I have recently returned from a great trip to Italy where I attended the BIT travel show in Milan and visited many old and new friends and suppliers in route to Venice. Each time I’m there, I’m reminded why Italy is the most requested tour destination! The landscape, culture, history and of course, food are among the best in the world. The opportunities for any special interest group are vast and varied and the challenge is narrowing those options to the best of the best, for our groups.
The BIT show includes suppliers from countries around the world but highlights those from Italy. There were over 2,000 suppliers in attendance and buyers from 50 countries. It’s tough to choose those hotels, cultural events, concert venues and others that you need, or want, to see during the 3 day show but once you have a plan, the gathering of information and cementing of relationships begins. In our business, relationships are everything and become the foundation for a great tour.
After 3 exhausting but exhilarating days at the show, I was overwhelmed with new and exciting ideas! It was time to wind down a little, so I boarded the train bound for Venice. En route, I visited hotels, concert venues and restaurants (darn, those site inspections are tough!) to make sure the quality and value is what we expect for our clients.
On arrival in Venice, it was more work, work, work……………..strolling the narrow cobblestone streets and riding through the Grande Canal to my next site inspection. The weather was unusually warm, the crowds minimal, and Carnivale set to begin. Elaborate masks and costumes were everywhere in a tradition going back as far as the 12th century. I even bough myself a traditional handmade Venetian mask to remind me of a great trip!
As I completed my work in Venice I again thought how I lucky I am to be in this business, working with friends around the world to find unique experiences to offer to my clients/friends in the USA for their next tour. Speaking of your next tour…..I have lot of new ideas for your travels to Italy!