“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.

Tuesday, 5 March – ENIT Hall 1.2 / Stand 107

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.
Press Conference: #WelcomeToMeraviglia


Daniela Garnero Santanchè, Minister of Tourism 

Ivana Jelinic, ENIT CEO

Armando Varricchio, Italian Ambassador in Berlin 

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
Speaker: 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

11:30a.m. – 12.00p.m.
Press conference LIGURIA: Tourism and Liguria: a look to the future

Speaker: Sandro Pappalardo, Enit Director

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


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: European Cities of Wine
Followed by regional wine tasting 

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

Francesco Tapinassi, Director Toscana Promozione 

Maria Elena Rossi, Global Marketing Director ENIT 

11:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.
Press conference Italy’s most beautiful villages / UNPLI: Villages and the impact of social media on the promotion of territories


Fiorello Primi, President I borghi più belli d’Italia

Antonino La Spina, President UNPLI

12:00p.m. – 12:30p.m.


Simone Venturini, Councillor for Social Cohesion, Residential Policies, Economic Development, Labour and Tourism

Hall 1.2 / Stands 107 – 107 A – 107 B – 107 C
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