Due to increasing concerns over the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, event organizer Veronafiere announced today the Vinitaly Italian wine conference will be postponed. The event that was scheduled for April 19–22 has now been moved to June 14–17, with hopes the health crisis will have abated.
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Earlier this week, Germany’s ProWein announced it would also delay its event in Düsseldorf as a result of coronavirus concerns. Numerous other trade shows across Europe have done the same.
The largest travel trade show, ITB Berlin, held out until the very last moment before it, too, decided to cancel the event. Perhaps because the show is so large, it would have been impossible to reschedule for a later date. To date, ITB has not issued any information on reimbursements for stands that came at hefty prices to participants who did not get to participate.
“We need to give a strong message to the country,” said Sandro Boscaini, president of Federvini, in a statement. “If we act together in the context of shifting the, not only of Vinitaly, but of other major international events that will take place in Italy in June, we will be able to contribute in a unanimous way to the relaunch of the positive image that Made in Italy deserves.”
Vinitaly annually draws over a hundred-thousand visitors to Verona in Italy’s Veneto region. The area has been one of the hardest hit by the virus, along with neighboring Lombardy. Over 2000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country so far as of Monday, with most occurring in the northern regions.
“We share the choice of Veronafiere for the shifting of Vinitaly dates,” said Luca Rigotti, wine sector coordinator of Alleanza Cooperative. “Now we work together with the fair so that the world of wine can give a positive message to the national economy.”