As President of ENIT, you have spoken many times in recent months of the need to reposition Italy’s international image. However, as you have also insisted that this image still remains remarkably solid, in what terms do you plan to manage this repositioning process?
Enit – the body entrusted with the task of promoting tourism – is already lending its hand, in conjunction with Mibact, with its own structured strategic vision. We work closely with regions, municipalities and tourist destinations to agree on timeframes and methods of recovery. We have intensified the dialogue with those who are involved in the Italian system abroad, in particular with diplomatic representations, and the other institutional players that promote the Italy brand in the world, aware that it is a challenge that must be won together and to get the sector moving again. Our lean structure, which has a presence on the main international markets with its 25 offices, has allowed us to maintain an open bridge with the world during lockdown and to work as a team to manage communications, relations with stakeholders in the markets, maintaining our positioning on the digital ecosystem, also thanks to the development of virtual experiences, the storytelling of the regions, cultural institutions and the business world. One tool which has seen a great growth in interest is the Enit virtual reality app on experiences in Italy, which we will be launching over the next few months. This could be a good time to develop the trend of outdoor tourism and the rediscovery of lesser-known locations. This year we expect a greater incidence of domestic tourism which will dictate the first signs of recovery. The post Covid crisis will be an opportunity to address the issue of sustainability and a new way of offering and experiencing tourism. The situation offers an opportunity for all operators in the sector to raise quality standards and carry out the renewal and adaptation that the sector requires. Of course, Italy cannot do without the flow related to the great art cities which have always welcomed the majority of the foreign visitors to our country.
In this process of repositioning the image of Italy that will keep ENIT busy over the coming months, what role will Made in Italy play?
Few countries can compete with Italy as far as attractions are concerned, first in the world in terms of the number of UNESCO sites, as many as 55. Its art cities boast countless internationally famous monuments and masterpieces, its dishes of the gastronomic tradition are imitated all over the world and the country is a majestic mosaic of snow-capped peaks, promontories overlooking the sea, lakes and valleys shaped by nature. Italy leads to the discovery of exciting itineraries that can be explored by any means of transport: by car, motorbike, on foot and by bike, especially at a time when the dimension of space is acquiring value. In fact, Italy, with its ability to reinvent itself and keep up with the times, is fully responding to the new conditions. It is time for walks, for the rediscovery of natural, open-air routes that call for small groups, for cities to be experienced with slow times and arrangements that allow you to enjoy more intense experiences at a sustainable pace. Exclusive experiences that can be made accessible to all with the appropriate precautions. We hope you enjoy to the fullest the experience in the Bel Paese to appreciate the art of good living Italian-style, respecting the safety measures.
An exclusive and timeless lifestyle. Climate, elegance, good food, art and culture are a blend that cannot be missed. You will enter the mood of Italian living to learn to “do” and not just to look-on, with tailor-made itineraries for every season. In Italy, emotionally rich experiences are lived, based on stories that weave the experience together and that can be told when you head back home with a new wealth of knowledge. Holidays that create and build relationships over time with travel companions and local inhabitants. Enit guarantees that the Covid regulations will be observed also thanks to the constant updating of the protocols on our Italia.it website.
Art cities, luxury, fashion, design, food and wine… Italy seems to be able to count on its potential, which is still completely unexpressed, regardless of the current situation. How can this potential be turned into opportunities?
tourism linked to luxury, fashion, design, and food and wine has been strengthening and articulating itself in a more complex way. It has helped turn tourists into travellers. The promotion of food and wine-themed experiences becomes a common asset, generating tourist flow distributed throughout the year and in lesser-known locations. These experiences have changed the tourist geography by introducing new forms of approach to the awareness of the regions, also representing a driving force for companies, a profound renewal of tourism models, increasingly opening up what is available in terms of sustainability, and an adaptation to new trends, of supply and demand oriented towards the quality of hospitality. The Italian tourism system with its outstanding gastronomic culture is becoming more and more appreciated. We are witnessing a transformation of catering which is one of the top reasons for travel, especially for foreign tourists. Requests for food and wine itineraries, trips to visit wineries or agricultural production companies, but also to processing workshops that maintain the traditional techniques used in the area are becoming increasingly frequent. And often it is precisely the discovery of food and wine experiences that prolongs the travel experience. By tasting local products, the visitor discovers the area, the specialities and the typical features that make it not only attractive, but unique. The Italy brand is gaining more and more followers with the authenticity of made in Italy and the genuineness of rediscovered flavours, traditions and crafts, satisfying the interests of visitors who are looking for the traceability of products and responsible management as well as the care of the environment and cultural heritage. Travellers want to be involved in the experiences they take part in: they want to be active and not just observe. Living emotionally rich experiences, based on stories that stitch together the experiences lived, and that can be retold back at home. Tourists love to learn from their holidays and head back home with a new wealth of knowledge. Through the holiday linked to food, moments of building relationships are also created, with travel companions and locals. Formulating and creating tailor-made product itineraries, that can be disseminated to enhance the regions and strengthen the supply chain also on the basis of the seasonality of local products, is a very modern way of understanding tourism.
Italy, in addition to establishing itself as an unmissable backdrop in terms of its beauty, can also count on an extraordinary heritage of creativity. What role can the commitment of Italians play, as citizens and as entrepreneurs, in relaunching the image of our country?
In this moment everyone’s sense of responsibility and belonging is playing a prominent role in starting up again. Entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of the situation to enhance the high quality of what is already on offer and also adapt this to the new standards imposed by Covid. Surely everyone in their respective role has a part to play by expressing the will to belong even more to this country. It is time to develop the trend of outdoor tourism and the rediscovery of lesser-known locations. In addition to visiting the Italian peninsula as tourists, foreign tourists also experience the Bel Paese as an oasis of precious and unparalleled experiences and love to discover unexplored places, even if they are alone or in a small group. Normally Italian tourism is divided between 50% foreign tourists and 50% Italian visitors. This year we are expecting a greater incidence of domestic tourism, which will dictate the first signs of recovery. The post Covid crisis will be an opportunity to address the issue of sustainability and a new way of promoting and experiencing tourism. The situation offers an opportunity for everyone involved in the sector to raise quality standards and carry out the renewal and adaptation that the sector requires with the advancement of innovation and environmental policies. Many companies that had to deal with overtourism flows have the opportunity to redirect the flows to lesser-known areas.