Ecotourism from Asia to Europe

Ecotourism from Asia to Europe

Internationalisation is confirmed as the beating heart of BIT Milan. Malaysia, Slovenia and San Marino confirm their participation: An increasingly sustainable and “close to home” offer at the exhibition

As every year, BIT Milan proves to be a global showcase for the tourism industry, also thanks to a rich mosaic of destinations and activities from all over the world. Malaysia, Slovenia and San Marino give us a few hints about what they will be bringing to the exhibition.


Malaysia is a land of delightful contrasts, where the ancient meets the modern and nature provides the backdrop for unique and authentic experiences. Tropical rainforests and beautiful islands surrounded by coral reefs, but also excellent value for money, a favourable exchange rate and warm hospitality, with the possibility of year-round travel thanks to the warm climate, are factors that make Malaysia a fascinating and attractive destination for many travellers," said Nor Azura Polit, Deputy Director of Malaysian Tourism in Paris (responsible for France, Spain, Portugal and Italy). “But the distinguishing feature remains cultural diversity, expressed through festivals, local cuisine, clothing, language and celebratory moments”; hence the motto “Malaysia, Truly Asia”, which captures and defines the essence of the country's unique diversity. 


Malaysia comes to Bit Milano “With an estimated 16 million arrivals in the country in 2023,” emphasises Nor Azura Polit, “the vision for 2024 is positive, also in terms of arrivals from Italy”. After all, the Malaysian offer revolves around the needs of travellers, with a careful focus on sustainability and conservation of places. "Today's traveller is increasingly informed, attentive and aware of what they are looking for in a travel experience. The tourists who come to Malaysia, mostly young couples and families, all have a strong concern for the environment, with great respect for local people and nature”.  With this in mind, Malaysia aims to position itself as a sustainable destination through an offer that emphasises its natural dimension, with attractive ecotourism offers. The slogan of the National Ecotourism Plan 2016-2025, “Tourism protects, preserves and conserves nature, culture and heritage”, sums up this commitment.[1]


Slovenia also offers a keen eye on green issues, a hidden gem in Central Europe, nestled between the majestic Julian Alps and picturesque medieval towns, capturing the imagination of those seeking the right mix of adventure and culture. Aljosa Ota, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board in Italy, will also take part in several discussion panels during the event, offering "opportunities for in-depth analysis and debate".


"In Slovenia, the focus on sustainability is reflected in the “Slovenia Green” label, which certifies tourist facilities and destinations that use modern solutions to protect the environment, as well as the ‘Plastic Free’ programme for experiences promoted by Slovenia Unique Experiences,” explained Aljosa Ota, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board in Italy. “Sustainable travel, wellness and outdoor tourism: these are the building blocks of the country's green offer” to promote a deseasonalisation of tourism by focusing on the quality of services. Activities in close contact with the land, for more genuine emotions, discovering the most hidden places, the most authentic foods and a historic culture.


"With a boutique and sustainable product, Slovenia has worked to strengthen its position in the Italian tourist market, too, as a destination close to home," emphasised Aljosa Ota, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board in Italy. “This commitment has taken arrivals from Italy to the top of the international table in three years. The growth target for 2024 is to increase overnight stays and arrivals by a further +20% to reach figures that are competitive with the German market, historically the country's main market".


Focus on the local area and inclusiveness are the hallmarks of San Marino, the ancient republic that rises from the hills of Emilia-Romagna, in the heart of Italy. As Franca Rastelli, Head of Marketing and Communication at the San Marino Tourist Board, points out: "Tourism is no longer just a journey, but an experience that touches people. The traveller must become a true ‘guest’ of a destination, experiencing it in its entirety, savouring every aspect and detail and feeling part of the culture and territory.” For this reason, the country has developed an inclusive and accessible tourist offer that adapts to the rhythms of each person, also thanks to the numerous open-air holiday offers. "Travellers can choose between outdoor activities in contact with the territory, religious walks for a perfect combination of physical activity and spirituality, and events ranging from sports to entertainment and music. But the country's strength lies in the appeal of its centuries-old traditions, linked to more than 1,700 years of history. A vibrant area where medieval walls enclose millennia-old culture and reveal magical panoramas. In addition, the local food and wine, with its typical products of the highest quality, represents a real added value to the whole offer.