Florence launches strategy against mass-tourism with Destination Florence
A possible national model for a new, sustainable and qualified tourism?
Destination Florence, the first national marketing and promotional project between a public body and a private professional consortium, developed by the Destination Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau and realized in partnership with the City of Florence that will allow for the monitoring of tourism flow, diversifying the offerings and bettering the strategy of Florence as a destination, thus raising the standards of users and of the experience.
The City of Florence, along with its partners, aims to outline new and effective strategies in the field, relying on the governance of tourism and the ability to directly foster agreements between institutions and individuals, while defining and clarifying the roles of various on-site actors. The current widespread existence of offers and fragmentation of products, aside from damaging the image of the destination, are a cause for great confusion for buyers and potential users of the city.
Leading this battle, the Mayor reiterates his strategic role as Florence’s first ambassador, promoter and sponsor. “This is a unique project in Italy – confirms Mayor Nardella – to redesign strategies and tools in order to better the quality of fluctuation and flow in cities such as our own, succumb to high pressure by tourism. Thanks to the exclusive relationship that the City of Florence maintains with the Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau, we will launch the first platform for information, promotion and online sales of qualified and certified tourist services in the city, including the greater metropolitan area, to include lesser-known concepts of great touristic value. In this way – Nardella continues – we can become a “tailor-made” alternative to the massive online and mass-market sales players, putting in to play concrete actions such as the war against ‘hit and run’ and ‘piggybacking’ tendencies of museum entrances, which often leads to overwhelming ticket numbers, a true disservice to the tourists who seek an authentic visit to our museums. We’re aiming to better the tourism within the city of Florence, to decongest the historic city center, by promoting and selling destinations belonging to the communal and metropolitan areas. This is the challenge that all Italian art cities must have the courage to confront”.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:
• Augment number of tourists with a qualified profile and high spending capacity.
• Increase the average duration of stay within the territory.
• Expand and diversify the range of services, products, and experiences.
• Develop and promote tourism offerings, proposing a benchmark for a single, potential national model.
• Qualitatively enhance the image of Florence worldwide.
• Monitor the presence and behavior of tourists through state-of-the-art profiling and analysis to aid in potential economic support for the City and Metropolitan Area.
• Targeted actions at the international level with the most qualified operators.
• Presence at primary Fairs and Events of the sector (ILTM Cannes, WTB Berlin, etc.).
• International Media Relations and PR activities in US, UK, GERMANY, and NORTHERN EUROPEAN markets.
• The Destination Florence project will rely on the portal com at its core, a strategic marketing and promotion tool from which to draw information, contacts, and services.
The Destination Florence project represents a unique experience on the national level as it is realized by FCVB, a private company, in partnership with the City of Florence. This ensures it to be the official portal of the city, an aspect that greatly enhances its reliability and efficiency and, at the same time, allows for the commercialization of tourism offerings, a unique defining factor.
Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau has been operating for over 20 years as a destination agency to attract large events, congresses, international marriages, and individual tourists.
It represents a comprehensive outlet for tourism thanks to more than 230 partners and collaborators, a network that makes it possible to have a synchronized bond with the territory and the operators functioning within, strengthened by signed agreements with trade associations of reference.
The portal addresses three target users: citizens, tourists, and students and will serve not only as a platform accessible to global tourists but also a live, commercial outlet to be promoted worldwide. It will also be a single point of reference for anyone looking to find information about the city of Florence, making his or her experience in the Tuscan capital unique.
The Destination Florence platform utilizes a technology system capable of monitoring tourist behavior and activity, from their origin and habits to the most frequented places. These studies give way to identifying new reservation systems for big museums, tour operator certifications, and tariff modulation based on seasonal flow and demand. Above all else, they shed insight on the attractions of return tourists.
Inside the portal you will be able to purchase the following services using a single shopping cart (cross booking): state, civic and private museum tickets, theatre tickets, concerts, sporting events, taxi reservations, car services, airline and train tickets, guided tours, tourist services, packages, etc.
Destination Florence’s philosophy is to use the location’s existing platforms and unite them under one hat by way of various agreements, while the content will be enriched with up-to-date, trusted institutional sources such as firenzeturismo.it and turismo.intoscana.it. Anyone wishing to join the project can be present on the platform.
As for hotel reservations, it has been decided not to use a large OTA and not to create a booking portal from scratch, but to use a pre-existing, credible instrument in the world of OTA’s that can be adjusted ad hoc based on necessity.
The marketing and communications plan will be one of the key levers to promote the city, and will be supported by a significant investment on behalf of the Destination Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau. A dedicated logo was created to foster recognition by the target audience, giving the project an identifiable symbol and crediting the network present in the city of Florence.
The graphic design and technical realization of the portal were realized by Vertical Media of Florence, along with the web marketing and communications plan for the promotion and positioning of the platform.
The Destination Florence portal supports Florentine culture and territory by devoting a percentage of booking fee revenues to projects dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the city’s heritage. In accordance with the City of Florence, each year a Cultural Art commission will select a work of art that will be sustained thanks to donations collected through bookings made by travelers who use the portal.
FCVB already relies on important confirmed partnerships with major local businesses operating in the tourism sector. The partnerships involve sharing all promotional and marketing activities abroad to strengthen the image of the destination and the excellence of the territory, as well as identifying paths and projects designed and realized ad hoc for users of the platform.
Below is the list of confirmed partners who are dedicated to placing their products on the destinationflorence.com platform:
• NUOVO TEATRO DELL’OPERA/MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO
• PALAZZO STROZZI
• TEATRI DELLA TOSCANA
• MUSEI CIVICI – MUSE
• MUSEO DELL’OPERA DEL DUOMO
• FONDAZIONE SISTEMA TOSCANA – PROGETTO RAI “DESTINATION FLORENCE”
• ARTEX Center per l’Artigianato Artistico e Tradizionale della Toscana
• ALL PARTNERS OF DESTINATION FLORENCE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU