After months of preparation, Art&Tourism, the first event in the world entirely dedicated to cultural tourism, is getting ready for its long-awaited debut on the international scene – ten days and the fair organized by TTG Italia, a company in the Rimini Fiera Group, will open its doors in the elegant setting of Fortezza da Basso in Florence for a long weekend (May 18-20) of art, culture, music, and lots and lots of tourism: 150 international museums, 50 meetings and events, 1 night party, and 200 companies, which operate in the cultural and tourism sector, with educational workshops targeted toward families.
Art&Tourism is an event that is open to everyone – the general public and trade professionals. The exhibitors include main actors of international cultural tourism: public administrations, cultural and tourist bodies and institutions, museums, foundations, festivals, events agencies, art galleries, service companies which operate in the cultural sector, historical palaces and prestigious resorts, educational institutions, tourist operators, hotels, travel agencies specializing in cultural trips, everything, in short – a complete journey in the world of cultural tourism, a sector which gets more than 300 million people traveling every year.
“This type of tourism,” explained Paolo Audino, Managing Director of TTG Italia, “is an unparalleled and timeless resource. The idea of organizing Art&Tourism stems from the two observations: everyone acknowledges that cultural tourism has the potential to be extremely important for Italy, and no specific dedicated fair involving both professionals and the general public exists. The formula of the fair is quite unique of its type. There is no other cross-cutting fair in the sector, there are some workshops which are more local and of lesser importance, but not an expo devoted to the numerous consumers of cultural tourism.”
These “cultural” travelers are so numerous that they have significant influence on the economy in a country like Italy, which has a wealth of artistic attractions surpassing all other countries. According to Paolo Verri, Project Manager of Art&Tourism, “Culture and tourism are two sectors which together account for 10 percent of Italian GDP, but not enough discussion is devoted to them. The objective of the fair is getting them moving at the same pace.”
It is not by chance that the event is being held in Florence, world capital of artistic and cultural tourism. “Art&Tourism will be a great opportunity to present the cultural excellences of Italy and Tuscany to the world,” declared Cristina Scaletti, Town Councillor responsible for Culture, Tourism and Trade in the Region of Tuscany, “a unique appointment on the world stage, which will relaunch Tuscany as a venue for international fairs. For three days, Florence and our region will become the beating heart of art and tourism, a place where national and international cultural offer can meet the main tourist operators to share and exchange the very best.”
So the most innovative appointment of the year is in one month in Florence for this fair, and Art&Tourism is not just a fair but also a true cultural appointment. Friday and Saturday morning are dedicated exclusively to trade professionals, while Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday will also be open to the general public, when more than 25,000 international visitors are expected at Fortezza da Basso.