Abruzzo is celebrating 100 years of skiing, and this winter of 2009 will be promoting its 18 skiing stations in the heart of National Parks or protected mountain areas, the more than 100 lift facilities and equipment to practice every sport (from downhill to cross-country, from Alpine skiing or excursion skiing to sled-dog) and 400 kilometres of snowy trails. These are some of the significant numbers with which Abruzzo will be celebrating its first 100 years with various events and numerous changes in new facilities and infrastructural services in 2010.
Statistics for European travel show drastic decreases in most countries. With unemployment figues rising, people are worried about spending their money on luxury services such as travel. Those reliant upon tourism for their livelihood are struggling to survive. Many central and Eastern European countries have suffered double digit declines in tourism and Europe as a whole has had a decline of 8% in revenue from tourism since the turn of the year.
Experts predict, however, that 2010 will show gradual increases in European travel. Tourists and consumers alike are heavily influenced by what the media portrays in the news. If people are continually led to believe that they should save their money because of continued economic uncertain then the tourism industry will take longer to recover. On the other hand, if suggestions are made that the recession is ending then tourism is likely to expand once again in Europe.
The number of foreign visitors to the Province of Bologna increased 3.7% in 2007 relative to the previous year. This trend has continued for the last 3 years: from 2004 to 2007 arrivals were up 19.9% and overnights were up 7.9%. The same trend holds true for the city of Bologna itself, where 820,000 arrivals (an increase of 3.2% compared to 2006) and 1,706,000 overnights. The Provincial Tourism Councillor of Bologna, Marco Strada has suggested a new initiative aimed at attracting more foreign tourists to the province. He suggets that hotels found throughout the province should give 1 euro for every overnight a visitor stays in their establishment to the Provincial Tourism Department so that they could help contribute financially to various promotional and development initiatives. These financial “donations” would be added to the monetary contributions already being made by the Province, the Municipality of Bologna, the Region and the APTR, the airport and the Fair.
“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.