Développement économique et création locale d’emplois (LEED)

Winter Academy on Tourism management for UNESCO designated sites in Natural Areas (T.UN.NA)


 24-29 November 2019 Trento & Dolomites, Italy  

Organised by the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development in co-operation with the OECD Tourism Committee and in partnership with tsm-Trentino School of Management, the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy

The project 

The Winter Academy on Tourism management for UNESCO designated sites in Natural Areas (T.UN.NA) offers training for policy makers, managers and professionals actively engaged in managing tourism in natural sites listed under one of UNESCO programmes (World Heritage, MAB Man and the Biosphere, Global Geoparks).The participation is open also to those who work in natural areas outside of these programmes.

At the end of the course, participants will acquire a deeper understanding of tourism management in natural areas; learn how to implement effective solutions to the problems of unbalanced tourism development in natural areas; and develop expertise in putting in place effective strategies to drive the change towards sustainable goals within natural and protected areas.

Dolomites natural winter landscape  


The main aims of the Winter Academy are:

  • To create an intercultural, international environment to share, compare and evaluate ideas and experiences around tourism management in the natural areas designated UNESCO sites;
  • To set a common interpretation language to evaluate and discuss participants’ case studies as well as projects and local practices aimed at promoting tourism in a more sustainable way;
  • To analyse the sustainable value-creation processes of nature-based tourism;
  • To foster networking and debate around relevant case studies and best practices from the Trentino Alto Adige–Südtirol region (Italy) and across OECD;
  • To promote online and offline social networks among participants and experts, both during and after the course, in order to exchange knowledge, practical experiences and work methodologies on tourism, sustainability and local development;
  • To experience the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage as a “live stage” for the innovation of public policy supporting sustainable tourism development.

Methodology and framework

The Winter Academy fosters a hands-on approach, which introduces participants to the overall conceptual and theoretical framework around the big challenges of sustainability and tourism and invites to work proactively and in creative ways.
The programme includes lectures, on-site visits and group work sessions in order to allow participants to consider practical examples and to engage with issues and dilemmas often faced by their organisations and institutions.

The Winter Academy T.UN.NA will introduce methods, tools and practices of tourism management related to sites characterised by high natural interest, focusing on the following megatrends:

  • Digitalisation: What kind of opportunities and threats does digitalisation imply in the conservation and development of natural sites?
  • Climate change: How is tourism management approaching this changing reality?
  • Global demographic evolution: How are UNESCO designated sites in natural areas getting ready to face the challenges of demographic change?

During the Winter Academy T.UN.NA, international experts will tackle these megatrends focusing on the context of the Dolomites area, in order to establish a crucial connection between global challenges and possible local solutions provided by tourism stakeholders and local communities.

Main topics and three dilemmas of the sustainable development of tourism

Tourism development in natural areas poses some new challenges. During the Winter Academy these challenges will be approached through the lens of three main dilemmas.

  • #1 Private vs public
    Nature is a common good. Everyone has the right to enjoy it. But what is the best way to protect nature and, at the same time, to make it more accessible? The economic theory provides two approaches: public vs private management. However, many success cases around the world also suggest a third way to manage the natural good, which is somewhere in the middle between the private and the public and takes the best from the two approaches. 
  • #2 Openness vs closure
    The right to nature is present in many national constitutions. Nature is a source of health and well-being and the importance (and value) of nature is growing due to its scarcity in urban areas, where more than half of the world’s population lives today. Natural areas are more and more accessible today, thanks to infrastructure and technological innovations that help people experience nature as never before. But natural areas are under threat: the more accessible they are, the more exposed they are to crowds, pollution, traffic, noise. Some sites opted for the strict regulation of tourist flows, while many others tried to maintain a free and open access.
  • #3 Consumption and use vs experience
    How to value a natural site? This important question drives the choices of public and private operators that manage natural areas. We can exploit a forest by cutting down all the trees, or by building some luxury resorts, but what remains for future generations? Is it only the current financial flow that determines the success of a tourism project or should we consider some other factors? How can we ensure sustainable development without compromising the natural resource itself? How should we design tourism development to find a balance between present and future stakeholders?

Materials & Information

Agenda & Course outline

Agenda and course outline


To apply, it was requested to provide:

► Personal and professional information.
► Motivations for participating in the Winder Academy.
► A case study (project, programme or initiative, which is currently being implemented or concluded within the last 5 years and is directly related to the Academy’s topics and to the candidate’s professional experience).
► CV in PDF format (2-3 pages long).

The evaluation committee carried out the selection process considering all information provided including the case study and CV.

The maximum number of participants was of 35.

Admission fee

Selected candidates had to pay an admission fee of EUR 500.

The admission fee included:
­ ► The participation in the Academy.
­ ► The accommodation from 24 to 29 November inclusive in 3* or 4* hotel.
­ ► Full board during the course days.
­ ► Transportation in Trentino during the week.

Participation were confirmed once the organisers received the admission fee.

Five full scholarships for participants under 35 were available.



Participants were responsible for arranging and covering their own transportation to and from Trento.


Working language



OECD Trento Centre, Trento, Italy

MUSE, Science Museum of Trento, Italy

Dolomites, Italy (various locations)



OECD Trento Centre 

[email protected]

 | T. +39 0461 277600

tsm - Trentino School of Management

[email protected] | T. +39 0461 020028 



OECD Trento Centre: Integrated local development


Some of our Speakers

Jonathan Baker
Programme Specialist, Head Science Unit
UNESCO Regional Bureau
for Science and Culture in Europe

Johanna MacTaggart
National Co-ordinator 
UNESCO Biospheres

Stojan Scuka
The Škocjan Caves UNESCO World Heritage





With the support of