“Presented by the Territorial Promotion Agency of Basilicata, ENIT (Italian Agency for Tourism), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the headquarters of the Foreign Press Association Rome, the event we are organizing,” said Dr. A. Nicoletti, General Manager of Apt Basilicata (Territorial Promotion Agency), “represents several opportunities for … meeting[s} which is our main aim, and the supply and demand in the tourism sector dormant for a long time and waiting to be valued.”
The forum on November 20 is an opportunity to meet those working on national policies for tourism on the origin and redevelopment of villages, world of operators, and local institutions. It is an event that involves the country (Italy) compared to the early day’s emigration and its return travel – now a new phenomenon that crosses again the entire peninsula. The interest in the project increased thanks to the commitment of ENIT to foreign markets and the enthusiastic participation of international tour operators.
Presented on the occasion was the website dedicated to the event roots-in.com and the suited logo for the event along with the program of activities starting with an educational tour around the Basilicata region for tour operators in the days preceding the event.
The Managing Director of ENIT, Roberta Garibaldi, produced numbers concerning the past tourism of origins in Italy. He said:
“It is tourism on which we are confident; we will expect even more for the Year of Roots scheduled for 2024.”
He added: “Six million Italians return to Italy every year contributing to 60 million overnight stays. An important flow spread throughout the year (with a small peak in August) including young people who want to rediscover their origins.
“Their average accommodation cost is 74 euros per night, because they often sleep at relatives’ homes, and we lose the hotel component while the largest participation originates mainly from South America (Argentina and Brazil in particular) but also from the United States.”
Marina Gabrieli, the National Coordinator of the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) Tourism Roots project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attending the press conference said: “Basilicata is one of the most active regions on this issue, so much so that it was included in the first volume of the guide to Italian roots.”
The year of roots
“The Matera event represents an important step in the process of approaching the year of Roots scheduled for 2024. In this period, we are building a network between all the Italian regions; in 2023 we will promote these initiatives in the delegations of Italians residing abroad.
“The challenge we face is to give new life to the villages that are becoming depopulated and to give Italians living abroad an opportunity to strengthen their bond with the land of the air ancestors.
“We are creating the passport of the tourist of the origin, because it will allow travelers to benefit from a series of facilitations for their return journeys,” Gabrieli said.
“Roots-in” will see foreign buyers and Italian sellers meet. On the 20th, a conference is scheduled in which the government initiatives and perspectives related to the enhancement of the sector will be presented, and useful elements will be provided to the territories and operators to develop this tourism segment.
A dedicated site for this is online to acquire information and book meetings. A project that moves in coherence and harmony, “2024 Year of Return Tourism: Discovering the Irigins,” is being financed by the government with funds from the PNRR.
At Roots-in, for the first time, buyers from around the world as well as Italian sellers will meet to intercept a market with enormous potential. It is estimated that there are about 80 million second- and third-generation Italians living abroad, many of whom have never seen their land and yet retain a strong desire to get to know the places up close and live the experiences of their fathers and grandfathers.
Enormous potential for all Italian regions
In 1997, ENIT included 5.8 million travelers who visited the country in the “Tourist of the Roots” category. In 2018, eleven years later, this number had increased to 10 million (+72.5%).
In 2018, the incoming economic flow generated by Turismo Delle Radici was approximately 4 billion euros (+7.5% compared to the previous year).