During the International year of Sustainable Tourism for development the beauty of places and the quality of slow travels
Third ribbon-cutting for Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo, international exhibition organised by Ente Fiera Promoberg, that in 2017 has celebrated the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. It has highlighted the most important themes linked to agriculture, culture, tourism, sustainability and revitalisation of the rural world.
After the 2015 edition, that was at the same time of Expo 2015,edition 2017 has been full of valuable incentives and novelties, favoured by a strong foreign presence that has marked the dynamic nature of Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo, together with several representatives of the national, regional and local territory.
From culture to landscapes, traditions to typical products, slow travel offers to accessible tourism, multi-functionality in agriculture to quality of life; the exhibition has proved the great potential hidden behind the rural and slow tourism chain, with all its protagonist fully engaged in the promotion of lifestyles and sustainable travels.
Food couldn’t be absent, big factor of cultural identity, capable of describing places through stories, traditions, economy, and agricultural production models and create opportunities of meeting and exchange. Food was the characteristic element of this edition as announced by the subtitle “Eat around the World”
The protagonists were desirous to meet a pleasant and profitable platform of exchange like Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo and their enthusiasm has expressed itself since the inauguration that has opened the exhibition in the best way possible in a climate of vitality and participation at the presence of institutions and Italian and foreign representatives of the realities involved in the exhibition.
STRONG INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE In the pavilion of Bergamo, a journey all around the world
Asia, Africa, Europe and South America: beauties and peculiarities of distant places have reached Bergamo for an exhibition that has given proof that the knowledge of diversity is the right key to get close to the beauty of rural territories. Typical products, environment, culture and entertainment, foreign stands have contributed to make Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo a moment of discover and openness to the world.
In the Bolivian stand, Giovanni Manzoni, an Italian- Bolivian artist, has involved kids in an art laboratory during the three days, using biological coffee made in Bolivia to paint. Typical products and traditions of Bolivian culture has given great proof of fascination and marvel for the public, thanks to many entertaining events and exhibition of traditional dances groups, with their beautiful clothes and typical choreographies, next to the presentation of typical foods offered to the public with suggestive stories. In addition to these moments, there was also an overview of travel offers and places to discover also thanks to the knowledge of old professions and local craft.
Great tribute was given to Thailand cuisine where scents and Thai recipes have been elevated as symbols of the country. The multitude of tastes and magical techniques of food carving have made kitchen schools famous and now are considered a source of inspiration for aspirant chefs. During the three days of Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo the public had the chance to admire the famous ability of carving fruit and vegetables to decorate the table. And there was great enthusiasm for the preparation of typical Thai dishes that allowed the public to discover traditions and environmental beauties of the Country. Thailand is also a land with natural expanses and landscapes attractive to the slow tourist who was able to find complete information, important travel projects and unique travel destinations.
Scent of spices, mint tea, argan oil and henna have characterised the fascinating stand of Morocco curated by Associazione Marocco Innovazione, together with the tastes of the typical cuisine wisely prepared by the famous Moroccan chef Houari Hossin in order to recall the mysterious atmospheres of this north- African land. In this exhibitional space, a huge Moroccan tent has faithfully reproduced the typical environment where typical moments of local culture happen, and a meeting area showed the beauties of rural and slow destinations.
Enchantment and beauty: these are the China keywords that, during the year of the Rooster defined by the Chinese zodiac, have brought the splendour of a country full of ancient traditions still present in contemporary culture to the pavilion: from the lanterns to the chants of the Beijing opera skilfully performed by a tenor who captured the attention of the public since the first notes of his beautiful exhibition in traditional clothes. Really interesting also the activities created to promote various tourist destinations among which Nanchino, county sear of Jangsu region, which was the capital of China for long time, whose origins and history bring us back to ancient dynasties and evolutions.
Focus on Europe | Unusual destinations and extraordinary itineraries
Great value to European rural areas has been given by Eurogites, Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo important partner since the first edition. EuroGites is the Europena Confederation of Rural Tourism formed by 35 professional organisations from 27 European countries. Almost 100 tour operators have been accompanied by EuroGites in the pavilions after the Congress on “Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development” organised in collaboration with MER-Mouvement Européen de la Ruralitè, European Countryside Movement. The congress was the main protagonist during the two days befor the exhibition and it has involved several representatives of the rural European tourism, participating to the Marketplace of Ideas bringing their Best Practices in the sectors of tourism and sustainability. Many European countries, represented by public and private institutions, attended the exhibition.
Suceava County Council (Romania), the tourism promotion institution, have promoted territories of Bucovina, an historic region divided between Romania and Ukraine, whose rurality offers many opportunities of rural and slow tourism In particular, tour operators showed beautiful landscapes with mountains, green valleys and big forests of the Suceava County. Bucovina is also an extremely interesting territory from an historical point of view; this aspect is clear thanks to hundreds of Orthodox monasteries, fascinating buildings extraordinarily preserved, and some of them are UNESCO heritage sites. The public really appreciated the fantastic artisans at the stand who showed their abilities live, with traditional creations, decorations and also moments dedicated to tasting of typical products.
Lithuania distinguished itself thanks to a stand dedicated to the specific promotion of rural tourism, curated by Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association, comprehensive of more than 400 Lithuanian rural structures. Environmental peculiarity and typical productions have been presented also during two showcookings where the public had the possibility to admire typical products and local cuisine like the typical Lithuanian cake.
Rams Travel Agency from Montenegro, working in close contact with local communities to promote the territory, presented interesting places and travel proposals characterised by food and traditions: from Cheese Tour which involves trekking activities in contact with nature, excursions in the beautiful uncontaminated Montenegrin landscape and typical products and specialities.
Beautiful landscapes and unconventional tour proposals in Slovenia were presented in the Sava hotel and resorts stand, a global brand of Sava Turizen DD society, which represents the biggest tourist business operating on Slovenian territory. The group encompasses 14 of the 3, 4 and five star category, six apartment complexes and five campsites which promote active holidays in Slovenia, based on wellness. Lakes and thermal baths passing by breathtaking landscapes: here some elements to discover. At the centre of promotion there is the water from the beauties of Lake Bled to the Alps refreshing air.
FROM SICILY TO TRENTINO | Tastes and colours from Italy
A third of the exhibitors came from all over Italy, offering the chance to discover and taste many excellencies of the territories from north to south. Veneto region, with the Unità Organizzativa di Promozione Agroalimentare, Associazione strada del Radicchio rosso di Treviso e variegate di Castelfranco and many farms, consortia and agencies for tourist promotion, offered a generous taste of the region richness that can be seen from its products and quality services. Both showcooking and cooking moments and tasting at the stand area have had a great following and the public had the opportunity to appreciate the tastiness of products from the Po river area and discover unique destinations.
Discovery of rural world, through didactic and quality production, was Apulia Region main characteristic, which participated with a big representation of manor farm (masserie) in a stand full of energy and vitality with tasting and discovery moments. Like the one on olive oil characteristics, explained through an appointment on the recognition of the extra virgin olive oil properties by the Apulian producers. Here, boundaries between the campaign and kitchen table are dissolved, creating a unique example between the product, processing and consumption process.
Speaking of regional specialties a special mention must go to the Square of Taste of Italy (Piazza Sapori d’ Italia) which brought local products, traditions and projects of proloco (touristic local associations) adhering to UNPLI (National Association Italian proloco) from more than 16 regions, where it was possible also taste traditional dishes made from recipes handed down from generation to generation. And this, not only in the exhibition and in the many booth spaces representative of the different regions, but also the Showcooking stage. And then lots of music, dancing and live shows and meetings to discover and appreciate Italian beautiful placed and unique villages in an emotional and fascinating way.
Moreover, PIAZZA SAPORI D’ITALIA was an active platform where different cultures have met, giving proof of the value of exchange and debate in order to reach common objectives. From Trentino there was Grumes, the country engaged in the recovery of the architectural, cultural and environmental heritage of its agricultural past, in order to allow residents and visitors to enjoy territory in a responsible manner and in harmony with the environment and with the identity of the place, in a project that aims to promote the abandoned public properties in a tourist-cultural point of view. In 2011, Grumes was defined the smallest slow city of Cittàslow “the international network of cities of well living”, a movement born in 1999 to share slow food philosophy through the promotion of a “good, clean and fair” lifestyle.
Also from Trentino there was then Vermiglio, the albergo diffuso (scattered hotel) where local tour operators have joined the net to give the visitor an unforgettable experience of life and flavours of the Alps, which were well manifested in the exhibition, thanks to the presence of operators capable of enhancing flavours and traditions in a beautiful stand perfectly prepared to greet public with great hospitality and offer typical products and exhibition like those of popular songs.
And then other public and private realities like Sicily, Calabria, Sardinia, Umbria and many other representatives of the national heritage, enhanced and promoted by organizations such as ENIT National Tourism Agency, attending the exhibition with interesting projects in the sphere of rural and slow tourism like EDEN ITALIA FAIRS which promotes wonderful Italian destinations.
About Sicily, spectacular scenery and unexpected travel proposals also linked to flavours, were presented by the City of Santo Stefano Quisquina, with its Ermo di Santa Rosalia, churches and rural areas, rich in history and culture.
From Sardinia La Nuova Via Della Seta Association had opportunity to show a great example of networking projects where, many companies works to enhance products and tradition of the land which, together with its beautiful costs, presents an inland full of elements contributing to make Sardinia a perfect destination for rural and slow tourism.
Typical products, historical-artistic, traditional and environmental peculiarity of Umbria region have been described by Associazione Valle Del Carpina with its agritourism and teaching farms, cheese makers, truffles, Chianina meat and many other excellences from Umbria.
Associazione AMI “Ambasciatori dei mieli”, an association dedicated to the promotion of the honey culture, offered opportunities to know better the product, thanks to guided tasting of Italian honeys to enhance products capable of define places and their health thanks to the work of fantastic insects. A real example of the bond between food and territories quality.
Val Grande National Park and Lake Maggiore with the beautiful Ossola mountains were presented in a stand curated by Consorzio Lago maggiore Holidays that showed the advantage of a protected area that represents the typical ‘slow’ destination, where the buzzwords are sustainability and respect for the environment, in a range of travel solutions and proposals that satisfy the ‘slow tourist’ nature lover. Beautiful landscapes, medieval villages, history and culture make this territory enchanted that ensure unforgettable holidays under many point of view like the care for the environment and “people- oriented” travels.
FROM REGIONAL TERRITORY
Hostes of the event was, without doubt, Lombardy Region presenting the beauties of the territory to discover through itineraries with food excellences, historical and artistic beauties. With InLombardia brand there was Visit Bergamo, the official site of Bergamo tourism managed by Bergamo Turismo, Agenzia per lo Sviluppo e la Promozione Turistica per la Provincia di Bergamo with the goal of studying and develop the touristic potentiality enhancing the most significant aspects though project and networking actions.
As evidence of the Lombardy region, there were examples of destinations that embrace expertly culture, nature and innovation. One of them is Museo della Guerra Bianca in Adamello (White War Museum in Adamello) and Forte Montecchio Nord (Fort Montecchio Nord), the fortress of the First World War, best preserved in Europe, located in Colico (Lc). At the stand the public was able to find information on the multimedia tour system in Forte Montecchio North in Colico, a project that won the first prize in the communications sector at Digital Award 2016.
Many realities representative of the rich cultural environmental and food-and-wine landscape of the Bergamo area: from the valleys to the plains, to the lakes. Institutions, associations, companies promoting the territory and its excellence, like B.I.M. Brembo Serio Lago di Como which brought project for local development of Valle Brembana, Valle Seriana e Valle Imagna linked to cultural valorisation and the use of renewable energies.
An example of history and tradition linked to local community was given by Ecomuseo delle Miniere di Gorno with the presentation of the zinc journey in alpine pasture and mines, created to protect the territory origin with specific research interventions.
Among the protagonists, Associazione Pianura da Scoprire brought to the exhibition tourist proposals of Bassa Pianura of Bergamo, aimed to the knowledge of a very rich territory both culturally-historically and environmentally. In particular the public strongly appreciated slow itineraries in the plain, beautiful historical abodes, magnificent castles and the important gastronomic heritage, all perfectly represented by associations, companies and institutions like Distretto Attività Turistica della Bassa Pianura Bergamasca (Dat), Uffici IAT Bassa Bergamasca Orintale e Occidentale; farms and agritourisms Bassanella, Villa Delizia, San Fermo, Ostello Molino Basso, Erika Project, Cascina Aurelia; accommodation facilitie Convento dei Neveri and Caffè Milano; Slow Food –Presidio di Treviglio, Distretto Agricolo della Bassa Bergamasca and Proloco di Treviglio e Martinengo.
The enhancement of the territories of the Valle Seriana and Val di Scalve was entrusted to Promoserio, local development agency running the IAT office in charge of the two valleys.Variety of natural environments, artistic heritage, food and flavors, cultural events and proposals were the base of Promoserio exhibition project which which brought beauties and energy of the territory to the event. A territory that represents an important destination for rural and slow tourism. Moreover, the presence of agricultural holdings (Tarangolo, Ronchello, F.lli Paleni, Fattoria della Felicità, Tradizioni & Delizie, Fejola, La Brugherata) highlighted peculiarities of these valleys with typical products. Public have also appreciated wooden sculptures, symbol of an ancient activity that characterise these valleys. Like every year, Mountain Community Valle Imagna attended the exhibition to promote this amazing and rich valley through its protagonists. One of them is Agrimagn,n association that brings together and promotes mountain agricultural holdings based in Valle Imagna and neighbouring, and ISOT (Associazione Imprenditori Sant’Omobono Terme) as representatives of the local craftsmen and traders. And then Centro Studi Valle Imagna , an association that promotes studies and research on history, culture, economy and administration of the mountain. Flavours of the valley were enhanced by the lively and typical cuisine of La Piccola Trattoria da Tite Restaurant which knew how to interest the public with special dishes.
Slow: from the beginning to the end
Regarding the ideas linked to the travel, an area of the exhibition focused on the innovative ideas regarding slow travels, for example thanks to the electrical vehicles presented by Oldrati Moto, beautiful coaches of Vivai di San Martino, or electrical boats and bikes shown by Blu Verderame, a venetian teaching farm an agritourism for excursions on rivers and on the eastern Venetian lagoon. There were also exhibitors of equipment and natural objects for rural structure and high-quality technical clothing for rural and sloe traveler: Original Store srl (BS), H2O depuratori srl (BS) and Zuccari srl (TN).
Sustainability and accessibility
Like every edition, travel sustainability is expressed also thanks to its accessibility, for this the fair pays attention and care to travel models which favors accessible tourism.
Many exhibitors have brought beautiful examples like La Compagnia del Relax, with its Turkish and oriental destinations, its travels in hot-air-balloons and sensorial paths for sight-impaired visitors and AIDA IPPOTERAPIA with their proposals dedicated to person with special needs
B&B Like Your Home network, the B&B chain entirely run by persons with disabilities, has presented its innovative way of “do tourism”: the project, unique in Italy, favors the ‘self-employment’ in tourist sector of people with disabilities (physical, intellectual, sensorial) or with special needs ( person suffering from celiac deseases, allergic, old people) who want to start an autonomy working activity from home.
Il Movimento Lento association contributed to spread the culture of slow travel through proposals of trekking or biking as lifestyle models to follow and L’ Associazione Europea delle vie Francigene showed rural areas beauties and tourist itineraries linked to the Vie Francigene.
Agriculture and multifunctionality
Multifunctionality in agriculture is one of the focal points of rural tourism. In Italy, like in the rest of Europe there are many micro, small and medium rural enterprises dedicated to conventional production and to activities including agritourism, rural didactic social agriculture and creation of environmental high-profile projects.
Terranostra Nazionale dedicated its stand to various branches of multifunctional agriculture characterized by a direct relationship with the final consumer. “Compra, mangia, viaggia”: (Buy, eat, travel) this its slogan, used to present the discover and consume of local typical products, key points to discover the territory.
A great example of multifunctionality is the family-run business La Merletta Inawakan, reality in Bergamo territory, which was able to enhance rural world under a tourist point of view, sustainable and accessible also thanks to networking projects with local and international partners. Attention to the environment and respect for animals are the fundamental concepts at the base of Fattoria Ariete project, inserted in the Ecomuseo delle miniere di Gorno, in Val del Riso: farms and correlated didactic itineraries promote the cure of territory and valley history. Talking of animals, Olimpia Cosmetics, a business from Abruzzo region, generated great interest because from passion for nature has created a new cosmetics line, fully natural made for 60% of donkey milk.
The exhibition was an important opportunity of education for the public and workers in the sector thanks to workshops and meetings aimed to promote activities and improve the business thanks to a proper online presence; challenge the tourist structure and verify how green the structure is and find new solutions to improve efficiency and management of the structure; share stories and move the public thanks to pictures; interact with the client efficiently.
Among the protagonist: PIU TURISMO srl, reference point dealing with online communications, sharing contents, and best practices to make activities accessible, sustainable and technological; ACQUAFORTE TRAVEL DESIGNER, a young Venetian tourist agency specialized in agriculture, culture, music, theatre, sport, craft and typical gastronomy.
Dances of seven Bolivians folk groups in their beautiful traditional costumes, a Chinese singer from Beijing Opera, theater for children dedicated to ecology with IN VIAGGIO CON ENERGIA of Fersa Teatro company; charming dances with Dame Viscontee di Pandino; all the colors of Arlecchino and its folklore with il Gruppo di Arlecchino from Brembate di Sopra; the energy of country music with Mismountain Boys and a night dedicated to Italian music with 11 new young talents with 50 dancers of LA MUSICA CHE UNISCE: these and many more, the attractions that have enjoyed and intrigued the participants at the fair during these three days. During the three-day exhibition the music of Bergamo eventi cultura in movimento ASD have cheered the public with dances and demonstrations.
Cukture, food and territory from all over the world: this is the heart of the exhibition, the meeting point of tradition and production to discover excellences presented at the fair.
Chefs from all around the world took turns on the stage and they cooked in front of a curious crowd: from thai rice, to Carnaroli rice with Radicchio Trevigiano, from veal meatballs from Apulia to the Moroccan tajine, in a mix of cultures and traditions to move the public and describe territories.
Here some dimonstrations: Chef Daniele Parolovo prepared important dishes from Bolivian tradition, recipes with typical products from Thailand and Morocco, curiosities and discoveries from Italy; products and typical dishes of Lombardia prepared by UNPLI Lombardia and Pianura da Scoprire with Convento dei Neveri.
All cleverly managed and accompanied by students of the institute CFP of Bergamo, vocational training center with its future chef who helped make each showcooking a highly successful and always special event.
B2B SPACE FOR OPERATORS
Great impetus and desire to follow new paths have emerged from 250 B2B meetings where different subjects from various realities sometimes very distant both geographically and in regard of business models, have established new relationships and collaborations that will last over time. To increase the development of these meetings, CIELS University, Scuola Superiore per Mediatori Lingusitici from Milan has supported with great spirit of collaboration and professionalism, development of the agenda and organization of the logistics of appointments.
ABOUT US THEY SAY
The list of media that have dealt with the fair is rich. Not only local newspapers like L’Eco di Bergamo and Corriere della Sera Bergamo, but also national press agencies, specialized magazines, web and TG RAI Lombardia which has dedicated a report to some realities attending the exhibition. A long service was realized by Canale 5 program dedicated to animals ‘L’Arca di Noè’ which talked about the passions of three farmers attending the fair, from Apulia to Bergamo. Radio commercials have been aired on Radio Lifegate and Radio 101 and interview on Radio24 e Radio Lombardia.
SEE YOU IN 2018 | 16th- 18th February 2018
Agri Travel & Slow Travel wants to thank all the amazing protagonists of this edition, from exhibitors to speakers, from chefs to artist, and the fantastic crowd that ,thanks to its interest and characteristic, was able to understand the deep meaning of the exhibition, that does not stand only in the three-day event but wants to create continuous and constructive relationships for the future.