BIT 2014 in Milan started in an unfortunate way for me, as you could read in my first post.
Still, I must admit that all in all, the fair was not that ridiculously bad organized as I had seen it during the transfer from the airport to Milan.
Surprisingly, the number of hosted buyers this year was greater than at the 2013 edition, the first one I was invited. On the other hand, the international presence of exhibitors at the fair was clearly weaker, while the Italian exhibitors also seemed to me less of quality than last year.
The organization all in all had a lot of flaws, although this year there was a better networking program than one year ago, but in the same time looked as if it had been a discrepancy between what had been planned on paper and the operational output. Hope the guys from Ventana Grup will work it out till next year. They seem to be a united team and the fact that I recognized quite a few of the faces of the young staff from last year means they could be together and correct the minuses till 2015, when the big EXPO should not leave any space for mistakes. Just think about the fact that 1 million Chinese tourists are expected especially for the Expo.
From my point of view I could find some interesting new partners, as I was mainly looking for incentive activities in northern Italy and city-break possibilities in the cities directly connected to Iasi via TAROM flights.
What never stops to surprise me about the Italiann providers in tourism is the stubborness with which they stick to their traditional and representative products. It’s not about the fear of innovation, but about the belief in the originality and quality of flagship touristic products: oenology, fine arts, motor sports history, landscapes and gastronomy, with a spice of winter sports. Pretty much, this is the offer of the Italian tourism actors.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a dull offer, but once you get one or two good partners there, there’s not much which can surprise you. Maybe that’s the direction the organizers should look into next year: innovation Italy. I am sure there are travel agencies or cities offering something else. If you know such providers, please do not hesitate to send us their details.