Focus Discover Italy 2024

“Una Montagna di Accoglienza nel Parco”

The consortium, “Una Montagna di Accoglienza nel Parco” (A Mountain of Hospitality in the Park) has been participating in Discover Italy since the 2018 edition, but this year it will be there as a sponsor. At the B2B event, which will take place in Sestri Levante on 18 and 19 April at the former Convento dell’Annunziata convent, “the Valleys of the Aveto Park (Val Graveglia, Valle Sturla, Val d’Aveto) tourist offer” will be presented, explains the president of the consortium, Gianluigi Puiè. The aim is to accompany Italian and foreign tourists in discovering an authentic area, rich in history and tradition, with unique natural landscapes, breathtaking views and a wealth of experiences to suit all tastes: art, culture, tradition, food and wine, nature, relaxation, wellness, trekking, cycling, hikes, guided tours and many workshops to choose from. All this just a few kilometres from one of the most beautiful and well-known stretches of the Ligurian Levante coast, halfway between Portofino and the Cinque Terre.” In what way is participation at the event important? The consortium helps “tourists to discover an area that is still relatively unknown, but which over the years has organised itself and is now able to offer a tourist proposal that is unparalleled in the Ligurian hinterland,” comments Puiè. “We help tour operators create tours of one or more days, guiding them in the choice of experiences, local trattorias and, where necessary, the most suitable accommodation facilities to meet their needs. We can rely on a wide network of contacts that we make available to our stakeholders and we can leverage the synergy between the coast and the hinterland, which means great added value given the proximity between the main tourist destinations on the coast and our area.” For the first time in history, the Consortium “Una Montagna di Accoglienza nel Parco” will be one of the sponsors of Discover Italy 2024 and will organise a 3-day/2-night pre-tour to accompany a group of foreign tour operators in discovering the three splendid valleys of Graveglia, Sturla and Aveto. “It is a fundamental step on our journey,” emphasises the president, “that testifies to the excellent work carried out by the community in recent years, which is eager to make the world discover a truly unique area.”

by Nicoletta Somma 

Zoagli debuts at Discover

Participating for the first time in Discover Italy after completing the association process with the Liguria Together consortium in 2023, the municipality of Zoagli will be an event partner for 2024. “We will be at the event showcasing the wonders of our coastal and hilly areas, the artistic and historical works of our parish churches together with the centuries-old tradition of weaving precious velvets that have been famous worldwide for centuries,” says Fabio De Ponti, mayor and tourism councillor. “I consider our participation at Discover Italy important as it completes the tourist offer for the Tigullio area, which must present a united front on the operators’ market,” he continues. According to De Ponti, “the special feature of being a small coastal municipality that combines beach hospitality and the beauty of seaside walks with the excellent potential offered by an extensive network of hiking trails, means we can meet tourist demand with a wide range of recreational and historical-cultural activities from spring through to autumn.”

The flows

The Municipality of Zoagli, explains De Ponti, is characterised by a high percentage of second homes for non-resident family holidaymakers. “A reasonable estimate is that 70% of the homes in the municipality are second homes belonging to both Italians and foreign owners, but mostly from the Lombardy provinces,” continues the mayor and councillor. “This situation means that tourist flows see a predominant presence of foreign citizens, with 2/3 being foreigners and 1/3 Italians, primarily from the United States, followed by the French, Swiss and Germans.” Year after year, “there is a significant increase in Scandinavian countries that anticipate the holiday period to June, allowing for an extension of the season that was historically limited to the months of July and August. As far as national tourist flows are concerned, the main arrivals come from Lombardy, followed by Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany,” De Ponti concludes.

by Nicoletta Somma

 

The Arbaspàa business model

Personalised, shared experiences. This is what Arbaspàa, the tour operator that has been operating in the Cinque Terre territory for 20 years, is all about. “One of our main focuses,” says owner Catherina Unger, “has always been to provide an authentic experience in the area. We have always worked exclusively with local partners, inviting tourists to stay a few extra days to discover the trails, as well as the Cinque Terre towns, taste the wines, meet producers and perhaps even experience a local cooking class.”

The format

Attention and the utmost care for the customer, as well as respect and enhancement of the environment that hosts them are the focal points of the operator’s business strategy. “In other words,” explains the manager, “we are committed to sustainable tourism development. Thanks to this approach, our customers can immerse themselves fully in the place hosting them and get to know its distinctive features, as well as its products.” Arbaspàa manages 42 apartments in the Cinque Terre area, many of which have already obtained the environmental quality certificate established by the Cinque Terre National Park, “and now we are working to improve quality standards in other facilities as well,” Unger continues. “We choose restaurants that offer dishes made from fresh, local, seasonal products and we offer various zero-impact tours throughout the year, such as trekking and biking or kayaking tours, always advising visitors to reach meeting points by public transport.” At the Sestri Levante workshop, the tour operator will showcase its offerings and hospitality on-site, along with the entire range of experiences in the area, from short tours to multi-day packages. Over the years, both foreign and Italian demand for the Cinque Terre has steadily increased. “People come from all over the world to see these five villages nestled in the rocks and the outstanding nature that surrounds them,” she concludes.

by Laura Dominici

 

Visiting Bordighera

For the city of Bordighera, 2023 ended with extremely positive results. The Regional Tourism Observatory recorded +3.43% in overnight stays (Italians +2.02%, foreigners +6.53%) and a +3.42% in arrivals (Italians +2.52%, foreigners +4.74%).

Projects are thriving

The city is continuing to invest in tourism following three strategic guidelines laid out in the sector’s 2022 Strategic Development Plan: culture, the outdoors and food and wine. “We are carrying forward numerous projects for each of these areas, thanks to collaboration with the Tourism Board,” explained the mayor of Bordighera, Vittorio Ingenito, citing the Bordighera Outdoor Experience for example, “the event at the end of April designed for discovering and experiencing our area with many different outdoor activities. Starting from the month of May, important events will be launched to celebrate the bond between our city and Claude Monet on the 140th anniversary of his stay in Bordighera and the 150th anniversary of the first major Impressionist exhibition in 1874,” explained the mayor.

Not just culture

“Outdoor experiences, helped by favourable weather conditions throughout the year, as well as the focus on environmental sustainability, slow tourism, and the appeal of the historic town are now the defining elements of tourism in this small Ligurian city.”

by Alessandra Tesan

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