The BIT 2019 Exhibition took place this year from 10-12 February in Fieramilanocity in the center of Milan. BIT is an annual international trade fair which brings together people, operators, businesses and others working in the tourism sector so everyone can learn more about what’s going on in the tourism sector, stay up to date, and of course, network. As usual, there were several thematic areas dedicated to certain aspects of experiential tourism. This year they included: A Bit of Taste; I Love Wedding; BIT4JOB; and BE TECH. We also had a presence there keeping our eye out for new and continuing developments in the experiential tourism sector because we think it’s important to stay up to date.
BIT 2019: dedicated itineraries indicating way forward to travel agents
This was the third year in a row that BIT took place at Fieramilanocity, mainly because the participants had been overwhelmingly positive about Milan as a host city, and the fair itself. The fair is usually well attended (check out the stats from 2018), with participants from all over the world, and this year there were some new stands representing new host countries, and stands offering training opportunities for travel agents interested in experiential tourism. There were some themed itineraries which travel agents may have found useful and practical. The BIT4JOB area was subdivided into four sections; Recruiting, Training, Education, Coaching. This shows that the fair is geared towards helping travel agents develop, and deepen their skills within the experiential tourism sector in terms of finding and improving their employees. Another useful area of the fair was BE TECH which, amongst other things, provided training and access to experts in the realm of social media – which tour operators have to know inside out these days! These different sections underline the skills travel agents should have if they want to succeed, and of particular notice is digital and social media skills.
BIT and experiential tourism go hand in hand
Another themed area at the BIT International Travel Exhibition was a Bit of Taste. This part of the fair was dedicated to wine tourism, both in Italy, but also new, upcoming countries in terms of wine tourism like Romania and Moldova. In our opinion, travel agents looking at wine and food centered experiential tourism should be aware of the various possibilities available, including more established countries like Italy, and newer locations in Eastern Europe. A Bit of Taste highlighted the massive increase in the importance tourists and travellers have been putting on wine and food over recent years. The Report on Italian Food and Wine Tourism from last year showed that an incredible 86% of Italians consider food and wine as very important when choosing a travel destination, and this trend is expected to grow over the coming years. There has been an explosion of agritourism in Italy over the last decade, and wine and food tours, which are perfectly suited to experiential tourism, have also seen huge increases in popularity and number.
Staying informed and networking at events like BIT Fair
Attending the BIT fair, and fairs like it, is something we at Artès do regularly because they can be quite informative, especially in terms of experiential tourism. There were businesses and operators from many different countries, and most of Italy’s regions at the fair. There were people and businesses in attendance from Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Uganda, Paraguay, the United States and more. So you can see why we attend fairs like this. We like to be well-informed because it helps us help you design and deliver experiential tourism products.
Experiential tourism at BIT Fair
BIT is all about the experience when it comes to tourism, and travelling. They share our Artès philosophy of providing authentic experiences to travellers and that’s one of the reasons we were at the BIT fair. We were at the “Regione Lombardia” stand, just like we were at the 2018 BIT fair as Artès Experiential Tourism. We will continue to attend fairs, stay up to date on developments in the experiential tourism sector, so that we can offer our travel agents a great service. Visit our site for more details.