Italy’s No. 1 tourism region present for first time at ITB China
Veneto is a land rich in art and culture, unique beauties and tradition. A land of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Venice, the city of Marco Polo and a strategic city on the Silk Road.
“The Chinese market is very important for the Veneto region, because we are becoming more and more ‘Chinese friendly’,” explains Laura Vendramin, director of economic promotion and internationalisation for the region of Veneto, adding, “It is a huge market from a tourism point of view, which is interesting for a region like Veneto, which has a huge receptive capacity, and above all a great tourist offering.”
Veneto is the top tourism region in Italy, according to Ms Vendramin, with 70-million overnight stays and 19-million arrivals in 2018. “This is due to the great variety of the tourism offering, from the Dolomites, dipped in the crimson shades of the sunset, to the eastern shores of Lake Garda and Peschiera del Garda, Torri del Benaco and other tourist destinations. Long, sandy beaches alternate with well-known resorts such as Jesolo, Bibione, Cavallino and Caorle. In this spectacular natural setting lies a rich cultural heritage that renders the Veneto such a fascinating region, from its cities of art to the magnificent Palladian villas along the Brenta Riviera.”
Verona is the city of love, famous for Romeo and Juliet and for its Arena, Italy’s second largest Roman amphitheatre, nearly 2,000 years old, which has been hosting an annual Opera Festival from June to September since 1913: the biggest open-air opera festival in the world.
Cecilia Cavagna, head of sales and marketing for the Arena di Verona, met with travel professionals during ITB China, and said reaction was excellent: “We had interesting contacts with many tour operators, to encourage them to include one night in Verona and one night at the Opera Festival for their guests. Even for people who are not particularly interested in opera, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is something really unique. Many people did not know about Verona and this opera venue which is unique in the world.”
Other treasures include Vicenza, home to the great architect Andrea Palladio and to his Renaissance works and Palladian villas; Padua, the city of the fourteenth-century frescoes and city of science with Europe’s first University Botanical Garden, UNESCO heritage. The medieval Treviso, the city of taste with the famous Tiramisu dessert and the sparkling Prosecco wine. However, in a matter of few hours Veneto offers tourists more than this: the Dolomites, the mountains of Venice declared UNESCO Nature Heritage Site and a paradise for ski and outdoor sports.
Moreover, one can find beautiful beaches stretching along the upper Adriatic Sea not far from Venice; unique parks and natural areas, like the Po delta where you can immerse yourself in the unspoiled nature; every type of spa in Abano and Montegrotto, the largest and best organised in Europe specialised in mud treatment and wellness centres; about 4,000 Venetian Villas: this extraordinary heritage features 23 Palladian villas, also named UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Veneto and its beautiful sites are easily accessible from overseas through Venice Marco Polo Airport, which this month achieved the Gold Standard of the “Welcome Chinese” Certification. Delia Dell’Asin, sales and marketing director for airport management company SAVE S.p.A., says her organisation is working hard on developing eastern routes: “This is the market we are targeting most for long-haul flights eastbound. We have been in discussions with some Chinese airlines over the past seven or eight years. Venice already enjoys a traffic base of around 150,000 passengers from China. The major ow is between Shanghai and Venice, with over 65,000 passengers per year. As I said, we don’t have direct services, so they fly via intermediate points, but we see there is a great potential for growth.”
Photo: Laura Vendramin, Director of Economic Promotion and Internationalisation for the region, of Veneto
Cecilia Cavagna, Head of sales and marketing for the Arena di, Verona
Delia Dell’Asin, Sales and marketing director for airport management company, SAVE S.p.A