Bit has been referred to as “the” marketplace for the tourism system in Italy and one of the top 4 in the world. This fact is punctuated by its portfolio of technical workshops, which is one-of-a-kind in this market. This year, Bit will be held from February 18-21, 2010 in Fiera Milano in Milan, Italy, and eTurboNews will be there.
The breaking news of this year’s edition is Buy World – a new workshop that focuses on supply and demand in international tourism. This is where 100 buyers from the most dynamic southeast Asian markets and 200 tour operators and travel agencies, representing the supply-side for the more than 140 countries represented at Bit, can meet up and network in an exclusive appointment and B2B their incoming and outgoing business.
Born from a collaboration with UFTAA – United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations – Buy World is the first entirely “foreign on foreign” Bit workshop, and stands out for its highly innovative nature. This is the sector’s only de-territorialized technical workshop, and realizing it required a remarkable economic and organizational effort.
Back for its second edition, the Bit Itinera conference focuses on religious tourism: this year, 80 select operators on the demand side are preparing to meet up with 200 supply-side participants. In recent years, religious tourism has added a growing spiritually-motivated element to tourism: “new pilgrims” embrace broader outlooks on spirituality, often independently of specific faiths, and seek out deeper artistic, cultural, and scenic experiences in religiously-inspired destinations. In a timely reading of the trend, this year’s Bit Itinera is responding to these market needs by broadening its range of activities to include all three monotheistic religions.
Another reconfirmed success is represented by Buy Club International, the only international workshop dedicated to the world of association-ism. This year, 300 national and international sellers and 160 buyers from 11 different countries will be coming to seize new business opportunities in one of the sector’s fastest-growing segments. Buy Club International is returning to the 2010 appointment riding high on the satisfaction rates from previous editions. According to data gathered by Comitel (an independent agency), 97.1 percent of the buyers who participated in 2009 and 91.5 percent of sellers reported that they succeeded in cultivating promising contacts at the fair.
Last of all, the “silver” edition of Buyitaly, one of the world’s biggest and most well-known workshops on Italian products, will be back with for another round. This 25th edition foresees the participation of 2,200 Italian sellers and 540 international buyers from 55 different countries. In 2009, operators expressed a steady and strong appreciation for Buyitaly: Comitel surveys found that 73.1 percent of participating operators rated this workshop as excellent or good for the Italian setting. Approximately 48 percent of the sellers who participated reported that they made contacts with buyers during the ensuing 12 months.
Another way that Bit is responding to market expectations is through new exhibition initiatives. The new Venues & Locations area is being dedicated to prestigious locations, hotels, residences, historic buildings, and congress facilities in the national and international circuits. The Short Break zone is another new addition – an exhibition area that targets cities and specialists from the micro-vacation segment, along with the Wellness/Spa zone, which presents new trends in a rapidly growing market segment.
Pleased with the results of its first edition, Adv Forum is also coming back for this year’s edition. This is a strongly business-oriented networking opportunity for travel agencies and tour operators and is reserved for select leading businesses in the sector. Adv Forum serves as a focused and in-depth venue for tour operators to present their proposals to travel agencies in a special area that is strategically located in the Tourism Collection section. Half of the 200 m2 area is occupied by a 60-seat arena for individual presentations.
Last of all, wine and food tourism is back again with a space designed to help cultivate contacts and connections between the local tourism supply and the local cultures of good food and wine that are so widespread in our country.
BIT has been confirmed as the biggest Italian products exhibition in the world and among the most important fairs for the world tourist industry, with a complete overview of the best international products. For information, go to www.bit.fieramilanoexpocts.it .