The participation of regions, cities, consortia and operators of all kinds confirms the well-deserved reputation of the Milanese event as the world's most important platform for matching supply and demand of Italian tourism.
According to the best tradition of BIT, also the 2023 edition will be a real barrage of news, rediscoveries and hidden goodies, proposed by Regions and territories of the Bel Paese at Allianz MiCo in Milan from Sunday 12 to Tuesday 14 February.
In line with BIT's usual ability in recognizing the trends of greatest interest, this year's focus will be on sustainable, responsible and slow tourism, which, among other things, represents a great opportunity for Southern Italy.
Southern Italy to the rescue... slowly
One example is the Region of Calabria, as explained by M. Antonella Cauteruccio, Director General of the Department of Tourism, Territorial Marketing and Mobility: “Our strategy presents a Four Seasons Calabria, the triumph of a ‘slow’ tourism that appreciates relaxed rhythms, good food and historic villages. For example, thanks to Project Pollino 22, activities such as rafting, canyoning, trekking and e-bike are combined with visits to villages and tastings of typical products. Or the Parks Cycle Network, with landscapes that combine biodiversity and breathtaking views overlooking the sea. At BIT 2023, we want to meet a cross-sectional type of buyer for every possible category of tourism in our area.”
“We have magnificent unexplored stretches that are being rediscovered thanks to slow tourism – adds Andrea Liò, Deputy Mayor of Isola di Capo Rizzuto (Crotone) – and soon we will join the 'Trail of Magna Grecia' to allow tourists to explore on foot the beauty of the Crotone area. Together with neighboring municipalities, other slow proposals will be the Marchesato Badlands, the canyon and waterfalls of the Cupe Valleys and the karst caves area.” Calabria will be present at BIT 2023 with other exhibitors such as the Institutions of the Aspromonte Park and the Pollino Park, and the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria, which is relaunching itself beyond the 'Riace Bronzes Model'.
Still in Southern Italy, in Basilicata we can find Rotondella, which was voted third most beautiful Italian village in 2019 and is considered the 'balcony of the Ionian Sea': “For us, the philosophy of slow tourism means a total immersion in the area, for example, we organize workshops to create 'Pastizz', our typical stuffed calzone, and hikes among olive and apricot trees. Food and wine and cultural tours can be found via QR Code in the Tourist Passport”, explains Eleonora Divincenzo, City Councilor with responsibility for Tourism. Antonio Nicoletti, Director General of APT Basilicata, adds: “If there’s a place in the world where slow tourism has a true meaning, this territory is Basilicata. A land in which slowness is not a tourist artifact, but a value inherited from tradition and peasant culture, that follows the rhythms of nature and that, from its respect for nature, has acquired many of its peculiar elements.”
Molise, on the other hand, allows to choose from a variety of paths ranging from religious ones, such as the Way of St. Francis, up to historical and archaeological ones, such as the Museums Itinerary and the Samnites Way. And what about Apulia, that today can be considered a confirmation rather than a novelty in the scenario of major international destinations? “The Appian Way, a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage site and in first place on the National Geographic Traveler's list for Best of the World 2023, among ancient paving stones and breathtaking landscapes, unites regions, cities and people and in the near future will allow us to welcome to Apulia an increasing number of wayfarers from all over the world, in line with our investment in slow and sustainable tourism”, comments Gianfranco Lopane, Councilor for Tourism of the Apulia Region.
Traveling to the North between slow and smart
Meanwhile, in Northern Italy, Lombardy is betting on hospitality with the allocation of a 30 million euros investment – the result of a participatory process with stakeholders – to build or upgrade hotels and other accommodation facilities in view of major international events, from Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023 to the 2026 Winter Olympics, in a Smart Destination perspective: “Data allow us to design and develop customized experiences, targeted routes and specific services”, comments Lara Magoni, Lombardy Regional Councilor for Tourism, Territorial Marketing and Fashion.
Still in Northern Italy, in 2021 Friuli Venezia Giulia launched the Trails Network Registry in digital format: “The development of usable walking trails will help implementing cultural and tourism offerings. At the moment there are five recognized trails: Romea Strata, St. Anthony, the 44 Natisone Churches, St. Christopher and Cammino Celeste. Starting from this year there will be a communication and promotion program, new graphics, a regional map and ad hoc promo material to make them easily distinguishable and accessible”, explains Sergio Emidio Bini, Regional Councilor for Productive Activities and Tourism of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Italian regions will be on show in the Leisure Area along with cities, consortia, and international destinations from five continents. Find out how to visit BIT 2023!