The Italian National Tourist Board hosted an exclusive evening for invited members of the travel industry centred around the country’s most popular sport – football.
The evening started with a reception at Toronto’s BMO Field for invited guests in the VIP area, followed by a field tour and finally, the highly anticipated game between the Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. While TFC’s 11-game winning streak ended last night (losing 5-3 to Montreal Impact), Italy as a destination has been scoring points.
Salvatore Basile, media relations at the Italian Tourist Board told PAX, “The idea is to say thank you to the tour operators. They sell our destination and they do that with passion. The numbers tell us we do very well. Last year, we had around 900,000 Canadians travelling to Italy.”
Basile explained that on average, annual Canadian arrivals to Italy increase approximately four per cent year-over-year.
The event also highlighted the tourism board’s official sponsorship of the TFC, which began in June. Basile explained that the sponsorship will see Italy promoted as a travel destination through ads on the pitch and in the executive suites of BMO Field, as well as through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The team boasts another tie to Italy in the form of star player Sebastian Giovinco, who also plays for the Italian National Team.
“We are a supporter of the TFC and that puts Italy a little bit on the map for the Canadian public,” Basile told PAX. “We are trying to put together the passion for soccer, the passion for Italy and the passion for the team in the GTA area.”
The Italian National Tourist Board is also actively promoting three upcoming events in the country:
FICO Eataly World
FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina- Italian Farming Factory) will open its doors in Bologna on Nov. 15, 2017. The event will showcase the best of Italy’s food and wine, where guests will have the chance to experience the world's largest agri-food park at more than 100,000 square miles, where they can witness they journey of Italy’s culinary creations from seed to dish. More information is available at www.eatalyworld.it/en/.
Matera, located in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata has been awarded the title of 2019 European Capital of Culture. The ancient city of Matera is steeped in history and is home to the famous Sassi di Matera, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back over 7,000 years.
IGLTA Global Convention Milan
The City of Milan will host the 37th Annual International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Global Convention in 2020. In May of this year, the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT) became the first national tourism office to sign on as an annual global partner of IGLTA, placing them in an elite group of global brands that have committed to provide year-round support for the association and LGBT-friendly travel. An educational tour is in the works for October 2018.