March 2, 2024

“We are experiencing a new vision of tourism”

ITB Berlin News spoke with ENIT CEO Ivana Jelinic in an exclusive interview about how Italy is adapting to travellers’ new expectations

Ivana Jelinic discussed the steps being taken by the tourism agency to strengthen the country’s digital communication and highlighted Italy’s commitment to sustainability in 2024.

Did the 2023 tourist season in Italy meet expectations?
Italy is one of the most popular international destinations, and a long-standing favourite with its neighbouring countries, such as Germany. Around the world, Italy’s charm makes it the leading market for Americans and the Chinese. Tourism in Italy is experiencing renewed vitality which is felt in the industry and the supply chain. There is a desire to experiment, to create new offerings to meet increasingly demanding customers’ expectations. We are experiencing a new vision of tourism that takes into account accessibility, digitalisation, innovation, sustainability, and a new need to ensure that Italy’s artistic and cultural heritage are available all year long.

What are some of the dominant trends in tourists’ expectations?
Tourists no longer experience their holidays passively by photographing places of beauty, but want to actively immerse themselves in the social fabric of the places they visit. Trends are very much demand-driven, and the demand is made up of people around the world who influence each other on trends. The orientation is also influenced by international events, as well as ENIT’s ability to make an impact on international buyers. Italy’s tourism offering is just as varied as the country’s geographical connotations. It is broken down by target group, time of year and experiences, all of which differ depending on the areas visited and the unique aspects of the locations.

Tourists no longer experience their holidays passively (…), but want to actively immerse themselves in the social fabric of the places they visit.

What strategies is ENIT adopting to promote Italy internationally as a prime destination for outdoor and nature tourism? Why is this market so strategically important now?
Firstly, we have continuously analysed the outdoor sector through specific studies carried out with partners, and through our continuous dialogue with professionals at sector-specific trade fairs and international events. On a European level, ENIT is working on projects dedicated to the development of nature trails that shine a spotlight on Italy’s unique, awe-inspiring landscapes. Given that sustainability is a growing concern in the tourism sector, ENIT is a leader in European green transition projects. With an academy and various funded programmes, it is helping drive companies to reach new green targets.

What does ENIT do to encourage international tourism throughout the year?
We carry out ongoing promotional initiatives, from the out-of-home type on major international websites and international transit hubs to the major media, events and trade fairs in all 5 continents. Our synergy with the institutions and the world of private stakeholders makes it possible to coordinate our operations, also thanks to constant direction and a joint observation point formed via the federal council present in ENIT.

“Tourists no longer experience their holidays passively”.

What are the main markets Italy is targeting for inbound tourism in 2024? How do communication strategies differ depending on the market?
The focus is on strengthening well-established and mature markets such as Germany and all neighbouring countries as well as on opening up to new frontiers. Meanwhile, the most promising markets are mainly emerging markets such as the Arab Emirates, South-East Asia and their user bases. Our horizon is absolutely geared towards making Italy a target destination for tourists from parts of the world that were interested in other markets until now. With China we have actively resumed our joint activities, especially through multiple digital and technological initiatives and tours for Chinese influencers. For several years now, ENIT has been implementing digital marketing activities, placing Italy in pole position in the Chinese online ecosystem.

Italy at ITB Berlin 2024

Tuesday, 5 March

ENIT  Hall 1.2 / Stand 107

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.
Press Conference: #WelcomeToMeraviglia
Daniela Garnero Santanchè, Minister of Tourism
Alessandra Priante, ENIT President
Ivana Jelinic, ENIT CEO
Armando Varricchio, Italian Ambassador in Berlin 
Stefano Bonaccini, President Emilia Romagna Region TBC
Luca Zaia, President Veneto Region TB
Moderation: Alexander Mazza

1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m. 
Refreshment sponsored by Federalberghi Ischia Procida / Campi Flegrei / Costa Vesuvio / Penisola Sorrentina

2:00p.m. – 2:30p.m.
Press conference EMILIA ROMAGNA: Visit Emilia-Romagna: Cycling Paradise and News 2024
Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia-Romagna Region
Andrea Corsini, Councillor for Mobility and Transport, Infrastructure, Tourism, Trade

3:00p.m. – 3.30p.m.
Press conference MOLISE, Authentic emotions in a territory to discover
Salvatore Micone, Councillor for Culture, sport, tourism and traditions, territorial marketing and mountain development
Angela Aufiero, Regional Councillor for Tourism and Culture

4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.
Press conference  BASILICATA: another SUDITALIA -…  Nature, Flavours and Passions!
Followed by an aperitif reception
Marcella Di Feo,
APT Basilicata International Marketing

Wednesday, 6 March 

ENIT   Hall 1.2 / Stand 107

10:30a.m. – 11:00a.m.
Press conference TUSCANY: From slow tourism to city break: a journey through nature and culture in Tuscany
Francesco Tapinassi, Director Toscana Promozione
Leila Pruneti, Toscana Promozione
Clara Svanera, Cultural Tourism Coordinator for Toscana Promozione
Mariangela Dal Fovo, MFA Coordinator for Tuscany for the Turismo delle Radici (Roots Tourism) project
Pasquale Iervolino – President Tuscan Roots for Turismo delle Radici 

11:30a.m. – 12.00p.m.
Press conference LIGURIA: Tourism and Liguria: a look to the future
Sandro Pappalardo, ENIT Councillor
Augusto Sartori, Councillor for Labour and Active Employment Policies, Transport, Relations with Trade Unions, Tourism, Tourism Fairs and Major Events 

Presentation ITA AIRWAYS: Summer 24, new destinations, fleet innovation and sustainability
Followed by an aperitif reception
Pierfrancesco Carino, VP International Sales
Carla Catuogno, Regional Manager Europe
Rodney Cali, Country Manager Germany, Austria, Poland & Czech Republic

2:00p.m. – 2:30p.m.
Press conference FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA: Nova Gorica and Gorizia: our “little Berlin”. A flight over the borders to the European Capital of Culture 2025
Rodolfo Ziberna, Mayor of Gorizia 
Samo Turel, Mayor of Nova Gorica 
Moderation: Barbara Gruden 

2:30p.m. – 3:00p.m.
ENIT press conference: La Macchina di Santa Rosa: UNESCO heritage
Sandro Pappalardo, ENIT Councillor 
Elena Palazzo, Councillor for Tourism 
Daniele Sabatini, Regional Councillor 
Mario L. Crea, President of the Regional Tourism Commission 
Paolo Giuntarelli, Director of Presidency Affairs, Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport 
Massimo Mecarini, President of the Sodalizio dei Facchini della Macchina di Santa Rosa  
Raffaele Ascenzi, Designer of the Macchina di Santa Rosa 

3:00p.m.- 3.30p.m.
Press conference SICILY: Live an authentic emotion
Hon. Elvira Amata, Councillor for Tourism, Sport and Entertainment of the Sicilian Region 

3.30p.m. – 4:00p.m.
Press conference LAZIO: Lazio Paths towards the Jubilee 
Elena Palazzo, Councillor for Tourism, Environment, Sport, Climate Change, Energy Transition, Sustainability  
Daniele Sabatini, Regional Councillor 
Mario Luciano Crea, President of the Regional Commission for Tourism 
Sandro Pappalardo, ENIT Councillor 
Paolo Giuntarelli, Director of Presidency Affairs, Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport 
Roberto Battista, Director of Presidency Affairs, Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport

4:00p.m.- 5:00p.m.
Press conference PIEMONTE: Piemonte, the experience you don’t expect. In 2024 also European City of Wine
Followed by regional wine tasting 
Video message from Vittoria Poggio, Piemonte Region Councillor for Tourism and Marco Protopapa, Piemonte Region Councillor for Agriculture
Mario Arosio, President of the “European City of Wine 2024” Committee
Federico Riboldi, Mayor of Casale Monferrato
Sara Olivieri, Councillor for Commerce of the City of Ovada
Paolo Lantero, Mayor of the City of Ovada

Thursday, 7 March 

ENIT  Hall 1.2 / Stand 107

11:00a.m. – 11:30a.m.
Press conference FEDERTERME: Italcares, the Italian answer to medical tourism  
Raffaella Iarrapino, Project Manager Italcares, Federterme 
Maria Elena Rossi, Global Marketing Director ENIT 

12:00p.m. – 12:30p.m.
Press conference MUNICIPALITY OF VENICE:  Venice 2024
Luca Stevanato, Digital Marketing Manager Vela SpA

12.30p.m. – 1:00p.m.
Press conference GERACE: You will love Gerace!
Followed by a tasting of typical products
Cosimo Caridi, Calabria Region Executive 
Salvatore Galluzzo, Mayor of Gerace 
Loredana Panetta, Head of Tourism and Culture Municipality of Gerace
Roberto Quatraccione, Communication and Marketing Expert