Co-ordinated by one time Alitalia UK General Manager, the as ever energetic Gianni Leone, Travel Hashtag, Italy's travel trade networking event, returned to London last month in support of the Italian tourist industry.
Key hosts were ENIT (Italian National Tourist Board) headed by UK Director Flavio Zappacosta, and Pierfrancesco Carino VP International Sales of the currently state-owned ITA Airways, arriving from Milan for what he said was an easy day trip via London City Airport. He said that the three times daily business route was doing exceptionally well with the Embraer 190, to be replaced by new delivery Airbus A220-100s in the autumn.
"Travellers from the United Kingdom are at the top of the ranking of foreign tourists who choose Italy, with a tourist expenditure of almost €4bn – says Nicola Romanelli, Founder and Chairman of Travel Hashtag – Our initiative in the heart of London was the right opportunity to further fuel the interest of the UK market in Italian destinations, especially those in the south.”
Held at London’s Melia White those showcasing included Forte Village, Palazzo Fiuggi, Palazzo di Varignana, Tenuta di Artimino member of Meliá Collection, Life Hotels & Resorts, Martulli Viaggi, Travel Before, Master Explorer, booknbook, Travel Uni – Equator Learning and Air Horizont.
A superb gala lunch, Italian in a Spanish-owned hotel, included presentations by Antonio Nicoletti (General Manager of Basilicata Tourist Promotion Agency), Aldo Melpignano (Managing Director of San Domenico Hotels), Stefania Serra (Head of Sales Italy of Melia Hotels), and Andrew Bunn (Country Manager UK, Ireland & Nordics of ITA Airways) entertained the participants with inspirational presentations full of useful information.
“The message is clear”, said Gianni Leone, a much-loved figure in the UK travel trade, “Italy is the place to go to for your summer holiday."
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