Bit 2009: All The Answers

In an economic climate in which the markets are sending out contrasting signals, the tourist industry is focusing more on its products and how it can respond to these circumstances. The industry's proposals will be presented at the most important event in Italy, which is also one of the most important in the world, the 29th edition of Bit – International Tourism Exchange, which will be held in fieramilano Rho from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 February. Bit 2009 is an event that in my opinion is particularly important, and the tourist industry expects a lot from it – stated Adalberto Corsi, the President of Fiera Milano Expocts (and commissary Vice President of the Unione del commercio – the Union for Commerce - of Milan) – the current difficulties of the Italian economy also affects tourist businesses, and Bit could give the necessary push to identify system policies which help tourism with coordinated and effective financial aid at national and local level".

In this context, the concept that has guided Bit for years becomes increasingly clear; it's the "multi-target formula" that in a unique way combines the general viewpoint of a big observation event with the capacity, which is typical of vertical events, to focus on emerging trends and the most interesting market segments, thereby developing real business opportunities. It is a philosophy that is further strengthened by an increasingly global and technologically innovative approach, which puts International relations and the use of advanced technology at the service of tourist operators, so that they may deal with changing market conditions in the best possible way.

"It's exactly when the economy is less dynamic, which is the current situation, that the value added of fairs as business catalysts becomes even more evident and important – commented Corrado Peraboni, Managing Director of Fiera Milano Expocts –. Bit has always fulfilled this role in the best possible way, thanks to a comprehensive formula which is also flexible, and which allows it to remain in line with current market needs. There are also innovations this year, and not only during the four days of the event. In fact, the 'Travel 2.0' innovation reinforces Bit's role as a reference point for the industry every day, all year round, with its new web tv Bit Channel, to compete with the most innovative resources in the global marketplace".

Bit: increasing internationalisation for global opportunity
Therefore, BIT 2009 is becoming even more international, with the return after a few years absence of two countries; Bulgaria and Georgia. Countries like Greece and Spain will be represented, occupying particularly significant exhibition space, while South Africa, Israel and Syria will be participating with renewed and bigger exhibition spaces compared to the last edition.

There is also an important focus this year on the USA, which among other items includes the presence in the Discover America Pavilion, of Tourism Massachusetts, Visit Florida and Texas Tourism. Also, during 2008, Bit has further increased its global visibility with overseas agreements and events, such as its participation in the Jata in Tokyo, Uftaa's (United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations) annual congress in Manila, and the WTM in London.

In Bit the hotel sector plays a key role
Bit 2009 will include the participation of the best in the Italian and International hotel sector: from the best independent hotels of a great Italian hotel tradition to international hotel chains and resorts. The hotel chains that will be participating include the following: AC Hotels, Best Western Italia, H10 Hotels, Hilton, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Monrif Hotels, Hotel Philosophy, Relais & Chβteaux, San Marco Hotels Venezia, Space Supranational Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group.

Bit, a social network of tourism 365 days a year
In line with its mission of pulling together supply and demand – tourist operators and tourists – to exploit opportunities and the real market trends as best as possible, Bit is promoting a series of initiatives that have resulted in it becoming one of the most important entities in the industry in developing a real social network by themes. Interactivity and involvement are the key words, which above all have resulted in big innovations such as "travel 2.0" – web 2.0 applied to tourism – type developments, in this case the Bit Channel.

It has been designed for operators, but is also aimed at the general public. Bit Channel ( is an innovative video-sharing platform that permits tourist operators to offer holiday solutions in an innovative way, using the most advanced multi-media facilities and thereby also reinforcing the visibility of their companies on the web. To the Tourism public, Bit Channel offers the opportunity to be key players in an active way, by sending their videos and voting for the best contributions on the Bit website, through a big competition that rewards both "video-tourists" and voters.

The absolute innovation for Bit 2009 is the first Religious Tourism Workshop. It has been organised in cooperation with Aurea, Borsa del Turismo Religioso (Religious Tourism Exchange), and Spazio Eventi, and it will be held on Friday 20 February. The participation of at least 60 selected operators representing 'demand' (diocesan representatives, travel agents, parochial helpers) and 150 representing 'supply' (diocesan social centres, places of worship, pilgrimage destinations, and other destinations) is expected.

BuyItaly celebrates its 24th edition. It is the biggest workshop in the world for Italian tourism; a unique pulling together of qualified Buyers from all over the world and Sellers who represent the best of Made in Italy tourism. The date with the second edition of Buy Club International is confirmed; this is the International workshop dedicated to national and overseas buyers that are part of the associations and Cral categories, and it gave good results on its debut.

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