It’s now more than ten years since I have been in this industry – ten years when I have crossed the whole range of human behaviours, from messing around in a state of inebriation along the streets of Venice during MPI’s and Federcongressi’s conventions, to the direction of an event that next September 13th will get to host more than 500 people in Milan’s East End Studios.

Its name is DIGITAL MICE and here you find the link to the event preview, which will be officially presented at the upcoming BIT (the Milan-based International Tourism Exchange) on Qualitytravel’s stand.

But this is not what I want to talk to you about.

I want to talk to you about an industry – i.e. tourism, and mostly MICE – which in ten years has grown hand in hand with me.

An industry that, as fragmented as it was, has managed, with almost no support by our government, to put aside the partisan interests and to create a National Convention Bureau now compactly representing Italy around the world.

And CBs are not the only team-makers. Event agencies are carrying out many initiatives too – for instance Gare Chiare, a manifesto signed by 23 agencies coordinated by Piano B and Ground Control, whose aim is to make companies refund bid losers with 1% of the allocated budget.

In France this happens by statute, whilst Italian companies generally disagree – but an understanding is underway.

At the same time, the “Club degli Eventi e della Live Communication” was born at the initiative of ADC Group. It will face bids as well, albeit from a different point of view, under the coordination of Sinergie agency.

Also hotels are teaming up, with Una-Ata merger leading to the creation of the biggest hotel group in Italy.

In the meantime Alitalia collapses and ENIT, our tourist board, given up for dead until recently, bounces back.

And while other industries get to realize that in Italy no more than 40,000 manufacturing companies sell online, versus 200,000 French companies, for an average of 7% versus 13% in the rest of Europe, tourism can be said for once ahead compared to the other segments – after all, we’ve all been talking about OTA and online sales for some time, haven’t we?

Of course, immense digital gaps, especially in terms of connectivity, still penalize our cities and our venues – a matter of culture but also of costs.

On September 13th we will also be discussing about this.

 

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