The BTE, Exchange of Non-hotel Tourism, which this year took place in Marina di Capo d’Orlando, organized by Confesercenti Sicilia, whose president Vittorio Messina is also president of Assoturismo Confesercenti, puts selected representatives of the Sicilian non-hotel sector in contact with operators and buyers interested in Italy and in particular in Sicily.
Twenty buyers from Canada, Spain, France, Poland, Russia, Holland, Czech Republic, as well as some national buyers were present at the Fair this year.
The direct one-to-one contacts organized by the Fair offer the possibility of personal knowledge, exploration of the must-haves of the structures and therefore the definition of possible collaboration and business agreements.
Among the more than 120 sellers present, the owners of B & Bs, holiday homes, campsites, charming agritourisms inserted in owned land, nautical charters.
Marina Capo D’Orlando
Direct knowledge has also made it possible to deepen all the opportunities offered by the structures on their territory: from typical cooking courses to guided walks, from e-bike rental to olive harvesting, to organized excursions.
As Vittorio Messina underlined, “non-hotel accommodation is the answer to a growing demand from those who seek authentic places and experiences while traveling”.
The cultural, archaeological and landscape richness of Sicily does not place limits on these initiatives which can range from nature to culture, to food and wine increasingly appreciated by modern tourism.
And the wealth of opportunities in the area is one of the winning factors for expanding the tourist season, attracting other customer groups and above all expanding the number of nights spent in the structures.
For this purpose, the Fair has also set up a large exhibition area on municipalities, companies, production districts coordinated by the regional department for productive activities, the system of parks and nature reserves, to promote itineraries and experiences.
As Prof Giovanni Ruggieri, president of Otie (Tourism Observatory of the Economy of the Islands) pointed out in the opening report, non-hotel tourism, in which Sicily is the second European island, with six thousand different realities, is the one that has marked a steady growth over the past 7 years.
Three million 260 thousand nights sold and 1 million tourists, the numbers of 2019, the last pre-covid year.
The presence on the island of houses that are half uninhabited determines great growth potential for the non-hotel sector, which proves to be an excellent driver for the local economy, also contributing to employment, especially for young people.
At the initial round table Marcello Giacone, head of the cabinet of the regional tourism, sport and entertainment department, recalled the work undertaken to create a single text on tourism that simplifies all sector regulations, while Giorgio Palmucci, president of the National Tourism Agency , has enhanced the BTE, a very important event, especially after Covid, to look to the future of tourism.
Raul Russo, head of the private secretariat of the councilor for tourism Manlio Messina, recalled how the project of the councilor for tourism See Sicily (which gives one night to those who book at least three) aims to extend the season, and Toto Cordaro, councilor Regional Territory and Environment, underlined the role of the Region, present at the BTE through the Department of Productive Activities, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Territory and Environment, which promoted the four natural parks of Alcantara, Nebrodi, Etna and Madonie.
Another expanding tourism in Sicily is the nautical one, to which the mayor of Capo d’Orlando referred, illustrating the potential of Marina di Capo d’Orlando, an excellent structure for Italian pleasure boating, for the imposing basin complete with all services, with a depth of up to 4 meters, capable of accommodating 553 berths for boats up to 40 meters in length.
Its strategic position just 14 nautical miles from the Aeolian Islands makes it easy to reach the most attractive coastal tourist resorts of the whole Mediterranean.
For the operators present at the Fair, the training activity with seminars on the legislative framework of the sector and on the opportunities deriving from regional and state concessions for the different types of non-hotel structures proved to be invaluable.
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