BTO 2022, Italy's largest event on travel and innovation returns to Florence
On 29 and 30 November more than 100 appointments to talk about sustainability, mindfulness and augmented reality
Sustainability, digital nomadism, experience, also in terms of soul searching, to be done solo: these are some of the trends driving traveller bookings. New forms of tourism, between Metaverse, unusual destinations and medium-long term stays, will be the focus of the 14th edition of BTO - Be Travel Onlife, the reference event in Italy dedicated to the union between innovation and tourism. The appointment is at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 November. BTO - Be Travel Onlife is an event organised by the Region of Tuscany and the Chamber of Commerce of Florence. It is organised by Toscana Promozione Turistica, PromoFirenze and Fondazione Sistema Toscana.
Metatourism is the keyword of a programme full of important contributions: 100 events including in-depth studies, workshops and futuristic speeches to learn about new trends in technology applied to travel, destinations, professions, and ways of travelling. If, by 2026, a quarter of people will spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse (Gartner estimate), BTO 2023 presents itself as a great preview: thanks to the futuristic creativity of La Jetée, the Stazione Leopolda will host a series of spectacular installations. A "talking" colonnade will introduce visitors by anticipating the themed areas of the event thanks to augmented reality technology, while inside it is possible to make "virtual acquaintance" with some of the main speakers: just frame the ID badge they wear around their necks or their respective "photographic" copies displayed life-size on a wall, to listen to the presentation in their own voice.
Another novelty is the META-BTO realised by Carraro LAB, an unprecedented experimentation of the phygital synergy between physical and virtual events: while the opening speech is held on the stage, a virtual duplicate of the Leopolda appears on the big screen, with avatars and 3D environments interacting with the real speakers and participants. One part of the virtual exhibition is dedicated to the European Commission's guidelines, with quotations from Ursula Von Der Leyen's and Commissioner Thierry Breton's stances, aimed at stimulating a European approach to the Metaverse, which is intended to be ethical, legal, safe, and non-monopolistic. A second 3D exhibition area presents the key concepts of the Tourism Metaverse, which stands as an immersive evolution to promote real travel. Another opportunity offered to BTO 2022 participants is to personally visit, in the form of an avatar, the exhibition in the Metaverse, accessing it in cross-device mode from PCs, Smartphones and VR Visors through a Qrcode/link that will be provided after the presentations. META BTO's experimentation is an emblematic case history of the applications of the Metaverse to MICE tourism.
The search for sustainable solutions is, together with innovation, the other red thread of BTO 2022: it is no coincidence that the 14th edition bans plastic and focuses on alternative mobility.
The BTO programme is the result of the choral work of the Advisory Board made up of professionals from all over Italy, coordinated by the scientific director, Francesco Tapinassi. The programme revolves around four topics: Hospitality, Food & Wine, Destination, Digital Strategy & Innovation.
The opening of work at the Leopolda is scheduled at 9.45 a.m. on Tuesday 29 November. At 10.30 am, the inauguration of BTO 2022 is scheduled in the presence of the President of the Region of Tuscany, Eugenio Giani, the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Florence, Leonardo Bassilichi, and the organisers. This will be followed, at 11 am, by the panel 'Destination Tuscany, results and prospects for 2023' with the Regional Councillor for Tourism, Leonardo Marras. Participants will include Matteo Biffoni president of Anci Toscana, Francesco Palumbo director of Fondazione Sistema Toscana, and Francesco Tapinassi, here as director of Toscana Promozione Turistica.
HOSPITALITY - On the Hospitality front, a thematic area coordinated by Nicola Zoppi, and built also with the valuable contribution of the national category associations, an eccentric futurist such as Simone Puorto and a nostalgic hospitality traditionalist such as Michil Costa will confront each other, as well as a pool of academics and managers called upon to assess the opportunities and risks of the Metaversi. One of the most eagerly awaited panels, on the difficulties of recruting in Italian hotels, will feature Federalberghi director general Alessandro Nucara, Confindustria Alberghi director general Barbara Casillo, and Confesercenti national coordinator Corrado Luca Bianca in a discussion entitled 'Big Quit, Quitfluencer and Appeal in tourism' (30 November at 11 am). Together with Federalberghi we will talk about innovation and skills transfer through apprenticeships, while with Confindustria Alberghi we will see what changes for large online platforms and hoteliers after the new EU regulations.
FOOD & WINE – International strategies compared in the topic dedicated to Food & Wine Tourism, curated by Roberta Milano: at the table were the Tourism Authorities of Spain, Slovenia and Denmark, in partnership with ADUTEI, Association of Official Foreign Tourism Delegates in Italy. Under the spotlight also some renowned Italian wine and food destinations, such as Langhe Monferrato and Roero, Trentino, and Emilia. Wine tourism will also be discussed with Vinophila, the first metaverse dedicated to wine and alcoholic beverages, and Winearound, a digital booking platform for visits to wineries and Barbara Sgarzi, journalist, lecturer and sommelier. Supporting the strategies were the numbers, with speeches by: Monica Mantovani of Ipsos; Stefano Epifani, president of the Foundation for Digital Sustainability; The Fork. Among the visions that of Davide Rampello, Artistic Director Rampello & Partners, and Febo Leondini, Master in Trade management at Luiss Business School. Focus on catering with Carmela Colaiacovo, President of Confindustria Alberghi, Anna Prandoni, director of Gastronomika, Alberto Lupini, director of Italia a Tavola. Among the technology companies present were Var Group, AlmavivA S.p.A., and Foodchain, to touch upon the themes of sustainability, food waste, the advantages of digitalisation, and traceability: 120 billion is the value of fake Made in Italy agro-food products in the world, and technology is a powerful weapon against counterfeit Italian Sounding.
DESTINATION – The green transition of Destinations, at the centre of the thematic area curated by Emma Taveri. Starting with new models of digital and environmental innovation from Europe, analysed in the company of Patrick Torrent, vice-president of NECSTouR, a network of European regions committed to economic, social and environmental sustainability through tourism. Tuscany Region, Andalusia and Brittany will also participate in the panel. Sustainable travel will also be discussed with IPSOS, the Network of Sustainable Municipalities, ASVIS (Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development) and the councillors of Florence, Milan and Venice. From Northern Europe to BTO will also come virtuous destinations in territorial marketing such as Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. From Europe to the commitment of the Italian Regions, with the presentation of the Tourism Digital Hub, an integrated tourism ecosystem at the centre of an in-depth discussion with Toscana Promozione Turistica, the Veneto Region and the Commission for Tourism Policies of the Autonomous Regions and Provinces. Not only digital and technology, but also travel for good, i.e. travelling by creating a positive impact, will be discussed with Better Places and the Transformational Travel Council. New entry is the Centre regionale de tourisme Val de Loire, which will speak with its Director General, Marc Richet, presenting a preview of its regional tourism innovation plan at BTO.
DIGITAL STRATEGY & INNOVATION – The Digital Strategy & Innovation programme curated by Giulia Eremita and Rodolfo Baggio will focus on the definitions of Metaverse and the applications of Web3 technologies in tourism. Phu Styles, known as Madame Crypto, will talk about Web 3 traveller communities, DeFi, NFTs, P2E and metaverses, between dematerialised and real experiences. On authenticity as the key to bringing immersive and VR experiences to the general public, Stephen Hicks, neuroscientist at Oxford University and founder of Oxsight Limited, which is trying to make avatars even more 'humanised' with real-time tracking of expressions, will speak. In addition, Wunderman Thompson's numbers and trends will be presented exclusively by global director, Emma Chiu. Not to be missed is "Martech and privacy, a complicated relationship", the meeting promoted by Fondazione Sistema Toscana and moderated by Gianluca Diegoli, Marketing Advisor & Lecturer at IULM, and dedicated to data driven marketing, because data collection must come to terms with the growing need to protect privacy. This will be discussed with Isabella Mazzeo, Ads Privacy and Data activation Lead Google, Massimo Fubini, General Manager MailUp+Contactlab, Guido Scorza, Member of the Italian Data Protection Authority, and Chiara Leoni, IT & Data Protection Lawyer. Prospects for the Italian tourism supply chain with a reflection on the current competitive context conditioned by great uncertainty will be discussed with Tito Nocentini, Intesa Sanpaolo Regional Director for Tuscany and Umbria, and Sara Giusti, Intesa Sanpaolo Economist.
TOOL BOXES - There is a rich programme dedicated to insiders, with events designed to provide the 'toolbox' for acquiring or developing specific skills. These include the analysis of the solo traveller segment, i.e., solo travellers, on which several players are focusing, the Tik Tok lesson for newcomers by Elena Farinelli, Social Media lecturer and Web Marketing consultant, the basic tools of Email Marketing Automation, with Alessandra Farabegoli, lecturer and email marketing expert. Space for creativity in hospitality with WOW accommodation and unique selling propositions. Plus advice from a top photographer to make even what at first glance does not seem Instagrammable.
BTO LABS - The training sessions will continue online until the end of December thanks to the BTO Labs, digital laboratories designed as in-depth thematic workshops to encourage interaction and cooperation between the various players in the regional tourism system.
ITALY AMBASSADOR AWARDS - For the first time BTO is hosting an event within the event: the Italy Ambassador Awards ceremony, the first Italian award for the best influencers, content creators and bloggers from all over the world who promote Italy.
Here is the link to purchase tickets https://www.bto.travel/ticket/