More than 84,000 visitors attended BIT 2013

Travel trade professionals made up majority at 2013 event in Milan

Fieramilano exhibitions director Marco Seriolo
Fieramilano exhibitions director Marco Seriolo

More than 84,000 visitors attended the 2013 edition of the BIT travel event in Milan from February 14-17.

Travel trade professionals made up the majority of those who attended (53,600 visitors), while the number of people attending from the public fell, the show organiser said in a statement.

“This edition — with its attendance of 84,000 — has demonstrated substantial solidity of the professional operators, while as has been expected, the public of travellers has decreased,” commented Fieramilano exhibitions director Marco Seriolo.

The event opened with a presentation addressing the strategic plan for the development of tourism in Italy, in the presence of the Minister of Regional Affairs, Tourism and Sport Piero Gnudi and of the General Secretary of the UNWTO Taleb Rifai.

A series of sessions included Bit BuyItaly, dubbed the first workshop in the world for the Italy product, which attracted 600 top buyers from 50 nations and more than 2000 Italian sellers, exceeding the number of business appointments of the 2012 edition, reaching19,152.

A quarter of the buyers present were new entries who had never participated in a workshop in Italy. The number of emerging economies present at the event also increased, with buyers attending from China, Kazakhstan, South Africa, India, Russia and Israel among others.

Traditional markets such as North America and Germany also held up at the 2013 show.

BIT 2013 AT A GLANCE: 
- OPERATORS AND PUBLIC: 84,000 in attendance
- STRATEGIC PLAN: presentation of a sector with great potential
- CHINA: Guest of Honour nation at Bit 2013
- BUYITALY: 19,152 business matches
- SPECIALISED SEMINARS: More than 2000 participants at the meetings
- TRENDS: Thematic areas highlight trends

China was recognised by the organiser as the ‘Guest of Honour’ nation: “The planet’s largest emerging economy is the third incoming market in the world and it will be the first outgoing market within 2015 – year of the Expo – with flows in continual growth also towards Italy,” commented the organiser.

Chinese National Office of Tourism general director Liu Cheng said: “We are happy to have been the Guest of Honour nation of this Bit… a unique opportunity for visibility and communication. As a country, we are moreover very satisfied with the quality of the trade fair public as well as the flow of travellers”.

A number of “winning trends’ were revealed during the show’s workshops, including the importance of “thematic tourism” in Italy, based on the four areas of nature, culture, taste and adventure.

The organiser said: “Today Bit has become the most important relational platform of the sector, the confirmation of this fact being the workshops that have been organised in the trade fair which have enriched the exposition offer, obtaining great success regarding participation.”

This year’s show also attracted the attention of its social media followers, with approximately 27,000 fans on the show’s Facebook page and more than 3000 followers on Twitter discussing the travel trends.

A dedicated Facebook application ‘What kind of traveller are you?’ was also launched, with 20,000 people creating their own profile on the app.

Furthermore, workshops and meetings at the event also addressed the impact of social media on travel and marketing.

“Organised in collaboration with Business International, the meetings reunited over 2000 participants who followed the appointments, with particularly elevated presence in the seminars dedicated to the new sales techniques, in addition to those on the theme of digital marketing – online and social,” said the organiser.

The Eudi Show, the Euopean Salon of Underwater Activities were held at the Fieramilano exhibition centre alongside BIT 2013.

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