The Italian Survey of Conferences and Events, which demonstrated the country is surpassing its goals for attracting local and international meetings, also showed a 15% increase in the total attendance figure for events.
According to the association’s report, in 2015 Italy played host to a total of 392,658 events, with a minimum of 10 participants each, and a total attendance figure of 35,155,453.
Kate Olive, project manager at drp, said that Italy was one of the most popular client destinations for the agency at this time. While many people percieve it to be one of the safer destinations in Europe, Olive said it was the variety of what the country could offer that attracts corporate groups. "It offers a real variety of locations whether ancient, modern, scenic, or all three, with contrasting regions such as Venice, Verona, Rome, Milan, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. There is the opportunity for adventure, sightseeing, and relaxation with a fantastic climate."
For meetings and incentives she points out that hotels and services tend to be very high-quality, with a short flight time from the UK. However, while many clients see Rome as safe destination compared to the recently targeted Paris or Brussels, Olive does point out that it's still a concern. "Terrorism is a threat upon us everywhere, and although Rome may feel safer now or may not be seen as a target, we do not know what the future holds. Italy is an incredible place, and perhaps has taken the limelight away from destinations like Paris, but we would argue that Italy has always been popular, and will continue to be."
Anthony Coyle-Dowling, senior director, event development and marketing at BCD Meetings & Events, said: "We are seeing more clients shortlisting Italy as an option to hold meetings, In fact, this week we have just confirmed an incentive trip to Florence for 60 people." He added: "Whether you're considering organising an event or incentive in Dolomites, Amalfi Coast, Rome, Pompeii, Venice or Florence, I’m sure it would be hard to disappoint. Thankfully the Italians can easily accommodate the conference market just as they can accommodate incentives. It offers a great selection of venues and hotels as well as a wide variety of stunning venues for offsite dinners."
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