Open air, open mind

ECV Group becomes Human Company

Jack Land
November 28, 2017 - 15:56

A tourism offering that doesn’t divide people by income but makes top-notch amenities available to all, albeit with a few personalized extras if you’re so inclined: this has been the concept that the ECV Group has pursued since 1982, when the Tuscan Cardini-Vannucchi family entered the sector, acquiring the Girasole campsite near Figline Valdarno. Now, thanks to a series of acquisitions and investments, the company is a market leader in the outdoor tourism segment. As a mark of its evolution, the firm recently changed its name to Human Company, a strategic decision born out of the need to concentrate on the concept of sustainable and informal vacationing, in touch with nature and the living.



Putting humans at the centre of the tourism offering means restoring value to shared spaces, the same idea behind the über-successful Mercato Centrale business model, in which the Human Company owns a fifty per cent shareholding alongside entrepreneur Umberto Montano—the model envisages a new opening every year.


In Italy, growth and innovation in the holiday village sector means banging into a bureaucratic barrier when it comes to getting planning permission, something that discourages many—only two new complexes have opened in the last thirty years. One of these inaugurations took place last summer just outside Florence, Camping Village Firenze, in Rovezzano, also owned by the Human Company. It went sold out as soon as it opened.


The new name marks the move from a family-run business to a managerial-led company, with the arrival of Marco Galletti as Chief Executive Officer and Stefano Mereu as Chief Commercial Officer. The shift aspires to improve the firm’s management and to plan fresh ventures. Focusing on restoring scenic sites in poor conditions is the strategy, such as a former Enel power plant in Northern Sardinia’s Porto Torres and part of a derelict beach in the Cilento area of Campania, a smart way of encouraging public administrations to grant planning permission quicker. Similarly, for new Mercato Centrale openings, which boast daily footfall in the range of 8,500 people in both Florence and Rome, the firm emphasizes its ability to regenerate the surrounding neighbourhood and the obvious impact on consumer safety and real estate value.


With 1,500 jobs and a turnover in the range of 100 million, the group is looking optimistically towards the future, confident in the knowledge that Italy’s tourism market must innovate to meet the growing demand for sustainable tourism.

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