ITALY (eTN) – The objective: for Italy to increase it’s tourism market by 10 to 20 percent within the next four years. The means: The Italian Minister of Tourism Mrs. Michela Vittoria Brambilla presented to the media “Sistema Italia,” a tourism promotion plan, which incorporates the new portal Italia.it, Magic Italy in Tour, and Project BRIC.
Besides the Virtual Travel Market already active on the site www.vtmitalia.it ,
Magic Italy.it is a short video to be broadcast by the official Italian TV network to awaken the interest of the natives to discover their own country. “To discover” is the invitation made by the vibrant voice of a jolly and joyful Mr. Berlusconi, Italy’s Prime Minister, who, while flipping through a book and pointing his finger at the audience of the video, is the protagonist for the second time in two years. In the 2010 video, Mr. Berlusconi lends only his voice since, as stated by Ms. Brambilla, “the PM is known worldwide, and [we] do not need to show his face.”
The extremely rejuvenated image of the premier and his rational expression accompanied by a sweet smile and an almost fatherly-like reproach is heard saying, “Do you know that Italy is the country that gave the world 50 percent of the artistic heritage protected by UNESCO?” At the end of his “Did you know” quotation on other Italian sites, he asks his country’s citizens to “take advantage of your vacation to discover the Italy that you still do not know – this magnificent Italy to discover and love!”
Merciless criticism of the video has included the unrealistic quotation regarding 5% of Italian assets being protected by UNESCO (Brambilla says even more at 70%). The new portal, Magic Italy.it, was immediately publicly pilloried in all the usual social networks. So another attempt to boost tourism ends up costing Italy’s taxpayers 10 million euro – this, after the failure of its preceding Italia.it (2008-09) which cost 45 million euro. We won’t even mention attempts prior to this, none of which have hit the target so far.
Magic Tour in Italy is the marketing tool that the Minister of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry shall make available to the Italian regions, local agencies, consortia, associations, and businesses to enhance Europe destinations and products in the Italian system.
This traveling roadshow will showcase Italy’s excellence in the field of art, and its creativity with food from the Italian territory will be on display in the streets of 19 cities of 11 European countries, the main markets in which it generates the flow of tourists to Italy.
A friendly modular structure will be open to the public and consists of a modern and elegant multi-function truck and some gazebos placed around the squares as a showcase of “Made in Italy.” The road show started March 24 in Monaco and shall proceed to Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Bern, Stockholm, Goteborg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Paris, Marseille, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon, ending in early August. The roadshow will be open for four days from Thursday to Sunday at each port of call.
All of Mother Nature being well, the crops derived from the spring/summer seeding may be seen in autumn during Italy’s grape harvesting time. Will the German markets give up their sacred Octoberfest to witness this harvest? Italy may have to wait for the 2012 tourism season, with the hopes that such an expensive promotion will be remembered by the citizens of the 11 countries visited by the caravan of the Magic Tour. Perhaps some magic is needed to make this dream come true.
Also part of the tourism plan is Project BRIC – an initiative to target the markets of emerging BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – which alone account for 42% of the world and have had an extraordinary period of growth, even in terms of tourism.
In Brazil in 2010, tourism spending grew by more than 50%, and there were ouble-digit increases for Russia and China.
Enit, Italy’s national tourism agency, has been commissioned to design an ad-hoc promotional plan to strengthen and consolidate the tourist image of Italy in these countries. Three exhibitions are foreseen on the theme, “Italy Eyes of Foreign Artists,” in the BRIC metropolis, to include meetings with opinion leaders, representatives of local institutions, and the media to present the best offers and excellence of “Made in Italy.”
Meanwhile, Italy’s tourism is weighing on accommodation, and with the economic crisis, there is a weakening of domestic demand, which historically is 70% of the business.
The Minister will focus on seasonal adjustment and relocation – for example tourism, art, and culture. “For the first time in Italy, in the text of the code of tourism, we have provided for the enhancement of our artistic heritage for tourism purposes and to generate the resources necessary for its self-reliance,” said the Minister. There was no word from the Minister on the continual cuts to arts funding decided by its government, which has put a strain on the existence of public and private institutions of culture, museums, archeological sites (e.g: Pompei), theatres, and cinemas.
According to the video spot, Magic Italy is “a way to support the national economy and the tourism industry, which has seen a significant drop in their turnover related to travel to North Africa, the Middle East, and now in Asia.”
The Italian domestic tourism expenditure has been estimated by the National Observatory of Tourism to be about 42.39 billion per year. Italy is hoping toe to get more and pay less according to foreign tourist boards. And the new tourist tax is not going to help.
Italy is now facing serious internal chaotic political, economic situations plus shameful happenings that have bashed its image worldwide. The latest exodus of migrants from north Africa is seen as a deterrent by the regions requested to host a quota of them to unburden the massive presence in the small Sicilian island of Lampedusa.
“We can hit the target!” according to Ms. Brambilla.
Somewhere people yell ”God save the queen”, here, “God save Italy!”