Sustainable Entrepreneurship Development in the Accommodation Sector: The Case of the “Albergo Diffuso” (Diffused Hotel) in Italy

Sustainable Entrepreneurship Development in the Accommodation Sector: The Case of the “Albergo Diffuso” (Diffused Hotel) in Italy

Angelo Presenza (Department of Economics, University of Molise, Termoli, Italy), Angelo A. Camillo (Department of Management, Woodbury University, Burbank, CA, USA) and Isabell C. Camillo (Department of Graduate Education and Professional Studies, Niagara University, Lewiston, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHMDA.2017070101
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Abstract

This paper investigates the concept of “Albergo Diffuso” - a new form of sustainable development within the tourism and lodging industry. The authors analyze its main characteristics and discuss its future development and sustainability practices. The analysis includes an assessment of the Albergo Diffuso concept with that of a standard hotel to determine if and how this emergent concept differs from the conventional accommodation by looking at its distinctive features. A data collection through structured interviews with Albergo Diffuso owners in a focus group setting was conducted. Overall, the authors identified the main characteristics of the Albergo Diffuso: it offers similar and unique amenities of a typical hotel brand, it contributes to the creation of new sustainable enterprises, and it contributes to the development of new sustainability policy for marginal regions. They also evaluated the challenges and opportunities this new entrepreneurial concept faces.
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2. Anatomy Of “Albergo Diffuso” Within The Context Of “Sustainable Form Of Accommodation”

The idea of the Albergo Diffuso was launched in 1998 by Giancarlo Dall’Ara, currently President of the Associazione Nazionale Alberghi Diffusi (National Association of Diffused Hotels). The Italian term Albergo Diffuso (AD) can be expressed in English as “horizontal hotel”, “multi-building hotel”, “integrated hotel”, or “diffused hotel”.

AD is configured as a niche form of hotel accommodation that is very different from apartment rentals, which represent more of a “residence”, where typical hotel surroundings and services are not offered. It has the typical characteristics of a hotel such as accommodation, assistance, catering, and common spaces and facilities for guests. It differs from a conventional hotel because it has several distinctive characteristics that have been formalized in a set of guidelines produced by the Italian Association of Albergo Diffusi.

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