FCI 025 – The Italian Travel Industry

By Rick

November 11, 2015

TBDIbannerIn October, I attended the Italian travel industry trade show TTGIncontri for the second year in a row. Basically it’s an exposition about the size of three football stadiums filled with travel brands and travel destinations from around the world. Companies and tourist boards all congregate for three days in Rimini to convince wholesale buyers to send retail clients their way.

Associated with this event is Travel Blogger Destination Italy (TBDI), a forum for connecting digital media influencers with travel brands in Italy and beyond. This year, I was fortunate enough to be one of the (English) speakers, along with blogger superstar Melvin from Travel Dudes and photographer/filmmaker extraordinaire Andy from Torch Studios.

My talk was about podcasting. If you want to see the Power Point slides from my presentation, they are available on SlideShare via LinkedIn, entitled, “Podcasting for Travel Bloggers.”

Speaking my podcast, one of the fun methods that I’ve been experimenting with lately is live interviews. You may have listened to my Rome Expat Series recently. Well, today I’m sharing a collection of short interviews with Italy-based travel brands and destinations that I talked to while in Rimini. I hope that you will enjoy them, and perhaps you might get some ideas to inspire your next trip to Italy. In fact, most of these are destinations that I’ve never been to myself, so that’s what prompted me to select these particular individuals.

Italian Travel Industry Stories

The theme that runs through this episode is summed up in the question that I posed to several of these people: “After someone’s first trip to Italy in which they visited Rome, Florence, and Venice, what should the curious travel plan for their second or third visit?”

Let me briefly introduce them to you.lemon tour amalfi

SalvatoreCosta D’Amalfi Lemon Tour These guys were the best! During the “Meet Your Blogger Day,” they had a stand in our area offering mozzarella di buffala, cured meats, and yes, limoncello at 11:00 in the morning. We wouldn’t have survived without them!!

AlbertoIncoming Liguria and Costa Edutainment  It was great to talk to Alberto about a tourist itinerary in Genova on the eve of Columbus Day. The famous explorer’s hometown is at the top of my list for my next visit to the North. And they have three new “puppies” at their aquarium: a dolphin, a shark, and a manatee.

vaticaniNOBODY – Vatican Museums: You’ll notice that there’s no link here. Well, it’s because the Vatican Museums didn’t want to talk to me. I wanted to ask about any special preparations for the upcoming Jubilee. All I got was a dismissive shrug. I realize that they don’t need Rick Zullo to help promote the event, but would kill them to at least be polite about it?

Claudia – Friuli Venezia Giulia/PromoTrieste and Grotta Gigante  This area is really appealing to me. It’s actually a mix of Italian, Austrian, and Slovenian culture, located very close to the Croatian coast. I haven’t been yet, but I have a feeling that when I do go, it won’t really seem like the areas of Italy that I’m already familiar with.

chianti2AnnaCoolTours  Anna is a friend of mine who is private driver/guide in Tuscany. By chance, we ran into each other on the enormous expo floor and chatted a few minutes about her tours throughout that enchanting land of Chianti and Val d’Orcia.

AnnalisaItalian Stories I like the idea of knowing a destination through the lives of real people who live there. This company provides hands-on experiences with local artisans who are keeping their craft alive in the 21st century. You can spend a day with a violin maker, a sculptor, a potter, a lace maker. You get the point.

Anna – TrentinoMarketing Again, another area that I haven’t been to yet. It’s known to be a good area for snow skiing and other winter sports. Although I’m not a big cold weather fan in general, I do love to visit snowy destinations for a long weekend getaway. This could be my next one!

Ruth – Turismo Le Marche It’s hard to believe that I’ve missed Le Marche up to now, given its proximity to Rome. I like what Ruth had to say about her area, “It’s all of Italy in one region.” When I thought about it, she’s right. You’ve got the mountains, the sea, culturally rich cities, charming villages, and a great centralized location. Have you been there yet?

Not a bad view!
Not a bad view!

Valeria – Exclusive Cruises/Amalfi Boat Tours. While I’ve been to the Amalfi Coast, I have NOT toured the area by luxury boat. This seems like everyone’s dream of idyllic Italy. I know it’s mine. Besides the unique views of the coastline from the water, you can also access some of the famous grottos, snorkel, and see native marine life. Then when you’re hungry, the captain can pull into a small harbor town where you can find a fresh seafood lunch. Who’s in?

SamantaAlpine Dream Travel Lake Como/Activity Breaks. Samanta and her company offer a variety of activities for active travelers. For example, they do a lot of skiing vacations in the winter. But also city breaks, hiking, spas, and concerts. The idea is that you don’t have to just be a sightseer. You can do things that will make your vacation even more memorable.

Well, I hope you enjoy this whirlwind tour with these Italian travel industry insiders. Look them up when booking your next trip to Italy.

Lastly, I apologize ahead of time for the poor audio quality. I did my best to clean it up with some filters, but the venue was tough and I didn’t have my earbuds with me, so I couldn’t monitor the conversation. Still, you can hear what they had to say, and get a little peek into the minds of people who sell us our travel dreams.

Click the link to check out other episodes and see my list of the best podcasts about Italy.

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About the author

Living in the Caput Mundi and trying to decipher Italian culture for the English speaking world.

  • Thank you for this very interesting post. I have been reading your blog for some time, but have never commented before. I just felt compelled to say that the attitude displayed by the Vatican Museums reps comes across as rather rude. Were there any representatives of Veneto? It is a beautiful region, where we currently live. It is well worth a visit, if you haven’t already been here.
    Best wishes and
    Happy festive season!


    • Thanks, Rossi. Yes, I’ve been to the Veneto and you’re right, it’s lovely. I did try talking to their representative at the fiera in Rimini. She was nice, very polite, but too shy about her English to give me an interview.

      The attitude by the Vatican Museum rep was fairly typical of the big tourist organizations in Rome. It’s Rome, so I guess they feel they don’t need any “help” from bloggers to promote their destination. Which is true, I guess, but it wouldn’t hurt to be polite. 🙂

  • I have a feeling Pope Francis would not have like the attitude of the Vatican Museum reps. How ridiculous! Enjoyed reading your introductions especially the Limoncello guy at 11 in the morning!
    A presto,

    • Yeah, I don’t get it. It costs nothing to be nice to people. But at least I had already had my dose of limoncello by the time I try to meet with the Vatican Museums.

  • Rick, Thanks for this review! I met you briefly at lunch. You sat next to me and I was so happy to finally meet you as i have followed you for a while! Too bad the hosted buyers didn’t have access to the Bloggers forum. I’d love to hear you speak…I made that suggestion for next year. A pleasure to meet you and I enjoy your work!

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