A tour de force, it must be said, between Naples and Milan, mainly to meet the tour operators in BMT (the Mediterranean tourism trade fair) and the promotion bodies in BIT (the International tourism fair). Among these, many were forced into a frantic race to dismantle their stand in Naples and set it up once again in Milan, wondering on the reason of such a pointless overlapping of dates.
BMT was much visited by travel agencies from central and southern Italy, getting to meet there most of the still active Italian tour operators as well as the increasing Online travel agencies, the airlines, the cruise companies, the agency networks and the village chains, in short all the “traditional” tourism industry, which while not hiding the problems, showed up in its liveliest looks. On Saturday evening there was also a great party at Pietrarsa Railway Museum, just a few hours before the official opening by our Head of State.
BIT guessed the venue right and took advantage of the shift to Fiera Milano City, more suitable to its very small size. Walking along more comprehensive and well-proportioned spaces, with a pavilion dedicated to the International Tourism Organizations and one to the Italian regions, turned pleasant. The big – perhaps too big – program of meetings broke up the audience in very small groups, and crowded presentations ended up being just a few. The attendance was considerable, especially on Sunday. A new date shift in 2018, to avoid putting BIT near both BMT and the Salone del Mobile, is already under discussion.
This got to be the point too, actually. The last day of BIT in Fiera Milano City coincided with the first day of the Salone del Mobile in Fiera Milano (Rho), which was probably seen by organizers as a driving force for the tourism fair, but which has instead proved to be an unlucky idea for the huge impact of the Salone on both services and hotel rates as well as over the city of Milan as a whole.
The general focus on this latter exhibition and the attendance of visitors from around the world show what a big chance Italian tourism lost. With all due respect to the excellences of made in Italy, so well displayed at the Salone del Mobile, it is just absurd that what was once among the most important tourism events in the world has now turned to a happening dedicated just to Milanese audience or so, especially considering the unique offer that Italy still represents.