11/12/2012 Tourism and Destinations

Federcongressi&eventi protests against the possible shutdown of Convention Bureau Italia, a reference point for the international market

Paolo Zona
Paolo Zona

Paolo Zona, President of Federcongressi&eventi, the association of businesses and professionals active in the Italian meeting industry, expressed her concern and disappointment at the possible shutdown of Convention Bureau Italia.

In fact, at the forthcoming meeting, scheduled to be held on 19 December, the governing board of Enit, the National Tourism Agency, is considering deliberating liquidation of Convention Bureau Italia SpA, the company in charge of promoting Italy as an events destination on the international market which was constituted in February 2011 after much anticipation by the congress industry which, for years, had been lobbying to obtain its constitution.   

“Re-instating everything in an ENIT office after both Minister Gnudi and the new president Celli had personally informed me of the opposite, means issuing a death warrant for the promotion of congress tourism in our country”, commented Zona. 

The decision has come at a time when the Italian meeting industry is experiencing a particularly difficult moment. The results, recently presented by the Italian Conference Market Report (OCI) were in fact negative: compared to 2010, figures for 2011 showed a  downturn of -2. 88% in terms of meetings (with an absolute value of more than 400 thousand), -3.01% in terms of participants (almost 33 million), - 13.10% in terms of days of congress attendance (48 and a half million) and -12.82% in terms of overnights (more than 20 million).

Based on these results, Zona underlines the absolute necessity of having a coordinated promotional body representing the Italian events industry, a super partes, independent Convention Bureau, boasting specialized human resources, suitable operational tools and funds that can be autonomously managed, in line with similar organizations that have been operative for years in other countries such as Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Spain and Switzerland.

Federcongressi&eventi’s President then went on to add, “The CB served as a reference point for the international market and, for a moment, we were under the illusion that, from a promotional point of view, Italy was on a par with other nations. Now, we have to acknowledge that we will not be able to achieve what other much less tourist-oriented countries have achieved.”

“We will continue to fight to ensure that Italy’s congress industry, like many of our competitors, has a structure dedicated to promoting Italian tourism throughout the world. We have constituted a committee of partners who, over the next few weeks, will draw up a list of collaborative proposals, a sort of “report” outlining the strong points of an effective foreign marketing strategy. Furthermore, we would like these proposals to be taken as a starting point for an efficient operating strategy”, concluded Zona.

Tag: Federcongressi&eventi, Convention Bureau Italia
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