The Italian Undersecretary of State for Cultural Assets and Activities, Lorenzo Bonaccorsi, along with a tourism delegation, cut the ribbon at the official opening of the Rimini “TTG Travel Experience,” the “SIA Hospitality Design,” and the “SUN Beach & Outdoor Style” – the three fairs of the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) dedicated to the travel industry.
The inauguration of the first Travel Fair event of the 2019/20 season was attended by the major authorities: Mr. L.Cagnoni, President of Italian Exhibition Group (ILG); Mr. A.Gnassi, Mayor of Rimini; Mr. A. Orsini, Tourism Councilor of the Emilia-Romagna Region; and Mr. G.Palmuci, President of Enit.
“Tourism is one of the most important industries in Italy; we must put [forth] our efforts in order to qualify the offer,” said Minister Bonaccorsi. “The spirit with which we must work is that of … creating of a system. We must be increasingly aware that tourism is one of the country’s great industries, working to qualify the offer of hospitality and push the tourism and culture that makes us great in the world.”
Mr. Bonaccorsi’s statement was supported by the Mayor of Rimini, Mr. A. Gnassi, who in turn pointed out that a serious requirement of a plan on tourism – a great national and European industry – has never been considered as such in Italy. The Emilia-Romagna region and Rimini, on the other hand, have chosen tourism as a strategic industry.
A tourism receipt worth 13 percent of the region’s GDP
“The 2019/20 trade fair season begins from here. It is a new season characterized by innovation.” These were the words of Mr. Corsini who added: “[The] Emilia-Romagna region [has] adopted innovations and strategies and turned them into the assets of its tourism operations.
“This has allowed us to make tourism a fundamental sector, which represents 13 percent of the gross domestic product, with its 55,000 enterprises that employ over 400,000 people. We are determined to grow; for this we have innovated and elevated our tourism offer with products such as the Motor Valley and the Food Valley – symbols of Made in Italy in the world.”
The unanimous theme of each intervention was on the Italian Government’s need for a serious collaboration towards the tourism sector. Mr. Palmucci revealed of his office’s efforts to involve the Italian regions, the Embassies, and Chamber of Commerce with the intention to create synergies – the only way to contribute to tourism industry growth. Tourism is an industry whose trade balance in 2018 closed positively with +16 million euros.
ILG President L.Cagnoni reminded: “The origin of the 3 fairs (in one) whose experience counts: 56 editions TTG, 68 SIA, 37 SUN and that they are linked by a common program whose power connects all of them to tourism. The merit goes to IEG for the capacity to bring together all the great protagonists of analysis and thought on what will inspire the future tourism demand.
“Thanks to their unification and the growth over the years, they now extend over the entire fairgrounds. Hence the decision of the IEG Board of Directors to ‘give the green light’ to a development program of expansion of great effectiveness and versatility.”
The increasing Buyers and Exhibitors participation
The 2019 Rimini Travel Trade edition increased strongly the international presence. The 130 destinations exhibiting in “The World” area of the fairgrounds is flanked by a daily rich panel of events at the World Arena, (the fairgrounds sector) – an integral part of the Think Future program.
Buyers from 85 countries were around 65% from Europe and 35% from the rest of the world. The most numerous delegations were from the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany, as well as from China which brought an even larger delegation than 2018.
Buyers from Chile, Peru, Kuwait, and Qatar were in Rimini for the first time. Mostly (82%) were interested in the leisure segment, 10% in MICE, and around 8% in exclusive travel.
Eight emerging tourist destinations were presented: Uzbekistan, Colombia, Georgia, Botswana, Costa Rica (TTG 2019 country partner), the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Japan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – or “the other India.”
Focus also was on Costa Rica, country partner of this edition, a country that aims to become the first in the world with zero emissions by 2050. It is considered one of the happiest countries in the world, where visitors may enjoy postcard beaches, unspoiled landscapes, and tropical forests. From Turkey was the center of a meeting as part of the special project that TTG Travel Experience dedicates this year to active tourism, while Sri Lanka presented its offer to operators.
At the fair there is also a stand that presents Iran for the first time with qualified operators gathered together under the banner of their country together with the government. An even larger pavilion is dedicated to the African Village, while Egypt previewed the opening of the Gran Egyptian Museum happening in 2020.