The International Travel Fair, known as Bit (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo) is an event that brings together tour operators from all over the world, a large audience of visitors, travel lovers, television and press.
Sponsored by Fiera Milano, the most important player in the Exhibition Industry in Italy and one of the biggest in the world, Bit takes place every year, since 1980. Over the years Bit has been an international meeting point for decision makers, professionals, buyers, sharply outlined and selected, coming from different areas and industry fields.
Bit2016: Ready for business !
The leading international marketplace in Italy for the tourism industry: where supply meets demand ! Business segmentation and customization by business type ! Four exhibition areas: Leisure World, Luxury World, MICE World and Destination Sport ! The only tourism trade fair in Italy with a truly international reach and exhibition areas dedicated to Luxury and MICE segments ! An event focusing on emerging segments such as food and wine tourism and sports holidays An international and continuously evolving trade fair offering exclusive opportunities for its participants, Bit is drawing in more and more exhibitors, buyers and visitors from abroad, offering a system of product segmentation that is unique in the Italian trade fair environment. The next edition, taking place from 11 to 13 February 2016 in the heart of the Milan Trade Fair Centre at Rho, has all the prerequisites to become the leading marketplace and the venue of choice for the tourism industry. Figures from the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer show that in the first half of 2015 international tourism grew by 4%. Worldwide, tourist destinations received 538 million international visitors between January and June 2015, an increase of 21 million on the corresponding period of 20141 . This snapshot of the market suggests that a recovery in the industry is underway. Bit is ideally placed to function as a leading business generator, because it does not simply represent tourism in all its various facets, but it also coordinates and matches supply and demand at an international level. Bit2016 has expanded the networking and business matching opportunities for B2B. For instance, the Buy World Programme involving 1,500 buyers, 17% of them Italian and 83% of them foreign; the Free Matching initiative, meetings between exhibitors and pre-registered operator; the Saturday Morning Speedy Meetings, Bit2016’s biggest innovation, which, categorizing participants according to their trade sector and world macroregions, brings them together on Saturday morning to interact in a special dedicated area; and the VIP Travel Agencies Programme, involving one thousand travel agencies taking part in B2B meetings held in the World pavilion. Particular attention is also being given to educational sessions, with various thematic and practical workshops, as well as conferences on the idea of “mixing” different sectors as one of the methods of business integration. Organized into four areas – Leisure World, Luxury World, MICE World and Destination Sport – Bit2016 is poised to act as a catalyst for innovation in the tourism industry, thanks also to its ability to tailor its remarkable array of services to every type of business operator.
Each of the four areas matches a given segment of the tourism market, and the exhibition programme is designed around hosted buyers, services, training and information sessions. Each of the four areas is also complemented by a specific hosted buyer programme, along with a range of targeted services and tailor-made training sessions. The Leisure World area is rolling out several new features: a programme for Italian travel agencies including a calendar of events for the international exhibitors in the World Pavillion; I Love Wedding project, designed for tour operators and destinations and focusing on the wedding segment; a Food & Wine area that responds to the growing interest among Italian and foreign tourists in discovering local products as an essential part of their travel experience. Bit is the only trade fair in Italy that caters to the Luxury segment, which in Italy has enjoyed a growth of 10-20% in 20152 . Luxury World is an exclusive area dedicated to Italian and foreign operators in the luxury tourism sector. Featuring a new layout and a more strategic placement at the centre of the fair, Luxury World will offer top services and opportunities for tour operators, travel agencies and wedding planners from all over the world. Exhibitors at Luxury World can avail themselves of a meeting room and access to exclusive restaurant services. Visitors will be carefully selected by a process of pre-registration, so as to maintain the exclusive character of the area. The MICE sector, which is expected to grow by around 5% at a global level in 20153 , is represented by MICE World, which will host around 500 profiled buyers who have been selected with the support of partners and industry experts such as HTMS and the MCI Group. Bit2016 is the only Italian trade fair with an international scope that serves the MICE segment, offering to MICE operators different networking opportunities. It includes two days of pre-arranged meetings with buyers, seminars, conferences and training sessions, all delivered by authoritative speakers and experts from the industry, and gives participants the opportunity to make use of dedicated conference rooms to present their companies and proposals to an interested audience. The final day of Bit2016, Saturday 13 February, will coincide with the opening of the active tourism-sports area to the general public. The Destination Sport area will consist of a generous number of different zones where people can enjoy, firsthand, exciting sporting activities and where operators specialized in sports tourism can meet sports fans. An additional feature of this year’s Destination Sport area is a market from which exhibitors can directly sell their services and products to visitors. The exciting fields of Water Sports and Diving have been added to the list of activities, which also include: canyoning, rafting, canoeing, sailing, surfing, water skiing, kite surfing, and windsurfing, all of them vying for the attention of sports enthusiasts in search of excitement. Destination Sport also includes outdoor activities such as climbing, bouldering, hiking, running, mountain biking, cycling and road cycling, horseback riding and golf. Also taking place on Saturday 13 February is a 10-km run open to the public from San Siro to the entrance of Bit2016. The event, twinned with the marathon of Phuket and organized in collaboration with the National Tourism Board of Thailand and Etihad Airways, is part of a project for the promotion of active tourism across the world.