Let’s approach the world of tourism while discovering new ways to travel and different ways to enjoy holidays. This is what Debora Calomino, journalist and author of ‘Visioni Turistiche’, wants to convey through her essay that is already available in an e-book and will be published as a paper book on March 20th, with some new contents. From time-travels aboard vintage trains to dark tourism towards mysterious places, passing through the so-called floral tourism and movie tourism. This book collects many curiosities for travelers, but also for tour operators, in addition of a bunch of reflections about what to make a territory beautiful and attractive means. Thanks to the simplicity of the language, tourism appears as something part of our lives… and you immediately will want to pack! Sicilian Secrets interviewed her.
I try to explain that there are different ways to approach travelling and consequently every place can have attractions, even where seem to be none.
– Debora Calomino
Q: How did you get the inspiration to write the book ‘Visioni Turistiche’? How did the idea come about?
A: After several years of study and work in the tourism industry, I have collected a bunch of considerations. For a few years I have been involved in explaining good practices for the development of the territories; therefore, the idea to write this book came about almost spontaneously. Many people believe that tourism is not part of our everyday life, but this is wrong. Especially for those who live in places considered attractive for tourists, it is something intrinsic to our way of life, even if we don’t realize it. In the book I also talk about these aspects, how important the resident population is to make and improve high-quality tourism.
Q: In your book you tell stories about many places, you describe tourism through different sides, and you mention Sicily too. What do you think is the potential of this destination?
A: Sicily is a wonderful land and has a lot of potential. In my book I focus on the impact that films and TV series have in showing this destination. ‘Inspector Montalbano’ is an example of what I am saying. Movie tourism is a great resource, because in addition to showing the beauty of a place, it also allows to enhance the cultural side.
Q: Debora Calomino, you are from Calabria and therefore we can say you are the ‘neighbor’ of the Sicilians. What do you like the most of this island?
A: Everything about Sicily enchants me: I have always felt a strong affinity with this island. I like cheerful people who live there, their lively and vibrant culture, the monumental places, good food. Everything in Sicily has some magical characteristics. So far, I have had the opportunity to visit it just a little – I have been to Taormina and the Aeolian Islands – but I have a wish list in which Sicily is included.
Q: In your opinion, what makes a trip special regardless of the destination?
A: Any journey is not only a temporary relocation. It means expectation, dreams. Often, when we have to face a difficult period of our life, we think about the moment when we will pack and go, to discover new destinations. Once we have chosen where we want to go – we look for inspiration, on social media, for example, we read the stories of bloggers and travel journalists – we immerse ourselves in another life from which we leave out anxieties and worries. Traveling helps us to feel better and it is precisely this that makes traveling so special.
Q: Tourism is one of the industries that has suffered the most due to the pandemic the most. In this regard, what is your personal tourism vision? What do you foresee for the travel industry?
A: The past two years have made it clear how important the tourism industry is. Some destinations took it for granted and had to change their minds. Tourism is not spontaneous, travelers reflect a lot before to choose, and it is essential to make the territories ready to host visitors, pleasant and healthy. I think that a successful tourist destination must be welcoming, first of all for their residents, guaranteeing at least the essential services. My vision is linked to the quality of life of those who live in any territory permanently, to authenticity, to hospitality. In the post-pandemic we should start again from the well-being of the residents, involving them in the tourist enhancement of their territories.
Q: Before saying goodbye, let’s look at your wishes: what’s your ‘dream trip’?
A: I can’t wait to visit the Valley of the Temples! I love archeology and everything that has to do with the ancient world, Agrigento and the archaeological park is one of my wishes. I hope to be able to make this tourist dream true soon!