Focus Discover Italy 2024

Only4U tells the story of Italy

A program of experiences dedicated to promoting agrifood tourism. The initiative was launched by Paolo Zilocchi, founder of DMC Only4U, immediately after the pandemic. “The initiative is called Autentico, and for Only4U this significant step meant the opening of a decidedly innovative travel agency where, instead of catalogues, travellers find Italian agrifood excellence (niche products not available in large-scale retail) that share a common denominator: all producers can also offer accommodation.”

From Emilia Romagna to all of Italy

The program was born and developed in the Destinazione Turistica Emilia, “but then it blossomed throughout Italy,” Zilocchi continues, “thanks to the opening of a location right in the centre of Milan, just in front of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the ‘home’ of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.” A strategic location that now allows Only4U to promote Italian areas, especially those involved in production far from mass tourism routes, through the products and stories of the producing families, as representations of the areas.

Performance

2023 was an important year, also thanks to Autentico, “because it meant the recovery of pre-pandemic flows, albeit affected by the difficult global geopolitical situation,” the manager explains. “Flows that we hope to continue to support in 2024, trying to work better on profiling an offer linked to the world of food and wine, but not only. We have understood that international tourists want real experiences, designed around specific travel demands.” Only4U is ready to take on a new challenge, “certain that through the overall improvement of the offer, we can consolidate a proposal that is increasingly qualified for the most interesting targets,” Zilocchi continues. The Emilian reality presents itself at the Discover Italy event in Sestri Levante “with the aim of presenting a complete proposal to international buyers. The Autentico program doesn’t only represent a collection of operators capable of allowing the construction of personalised travel proposals throughout Italy, but a true network through which to share an innovative sales channel with international clientèle, structured on a technological platform leveraging artificial intelligence, created by a dedicated technical team from Only4U.”

by Laura Dominici

 

Sicily not only seaside tourism

The Sicily Region again at Discover Italy, showcasing its diverse tourism offerings. Not only seaside tourism, but also archaeological, artistic-cultural and naturalistic tourism, all of which are experiencing steady growth, along with slow tourism that has seen the development of a Trail Map. Not to mention cuisine, “which should be explored through food and wine itineraries,” states Elvira Amata, Regional Councillor for Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment. “Sicily is also an ideal destination for people looking for a vacation focused on relaxation and wellness.” The hospitality sector also includes facilities dedicated to wellness, an offering that is seeing satisfying numbers. In 2023, the Regional Tourism Department achieved “unprecedented results in terms of tourism promotion and development. Thanks to a targeted strategy, Sicily has become one of the most popular destinations internationally.” There were over 16 million 462 thousand total overnight stays with “a significant increase” compared to the same period in 2022, “that is clearly increasing compared to the pre-pandemic situation (2019),” when overnight stays were “just over 15 million 115 thousand units.” The foreign component recorded a 24.8% increase compared to 2022, “effectively driving the flow of tourists to our region.” Among the actions taken were the increase in sustainable and quality tourism and the impetus given to the strengthening of deseasonalisation. In addition to this, there has been the organisation “of major international events such as the Sicilia Jazz Festival and the Bellini inFest, which have made Sicily a reference point for cultural tourism as well.” There are plans for “increased investment in the hotel and accommodation sectors, which will guarantee a greater diversification of the offering.” Prospects for 2024? “They are very promising, with a significant increase expected in national and international tourist flows,” says Amata.

by Stefania Vicini

 

Visit Amalfi: focus on deseasonalisation

For the DM&MO Visit Amalfi, participating in Discover Italy is an opportunity to present the destination to international buyers with a focus on deseasonalisation and multi-product offerings, specifically outdoor, gourmet, well-being, romantic, cultural and premium beach experiences. The mayor of the city, Daniele Milano explains, “We will have the opportunity to promote the offer of the Amalfi Experience destination network, consisting of hotel facilities, non-hotel accommodation, restaurants (trattorias, agriturismos and Michelin-starred restaurants) and experience providers operating in the Amalfi area. By adhering to the Amalfi Welcome Charter and Guidelines, they commit to guaranteeing high standards of quality, authenticity, attention and hospitality.”

An experience-based offer

Market strategies follow a rationale of geographical, demographic and psychographic segmentation. “We want to target buyer personas with specific characteristics and travel motivations. In this sense, Amalfi is an ideal destination to experience all year round. The mild climate, the network of hiking trails and the invaluable cultural heritage spread throughout the territory make it an unmissable destination. In addition to this, there is the experience-based offer: cooking classes, lemon tours, kayaking tours, parasailing, guided nature hikes, cultural visits and bike tours are some of the experiences promoted by our partners that we will be delighted to present at the Discover Italy event.” Amalfi is not just a summer beach destination but a year-round destination.

Differentiated marketing

“With the Amalfi Experience destination network,” the mayor continues, “we are committed to developing a multi-product offer and working on creating a portfolio of themed tourist products by aggregating services, activities and experiences promoted by network members. The DM&MO Visit Amalfi promotion and communication plan includes a differentiated marketing policy for markets, products and segments, with online and offline promotion campaigns, as well as influencer marketing activities, B2B contacts development and participation in sector fairs.”

Monitoring flows

Regarding prospects for 2024, the commitment is to manage tourism in an area that is as attractive as it is delicate, and geo-morphologically unique in the world. “We have proposed,” Milano concludes, “an amendment to the Highway Code, which has now reached Parliament, to introduce a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) to manage traffic even in outer urban areas, and more particularly along the SS163 that connects the maritime towns along our coast. Monitoring both vehicular and pedestrian flows will be crucial in all the decisions we make over the next two years, aimed at establishing Amalfi as a premium, boutique destination. As for flows, our season runs from Easter to the All Saints’ Day holiday. The climate also influences the trend for the last months of the year. For 2024, the trend shows bookings with less notice compared to the previous two, frenetic years.”

by Paola Olivari

 

Welcome Lucania returns to Discover

Wine tours, cultural itineraries, the Tour Musimpresa, in search of the Museo del Confetto, the bread museum, the Museo Essenza Lucano dedicated to Amaro Lucano and the “Giorgio Amarelli” liquorice museum, all the way to boat rentals in Puglia and Basilicata: these are the new ways Welcome Lucania T.o. will present itself at Discover Italy, in the former Convento dell’Annunziata in Sestri Levante on 18 and 19 April. Participating for the second time in the event, the operator said, “It is important to participate in Discover Italy,” emphasises the president of Welcome Lucania T.o., Francesco Garofalo, “due to the presence of numerous, qualified international buyers, which is very well curated by the organisers.” But what is the current trend and what are the forecasts for the summer? “We anticipate a season with an increase in both international and national tourism, helped by the favourable socio-political situation in our country.”

by Nicoletta Somma

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