt appeal against tourist monoculture”, which emerged yesterday in the meeting wanted by Zenato family - one of the famous brands of Valpolicella and Lugana, which has always been committed to promoting and enhancing the culture of wine - which, on Lake Garda, involved institutions, hoteliers and managers of wineries.
The discussion, moderated by Marco Marchesini, a journalist for Tgr Rai, provided an opportunity to reflect on tourism and its prospects, as well as counter-current ideas: a very topical issue, particularly when considering the future of rural areas. How to reconcile issues such as those of the economy of the common good, culture, and authenticity in an increasingly standardized, fast, hit-and-run tourism world, with ever more massive numbers? How can the needs of young people be balanced with the needs of tourism? “It is right to select guests, make market choices in an area such as Lake Garda (with 17 million visitors per year) or Venice (with 60-70,000 visitors per day) or Val Badia, where the tourist flows are very conspicuous”, Michil Costa says. We need to guarantee sustainable tourism, raising the bar, because we have an obligation: to guarantee the preservation of an environment that is not ours and that we must leave unchanged. A renewed sustainability is needed, including transport, which has never been seen as a problem. The time has come to safeguard the territory, also educate the new generations. Either you change or you die. And if there is no more reception, we die”.
Nadia Zenato recalled how “our work as winemakers leads us to have a continuous dialogue with nature and the environment. The earth gives us the most precious fruit, grapes, and our first duty is and will always be respecting it. Respecting it means, first of all, adopting sustainable practices in the vineyard and in the cellar, it means sharing the same sustainable practices with our suppliers but also making our consumers aware of what is behind a bottle. It means enhancing the history, culture, and traditions of our being ambassadors in Italy and in the world of these values and ensuring that our guests themselves become ambassadors of our culture”. To Michil Costa - who together with his family manages the Hotel La Perla in Corvara (member of The Leading Hotels of the World) and the Berghotel Ladinia and in Bagno Vignoni, in Val d’Orcia, the Albergo Posta Marcucci, as well as having founded in 2007 the Costa Family Foundation Onlus, which supports development projects for the defense of children’s rights in India, Africa, and Afghanistan - does not like the term tourist experience, which is very commercial. “The experience is the authentic one: hugging a larch, walking barefoot through the mountains, walking on the snow. We should encourage collaborators to participate in the experiences we provide; only then will they be able to communicate their beauty. Only then, after having internalized them, will they be able to transmit them. Let’s try to be more authentic, and more sincere. Otherwise, it is fake. When everything is the same, what is authentic? Everything is becoming a photocopy. Beauty costs effort, energy, and money. Perhaps in Italy, we have too much beauty and little will to enhance it”.
Costa is also a great wine lover: in the restaurant of the Hotel La Perla, the “Stüa di Michil”, there is the richest and most complete collection of Sassicaia in Europe, which also includes bottles from the first historic vintage, 1968. A real “temple” dedicated to the wine icon of Tenuta San Guido.

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