Today WLB got back to Rimini Fair to attend MYBD (Meet Your Blogger Day) where international and Italian travel bloggers had the opportunity of participating in B2B meetings with those exhibitors who had signed up. As my meetings were in the morning, in the afternoon I walked the whole fair up and down (and down and up for several times according to my feet!) to ‘travel’ around the world. With over 2,400 exhibitors and 130 destinations, TTG Incontri is the Italian tourism fair with the highest number of national and international professional operators attending. I had plenty of destinations to choose from – and I think I did visit the booths of all the foreign countries – but my feet kept bringing me back to Central Asia and Far East. As a matter of fact, Uzbekistan apparently offered me to join a travel blogger tour in Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva (after reading Tiziano Terzani’s ‘Buona notte, signor Lenin’ – ‘Goodnight, Mr Lenin’ – I developed an insane interest in Central Asia!) and I could not help buying an Armenian cross carved out of tuff by an artist from Yerevan at the fair.
At the Korean booth you could get your name written by a Korean calligrapher (I asked her to kindly write my daughter’s name to Costanza’s delight) whereas Japan displayed Japanese handicraft (take a look at the picture of the wooden Japanese doll below). To me the Japanese booth was the most beautiful with the tiniest detail looked after. I did not particularly like any of the Italian regions (I’m obviously referring to the booths… I’m fond of all Italy!). Alitalia, however, attracted my attention with one of Alitalias’ first uniforms displayed. The hostess uniform was designed by the three Fontana sisters in 1950 (the same Atélier that worked for the Italian movie industry; e.g. for Federico Fellini’s ‘La dolce vita’).
I also came across two very interesting conferences in the afternoon: one on ‘Sharing Economy: threat or opportunity for travel agents’ and the other by Annamaria Testa ‘Italy: Telling a different story’. Unfortunately I had to leave the second conference after 30 minuts: enough time though to sneer at the embarassing Italian tourism official website http://www.italia.it. If compared to the Spanish official tourism website, we really make a bad impression. Luckily foreign tourists keep choosing Italy as travel destination, even if we are risking to get behind Turkey in the world rank of the top visited countries. Turkey is of course a beautiful country, but if it is true that Italy has the largest cultural and artistic heritage in the world, shouldn’t we Italians be better at promoting our country?
What do you think? What is your travel experience in Italy (other than trains being never on time and taxi driver in Rome driving like crazy?).