Italy outlines key tourism focal points for the future

Sustainability, outdoor/active, Winter Olympics and roots tourism top the list

The Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT) has outlined its direction for the upcoming years will be geared heavily towards sustainability, the 2026 Winter Olympics and a revamped digital hub.

Speaking at a recent event hosted by Qantas in Sydney to unveil new Italian-themed menus offered onboard its international flights, Emanuele Attanasio, Manager Australia & New Zealand, ENIT said a key focus following the COVID tourism shut-down would be centred on “the value of Italy, and not just arrival numbers”.

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Italy is the number one European destination for Australians. In 2019, there were 1.2 million Australians who visited our beautiful country.

“Australians can’t seem to get enough of the food and wine, our Art Cities, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the villages, the countryside, the coastline, the mountains, and the traditions that our country has to offer,” Attanasio said.

“Our main marketing focus going forward will be a path to 2026 when the Cortina Winter Olympic Games will be held in Milan and Cortina.”

He said it was not only crucial to continue to endorse Italy’s well-known destinations but the country’s active experiences such as skiing, sailing, golf and cycling as well. The latter especially following the recent win by Perth-native professional cyclist, Jai Hindley, in what is considered the second biggest annual bike race in the world, the three-week, 3,445km long Giro d’Italia.

We believe cycling will be a new focus for Italy with a more sustainable approach,” Attanasio remarked.

Next year’s Ryder Cup golf championship will be another opportunity “to present our country from another perspective which isn’t a traditional angle”.

“Focusing on nature experiences, outdoor active holidays and off-the-beaten track destinations,” offer new opportunities for the destination to promote itself globally. 

Cinque Terre trail to Monterosso al Mare

Equally important will be Italy’s online presence. Attanasio explains:

“The core of our strategy will be a tourism digital hub… which we are continuing to develop as a platform which will allow us to improve our relations with the B2B sector. This will be very much data-driven and with the use of our marketing strategies, working closely with the aviation industry, tour operators, travel agents and the media in a smarter, more digitally focused approach, so that our destination and industry can once again thrive like it was in 2019.”

One further focal point for the Italian tourism office in Australia will be heritage and ‘roots tourism’, with Attanasio saying there will be thousands of Italo/Australians keen to board Qantas’ new non-stop flights between Australia and Italyto delve into their Italian origins and to visit the places where their relatives came from”.

Qantas will launch its new seasonal Perth-Rome flights next week, commencing 22 June 2022.

The timing is impeccable, with Italy – effective 1 June – removing the necessity to wear masks on planes, trains, buses, ships, and ferries – as well as in theatres, cinemas, concert halls, indoor sports events, and live music venues. Further, this week Italy dropped mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and in indoor venues, paving the way for a return to carefree travel in time for the official start of summer.

Lead image: Emanuele Attanasio, Italian National Tourist Board with John Simone, Senior Vice President International Sales, Qantas, and Qantas crew member, Belinda.

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