International Tourism Exchange hits Milan

 MILAN -- The final details of Bit (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo - International Tourism Exchange) 2017, to be held at FieraMilanoCity from April 2 to April 4, have finally been defined. The exhibition, which has the multiple aims of doing business, setting trends and creating synergies between industry players, features a new layout and a rich schedule of conferences. 


  The exhibition is split into the four sections - Leisure, Luxury, MICE and Sport - and offers a comprehensive review of Italian and international destinations, from the most popular to the most original. In Italy, the event represents entities that range from municipalities to consortia, and from mountain communities to the regional authorities.


 Some of the most noteworthy destinations, for tourist operators and visitors alike, include Basilicata, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sardinia and Veneto (in Italy), and countries such as Canada, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Uganda overseas. Regular attendees include Visit USA for the United States, and the Tourism Boards of Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Cuba, Egypt, Japan, Iran, Morocco, Seychelles and Thailand.


 Bit 2017 will also host an area dedicated to one of the most promising travel niches, LGBT tourism, organized in partnership with Saunders & Beach and endorsed by ILGTA (the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association).


 Finally, confirming the increasingly close ties between tourism and culture, the event will offer an important new opportunity: on April 2, anyone visiting MiArt - the contemporary art fair that will be taking place simultaneously at FieraMilanoCity from March 31 to April 2 - will be able to use the same ticket to visit Bit 2017 free of charge.


 In addition to the show's four macro-areas, final touches are being made to the three themed areas conceived in collaboration with experts from each field: A Bit of Taste for food and wine, I Love Wedding for wedding tourism, and Be Tech for the digital world.


 For A Bit of Taste, the top chefs of APCI (the Association of Professional Italian Chefs) will entertain visitors with a large show-cooking area and a section dedicated to regional Italian products, known as Le Strade del Gusto (The Flavour Trail). The area will host Obiettivo Apprendistato (Goal: Apprenticeship), an initiative dedicated to young talents, and will be organised in partnership with AMPI (the Italian Academy of Master Confectioners), FIPE (the Italian Federation of Public Concerns), HostMilano, EWGF - Expo Women Global Forum, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.


 I Love Wedding, taking place in a large Piazza, is an aggregator of the Italian and foreign offering, and is split into two segments: Destination Wedding, for those who wish to get married in their dream location, and Wedding Moon, devoted to honeymoons (89 percent of couples prolong their stay). There will be a special desk for VIP Wedding Planners and Wedding Bloggers, who will be invited to take part in dedicated social occasions.


 Most worthy of note in the Be Tech themed area are Trivago, the leading price comparison company, the Travel&Stay portal, the booking wholesaler VanillaTours, and technology providers such as Proxima Service or LinkSwiss ICT Solutions. Also vertical companies such as Bellebnb, which specialises in B&Bs, or Trexya, which owns the website.

 Finally, Destination Sport, supported by CONI (the Italian National Olympic Committee), will include a series of enthralling demonstrations. For this area, the organisers are still defining a series of technical partnerships with leading sports equipment suppliers.


  Bit 2017 will offer a rich schedule of over 70 events and conferences in response to the demand, expressed by Exhibitors, Travel Agents and Buyers, to be able to avail at the trade show of veritable "tool boxes" providing continuous updates on specific topics. Developed in collaboration with Givi S.r.l., the publishing house of Guida Viaggi, and About Hotel, the events will be split into 4 sections: Training, Hot Topics, Big News and Technology.


 The Training section, dedicated to Travel Agencies and Hotels, aims to offer new ideas to increase business by leveraging the latest trends. One example is the meeting entitled I Matrimoni del Segmento LGBT (LGBT Marriages), which will provide guidance on the opportunities offered by various destinations, based also on their different legislations.


 The Hot Topics section will present trends having a profound effect on markets, some of which involve Italy directly: for example, Italia, Paese per low cost (Italy, a pro-low cost country) will illustrate the effects of low cost airlines on tourist flows.


 Big News will deal with all the latest innovations, from new products and routes to commercial incentives and technological products. In a relentless schedule of presentations, what's new in 2017 will be presented, in two rounds, by Top Operators of the calibre of: Alpitour, Costa Crociere, Eden Viaggi, Emirates, Francorosso, Gattinoni, Hotelplan, MSC Crociere, NTV - .Italo, Press Tours, Settemari, Trenitalia and Veratour.


 Most worthy of note are: Milano chiama Roma (Milan calling Rome), in which two destination models will be compared and contrasted, with a view to promoting growth throughout Italy; and Exploring food tourism: il turismo della birra (Beer tourism), one of the latest novelties in food and wine tourism.


 Finally, the Technology section will anticipate the latest hi-tech evolutions aimed at adapting the final product to the needs of increasingly discerning customers. An example is the meeting Un mondo senza le OTA… È possibile? (A world without OTAs: reality or science fiction?), during which the new frontiers of disintermediation will be discussed.


 Confirmed panelists include Il Sole 24 Ore, Alidays, GFK Eurisko and Tnbnet.


 For event updates:, @bitmilano #Bit2017