Cherish Italy WTMEnit – Italy’s national tourist board – unveiled its forward tourism strategy at WTM centring on the concept of Slow Travel and leveraging the fame of historical figures to impassion culture vultures.

Maria Elena Rossi, the tourism board’s marketing and promotion director, said: “At the basis of our strategy for the next three years is the promotion of slow and active tourism, engaging for the tourist and respectful of the heritage, combined with a project that rides on the resonance of three great names in the history of Italian culture.”

The ‘LRD Centenaries - Matching Italic People’ programme will develop from the celebration of three centenaries - the fifth of Leonardo da Vinci (2019) and Raffaello Sanzio’s deaths (2020) and the seventh of Dante Alighieri (2021) – and will look to connect travellers with these personalities through their locations, events and important works. The project was borne out from the travel intentions found from approximately 200 sites of tourist conversation in the world and an investigation is still in progress with ‘snowball sampling’ on Facebook. This approach looks to garner a new understanding of the most visited places together with the development of areas with a strong potential and represents the basis on which the tourism board has developed its UK campaign ‘#cherishitaly, Live in the moment’.

During WTM, the tourism board further hosted a cultural evening reception to celebrate Italian heritage at the London National Gallery, which is currently hosting an exhibition of works by Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna. Pictured at the event, from the left is: Federico Bianchi, head of press and culture for the Italian Embassy in the UK; Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery; with Enit’s marketing and promotion director Maria Elena Rossi and executive director Giovanni Bastianelli.

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