Italian Tourism Showing Courage and Confidence

Dynamic, busy, safe: the 57th edition of the TTG Travel Experience was inaugurated at Rimini Expo Centre in Italy along with the “Regeneration! by SIA” format and the 38th edition of SUN dedicated to outdoor and seaside tourism. These three expos of the Italian tourism marketplace were inaugurated at Rimini expo center simultaneously with the IBE International Bus Expo.

The President of the Italian Exhibition Group, Lorenzo Cagnoni, said, “TTG is a true business platform for tourism in our country.”

TTG, Rimini maintained its appointment at a time of great distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic to present to the Italians and international buyers a dynamic proposal that all Italian regions presented in rivalry, cities, territories, experiences, and services as never before. Their effort was rewarded by a warning response of professional international and Italian buyers other than the public.

The event was presented in complete compliance with government regulations for the prevention of the pandemic and redesigned according to the IEG #safebusiness protocol.

After the institutional greetings by IEG President Lorenzo Cagnoni; the Mayor of Rimini, Andrea Gnassi; and Emilia-Romagna Regional Councillor for Tourism, Andrea Corsini, the green light was given by Simona Ventura, a woman who hosted a TV talk show at which the Undersecretary for the MIBACT, Lorenza Bonaccorsi; the President of ENIT, Giorgio Palmucci; CONI President, Giovanni Malagò; and Federalberghi President, Bernabò Bocca, pooled the messages arriving from industry members and institutions, which as: the world wants to travel, to return to Italy; the system must, therefore, be supported with effective economic policies.

At the opening, IEG President Lorenzo Cagnoni stated,: “The expo system is alive when it acts to support enterprises connected to the market. The hotel hospitality and tour operator systems believed in us. TTG is a true business platform for tourism in our country. Here we can understand the negative result of stopping an industry which has as its raison d’être (reason to exist) – the movement of people. In the coming days, we shall understand the meaning of starting to head for new goals.”

“We are at a crossroads in history,” stated Rimini’s Mayor, Andrea Gnassi, “which obliges us to change our development model. Tourism has been hit at its very heart. It exports people not goods, but we have been forbidden to meet. What is needed now is an industrial policy in a sector like tourism that has always been described as being strategic.

“Rimini is already a key case history for the way in which it has redesigned its cycle tracks and for the experience of its seafront’s landscape. I hope to be here as if in an incubator in which product innovation accelerates.”

“From TTG,” added Andrea Corsini, Emilia-Romagna Regional Councillor for Tourism, “a message of hope and confidence can be launched for the tourism sector, but also and above all, a new forward-thinking ability thanks to which can meet tourists’ new demands, feeding a good dose of innovation into the system.  In recent months, we have all understood the value of being part of Europe, but now we ask Europe for an undertaking to support this great vital industry.”

CONI (the Italian National Olympic Committee) President, Giovanni Malagò, stated, “The pandemic caused great changes in the sports world. The Olympic Games being moved to 2021 and the many events cancelled or postponed shows it. But on this scenario, there are also great opportunities – the new generations are attracted by new sports such as surfing, rock climbing, skateboarding, etc., disciplines that not surprisingly have been included in the Olympic sports.

“Gathering these new sportsmen and sportswomen and providing them spaces to show their ability also means grasping great opportunities for our cities to rethink their viability as well done, for example, in [the] Emilia-Romagna region.”

“We need [a] vaccine and money,” remarked Federalberghi President Bernabò Bocca, “Only [a] vaccine will enable us to get over this situation. Until then, we ask all concerned to think of the many enterprises in financial difficulty. We don’t expect random financing – of this we talk on a daily basis with Undersecretary Bonaccorsi.

Something will change in the tourism business and meetings [industry] thanks to technology. One thing is certain – anybody who wants to go to the seaside wants to go there physically. People want to travel and come to Italy. I’m optimistic; we shall see, hopefully, an upswing in the second 2021 term, but without collaboration between public and private concerns, nobody can make it alone.”

“Until a vaccine is available,” added ENIT President Giorgio Palmucci, “the variable when choosing a destination will be safety. 85 percent of people who travelled in 2020 considered the safety measures applied by entrepreneurs and certain territories. We must talk more optimistically about tourism in safe conditions. Nobody can say they are COVID-free, but from the 28 worldwide ENIT offices, we perceive this feeling regarding Italy.

“The negative Italian image has disappeared, because we told the truth about the handling of [this] virus emergency. The COVID hasn’t destroyed our ‘hardware;’ we must continue to describe the attraction of the Italian locations to the USA, Japan, and China and also to those Italians who haven’t yet discovered it.

“The undertaking of the government alongside the tourism sector,” concluded Undersecretary Lorenza Bonaccorsi, “will also continue in the coming months, following the commitments made early in the year. In the past summer, we managed to ensure that it was possible to safely experience the beauty of our country’s seaside, mountains, villages, and cities.

“Now it is necessary to manage to live together in this second phase of the contagion aware of the fact that it is now necessary to act and work to unravel the knots accumulated through the years and construct a new Italian model of tourism.

“We must do so with the same method adopted to date – listing whatever [is] required and collaborat[ing] with the trade, the industry associations, and whoever [is] involved in this sector, aware that we are now an example to the world and with the aim of becoming soon the hospitable country that everybody dreams to visit.”