Wowee, what a whirlwind of a line-up we’ve had so far for Travel DAZE’s first-ever virtual conference!
Among yesterday’s blockbuster sessions, we heard from the marketing and promotion director for the Italian National Tourism Board, Maria Elena Rossi, and boy did she have some nice things to say about travel agents.
Rossi told those who tuned in (you can register HERE to watch the session on demand if you missed it) that travel agents will play a major role in tourism’s recovery.
“The reason is trust,” she said.
“That is the most important word in these uncertain times. Travellers want to be reassured, they want a travel agent who can guarantee value, [trustworthy] service providers and safety.
“The personal relationships each travel agent has with their clients is key in order to restart. Travel agents are key for the restart of tourism to Italy.”
Rossi said that despite the horrible impact COVID-19 has had on Italy, she believes the travel pause has presented a great opportunity to balance economic and environmental sustainability in the tourism industry, especially in Italy, which was one of the biggest victims of overtourism prior to the pandemic.
“Sustainability is a theme we have been discussing for years, and finally we get a chance to approach it the right way,” she said, adding that the current approach of major cities in Italy right now is to implement more sustainable ways of living for citizens.
“What people will find when they come back is something changed. The citizens have become tourists in their own cities, which has brought more authenticity, more sustainability in terms of transportation and infrastructure.
“I really do believe this is an opportunity to become better, and I really do think that both policymakers and the tourism industry is working in this direction, and working together is really the answer, especially in terms of public and private.”
There are still plenty more speakers to come this week as part of Travel DAZE 2020. Check out when they will be featuring HERE.