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ENIT (Italian tourism board) press conference



ENIT (Italian tourism board) press conference

A virtual press conference was held on Tuesday 20th October to promote Italy as a tourist destination. It was hosted by ENIT, the Italian tourism board, with an opening address by Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta. The speakers included Maria Elena Rossi, ENIT’s director of marketing; Flavio Zappacosta, director of ENIT’s London office; and Sir Rocco Forte, the founder and chairman of the eponymous international chain with major hotel investments in London. The event took place at the time of the year when London would ordinarily be hosting the World Travel Market, an annual international trade fair for the tourism industry, which this year is being held online.

Ambassador Trombetta discussed the growing popularity of Italy as a destination for British tourists, with over 3 million of them visiting in 2019. According to a recent survey, 16% of Brits who went on holiday abroad this summer chose Italy. This is undoubtedly the result, among other things, of the safety measures that have been put in place and the positive messages sent out by Italy during the summer. It is also encouraging to note that the British public appreciates destinations off the beaten path: for example, the British account for 10% of international tourists who visited Calabria and the Marche this year, with Umbria also becoming an increasingly popular destination.

The event was also an opportunity to provide updates on the covid-related safety measures for entering Italy: free testing services are offered in various Italian airports, and this was indicated by some of the speakers as an example to imitate around Europe to facilitate the safe recovery of travel. ENIT also announced the Virtual Italian Week/Europe Workshop, scheduled for 2 November 2020, which will focus on tourism in cities of art and in the mountains.

Rocco Forte noted that last summer his hotels in Sicily and Puglia saw an increase in numbers of British tourists, many of whom were visiting those areas for the first time. Maria Elena Rossi pointed out that many high-profile events are going ahead in Italy, compared to many other European countries, with due precautions, such as the Rome Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Giro d’Italia, several trade fairs, and the international white-truffle fair in Alba, among many others.