The project on tourism and language minorities in the Valle dei Mocheni/Bernstol and Luserna/Lusérn is carried out in collaboration with the Institute for Minority Rights and the Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism. It is financed by the Region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in the frame of special initiatives for the protection and promotion of language minorities and focuses on the two language islands where the Germanic languages Bersntolerisch (mòcheno in Italian) and Cimbrian (cimbro in Italian) are still spoken.
The aim of the project is to assess the influence of tourism as a factor of economic development on small language groups and minorities so as to determine its positive or negative effects. This is particularly important for Alpine communities with a high potential for touristic development, which have recently been the object of laws fostering the protection and promotion of their minority language and culture.
The research question "does tourism represent an advantage for the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage pertaining to local minority groups?" will be studied in four subsequent steps:
- qualitative survey: semistructured interviews with approx. 12 key informants, experts of either of the two language minorities
- quantitative survey: distribution of questionnaires to tourists (winter season 2009/10)
- dissemination: organisation of 3 workshops on a) minorities and tourism, b) cultural heritage and c) tourist communication
- creation of a sustainable long-term development plan for tourism (publication)
The project is financed by the Region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.