The global tour offered by this year's event is all digital, but no less captivating: from the great revival of proximity to dream destinations, to international travel under the banner of sustainability and security.
Sometimes you don't have to leave home to travel around the world. Or from the office. And the emotion is (almost) the same. This happens when the tour is offered by Bit Digital Edition, which will run online from Sunday 9 to Tuesday 11 May for operators and from Wednesday 12 to Friday 14 for the travelling public.
Proximity with fantasy, in Italy from north to south
So what are the "dream" proposals for a holiday not far from where we live? Vast horizons and plenty of space for outdoor holidays represent the great demands of post-Covid travel.
Rafting on the Ticino, kitesurfing on Lake Garda, trekking on the Cammini and Alte Vie. Cycling on dirt tracks, cycle paths and major signposted cycle routes are just some of the "active" proposals in Lombardy.
In Piedmont you can discover castles, vineyards and little-known villages thanks to the vouchers with the possibility of tripling your stay by purchasing the first night: in the facilities participating in the offer (valid until the end of 2021) 2 nights out of 3 are free. With the "Holiday Working" initiative, the region also wants to attract international smart workers mainly from Northern Europe, such as Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, France, the UK and Finland.
Still in the North, this year Liguria is looking beyond the sea to offer open-air experiences: the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri is a system of green itineraries linking Ventimiglia to the other end of the Region, above La Spezia. Meanwhile, future visitors can discover Ligurian villages in advance with Labirinti in Liguria, the interactive game for discovering their secrets through an app.
In central Italy, Abruzzo is focusing on bike-to-coast with bike friendly Abruzzo, the cycle route of over 100 km along the green routes of the Adriatic, for which it won the Oscar for cycle tourism. For the 2021 season, it is launching the “Trekking Friendly” programme for those who want to rediscover open spaces after lockdowns.
And after the long abstinence, many Italians are thinking of indulging in the “once in a lifetime” luxury. A perfect destination is Punta Tragara on Capri: a spectacular villa designed by Le Corbusier, that seems to emerge from the living rock of the headland and transformed into a five-star luxury hotel. Worth a try.
Still in the South, an experience to "live like it used to be" is to sleep in a trullo in Apulia, while in nearby Basilicata, another unconventional experience is to sleep in one of the many boutique hotels in the Sassi of Matera. From five-star hotels such as the Quarry, Sant'Angel or Aquatio Cave, which combine luxury and experience, to charming B&Bs scattered throughout the old town.
Sicily has also launched the 1 free night promotion, for every 3 confirmed night stays, through its tourism promotion company See Sicily. For food and wine tourism, why not trying a wine route among the lesser known ones off the beaten paths? Just like Sicily's 13 Wine and Food Trails, for example: from the Marsala Wine Trail to DOCs such as Alcamo and Erice. Another option could be combining the passion for good wine and good food with that for classic cars on the way to the Targa Florio.
Keyword: nature, sustainability and security
And abroad? Nature, sustainability and safety are the leitmotifs of this year's medium to long haul holiday.
Malaysia offers new itineraries that highlight less-travelled but equally beautiful destinations such as Terengganu, Kelantan, Penang and Sarawak in slow tourism with hiking, cycling and meditation sessions, all in affordable luxury boutique hotel format. Thailand is also preparing alternative and safe routes.
The Dominican Republic also proposes combining safety with sustainability, offering active experiences in parks, beaches, lagoons, bays and forests, while the Seychelles, which for many is "the" dream holiday, is focusing on programmes to involve visitors in sustainability. Still off the coast of Africa, Madagascar offers an unusual "food route" experience with its cocoa routes dedicated to the precious local variants. In Namibia, you can explore the fascinating abandoned German colonial cities, in perfect northern style and half-buried by sand.
Closer to home, Scotland offers truly unique experiences such as sleeping in a lighthouse perched on a cliff, for example the Rua Reidh Lighthouse, as well as the unmissable Edinburgh and Loch Ness, growing numbers of excursions to the Highlands and visits to the picturesque Isle of Skye.
Security, on the other hand, is the distinctive feature of the proposals of authentic tourism icons such as the Canary Islands, Ibiza or Formentera. If you are looking for the "new Europe", you cannot miss, for example, the Wieliczka salt mines in Poland, veritable cathedrals carved out of rock salt, or the castles and forests of Slovakia, but there are also corners of the Mediterranean and the Middle East to (re)discover, such as Croatia, Tunisia, Jordan and Dubai.
For updated information on Bit Digital Edition: www.bit.fieramilano.it, @BitMilano.
Pre-registration has been active since 1 May.