“Agrictulture is a storng identifying dimension of the various regions of Italy, each with its typical wine and food products – both of which help stimulate the economy through agri-tourism.” These were the words by the Italian Minister of Agricutlrual Policies, Luca Zaia. “There are a growing number of tourists who choose to dedicate their holidays to the many wine and food itineraries that our country can offer,” he said. “We must therefore, continue along the path of promoting and supporting the connection between food products and the territory in which they are created.”
According to a new study conducted by Giacomo Carlo Neri, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the tourism, artistic-cultural, food and wine sector are what the island of Sicily needs to focus on for economic growth. The study suggests that these sectors have not yet been suitably exploited. “The difficulty of both Italy and Sicily Region in extracting economic value from its primary competitive advantage characterized by art, culture and wine and food is evident and critical,” explained Neri. “For example, the ratio between revenues from museum merchandising and UNESCO sites is, for Sicily, significantly inferior to that of other countries.” According to the study the development of infrastructure has been neglected as only 3provinces (Palermo, Messina, and Trapani) have an index superior to the national average in terms of the road network and airport structures. The tourism sector has declined in recent years – there was a 10% reduction in arrivals in 2007 and a 2% reduction in 2008. This sector makes up approximately 8% of the total regional GDP; in Italy it is 10%.
Pope Benedict XVI has autorized a new ostention of the Shroud of Turin for the spring of 2010. For approximately two months the ‘Sacred Cloth’ will be shown to the public in the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, protected in a high-tech showcase. Two million visitors are expected. The ostention is a complex initiative that will involve many people and will cost a large sum of money. The Curia of Turin, the Municipality, the Province and the Piedmont Region will allocate approximately 10 million euros for the event. The pope has also expressed his intention to visit the capital of Piedmont during the event.
During the Tourism Forum organized by the economic newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, Milan Mayor – Letizia Moratti – announched that the number of tourists visiting Milan had jumped from 7 million to 11 million from 2000 to 2007. It has thus re-claimed the number two position on the list of Italian destinations. Visitors to the city are not only there for congress and conferences but also for culture, the mayor declared. Ms. Moratti wishes that Milan and the surrounding area to also become a destination for ecological and rural tourism, as they are becoming increasingly popular among tourists – the world over.
Tuscan oil, wine and other typical products are fundamental assets that must be promoted. The development of food and wine tourism would help increase tourism and stimulate the economy. This is the agreement the Tuscany Region and the Federazione delle Strade del Vino, dell’Olio e dei Sapori, the Movimento Turismo del Vino and the Citta del Vino and Citta dell’Olio have reached. The agreement is likely to help promote vineyards on various maps, brochures, and pamphlets and better help integrate wine tourism with other territory products.
According to the data issued by the Osservatorio Turistico Italia, the trend of bookings for the Month of May shows a slight recovering for the region Campania which moved from the 6th position in April to the 3rd in May. Tuscany is still first, while the region of Lazio remains in second. Despite the fact that the waste emergency in Campania is not yet over, it is starting to recover thanks to the performances of the provinces of Salerno (+3.40%)and Naples (+3.17%). Among the other provinces, Rome is first with 15.19% of the total enquiries; second, third and fourth are the provinces of Florence, Siena and Grosseto. Among the types of accomodations chosen, first ranks bed & breakfast. The foreign countries that contributed most to the flow of enquiries are the U.S., Canada, Israel, the UK and Australia.
In total three hundred events have been planned for the hundred days of summer in Genoa. The events are part of the Genova Urban Lab Summer Festival. Many of the events have been a great success and the Festival will culminate with the White Night on September 13th. The programme has included concerts, shows, and theatrical previews.
According to the regional Confesercenti few tourists have booked facilities for the month of August. The decrease has been about 2.5%. The seaside sector has seen a 2% decrease, the countryside and art cities a 2.8% decrease and spas a decrease of 2.8%.
The Regional Council of Sardinia approved a new programme by the name of ‘Posadas’ which calls for increased accommodation on the island. The programme plans to recover historic and valuable buildings and intergrate them into hospitality initiatives. ‘Posadas’ plans to create new accommodations with at least 1,200 beds and 600 rooms in 50 destinations throughout the province.
The 2007-2013 National Strategic Policy Law is providing cities with 5.4 million euros to invest in tourism and culture. This information comes from a study done by Cittalia – ANCI Ricerche on behalf of the Department of Public Functions. “The structural funds are destined to increase the attractiveness of the territory in terms of tourism to make it competitive through interventions that are more selective with respect to the past,” explained Alfredo Scalzo, the head of the research team. “Another chage in the EC strategic plan is the Inter-regional Operating Programme (POIN) for the development of ‘cultural, natural, and tourism attractors’ in Sicily, Calabria, Campania and Puglia.” According to Cittalia – the ANCI structure dedicated to the studies – the implementation of this programme, which is in the midst of the approval process, could transform southern Italy into a tourism centre of the Mediterranean that is able to compete at the international level.