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Leggy Brambilla is out as biker Gnudi steps in

Where will Italy's tourism head to now?

Elisabeth Lang, eTN Italy  Dec 03, 2011

ITALY (eTN) - The new government in Italy has swept away Italy’s Tourism Minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla. „Brambilla has not tarted up Italian tourism,“ Italian newspaper and website “Il Fatto Quotidiano“ said in an article in June 2010, titled „Un sito internet da 8 milioni di euro, l’ultimo spreco del ministro Brambilla – An 8 Million Euro Website,the Latest Waste of Money by Minister Brambilla,“ in its assessment of leggy Michela Victoria Brambilla‘s performance as Italy’s Tourism Minister.

Indeed, Michela Vittoria Brambilla has spent lots and lots of money – nearly 200 million euros by all accounts, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano, including 8 million euros on the tourism web site, which nobody likes. The great and colorful logo of Italy was changed into a boring and anonymous-looking logo.

Italy’s tourism operators were not at all happy with Brambilla’s promotion of Italian tourism, or rather, lack of it. The impression of the work carried out byMs. Brambilla is that she does not know too much about promoting tourism to Italy. The Italian Cronicle described it this way: “Italy desperately needs a Minister of Tourism who understands tourism better.”

But this year, Ms. Brambilla did it again and dumped millions of euros in doing overseas promotions without any attendees utilizing the slogan, “ Italy comes to you,” but she never came along.

The project “Magic Italy in tour” was a total flop. Furthermore, Ms.Brambilla was spending fortunes in promoting “vacanze per quattro zampe” holidays for pets. She has 13 dogs herself – while most Italians don’t have even one dog.

But these times are over now, and this week, the former Tourism Minister of Italy was seen in Milan on November 25 collecting signatures against fur coats in this unsual warm winter weeks, on the occasion of “World Day Against the Furs.” Her new message is heading towards animals and reads: "This is an appeal to your conscience, respect life of animals, do not dress the corpse.”

Michela Vittoria Brambilla then presented the bill, as the first signatory, along with colleagues of the coordination for the creation of an Italy Animal Friendly. IV bis of Title IX-bis of the Penal Code (offenses against the feeling for animals) calls for prohibiting the breeding, capture, and killing of animals for fur production. The violations are then punished with imprisonment from 3 to 18 months, with the addition of penalties of up to 5,000 euros for each animal.

Former ENIT (the Italian National Tourism State Board) President Matteo Marzotto, a descendant of a long line of Italian textile tycoons, is smiling from advertising campaigns of Philip Watch, as co-founder of the foundation CF-Cystic Fibrosis Research. Posters advertising the press and video campaign where displayed all over Italy, where more smiling faces would be needed in the tourism industry as well.

But what has been happening to ENIT since 1919? The ENIT head office in Frankfurt, which is responsible for Germany and also Northern Europe, is left without its Director Marco Montini, who was called back to Rome this October.
So has the Director of Great Britain, and by end of this year, well-known and long-served US Promoter Strano will return to Italy.

Significient budget cuts will be made, and the first sight of a shrinking promotion was seen in London in November at the World Travel Maket with a downsized Italy stand. Insiders are already saying that most of the tourism activities planned for next year are going to be cancelled due to lack of money.

A couple of days ago, Italy got a new Tourism and Sports Minister. His name is Piero Gnudi, and he is a Minister in the new Italian goverment formed by Mario Monti. The cabinet will try to establish reforms to save the country from a financial disaster.

Gnudi is 73 years old, with a degree in Economics and Commerce from Bologna. He has been very active in different industrial companies, being Chairman in different boards up until now and also serving as Board Chairman of Enel (an Italy Energysupplier) from May 2002 to April 2011.

The Italian journalist, Pier Bergonzi, of the Gazzetta dello Sport tweeted that Gnudi has a passion for cycling and that he used to go for rides with Romano Prodi, the former Prime Minister. This might come in handy for Italy’s famous Giro Italia – but another question remains: will the 78,000 macchine blue – the official ministerial cars in service by the Italian government, (London only has 269) - be replaced by bikes in future?

Where will Italy's tourism head to now?
Pope with wooden bike - handmade and designed by Giovanni Cermenati

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