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BIT 24 – Bringing innovation into travel conferences: Insights into trends, training, innovation and sustainability


With “Bringing Innovation Into Travel”, BIT Milano presents a comprehensive program exploring the travel sector’s opportunities and challenges, featuring numerous events and meetings arranged by exhibitors, such as conferences, live cooking shows, and discussions.

MILAN – TRAVELDAILYNEWS – REPORT: The stage is set for BIT-International Tourism Exchange, the world’s premier marketplace for “Product Italy”, taking place from Sunday 4 to Tuesday 6 February at the Allianz MiCo in Milan.

Alongside a vast display area featuring national and international tourist boards, DMCs, private companies, transport providers, industry groups, and tour operators, BIT Milano offers a packed schedule of events, conferences and workshops. This three-day program provides the latest updates on current trends in the ever-changing travel industry.

The “Bringing Innovation into Travel” conference program, developed with the support of Fiera Milano‘s knowledge unit, Business International, features key events this year for the tourism industry and more. There are four key themes: trends, sustainability, innovation, and start-ups. The meetings focus on the sector’s most pressing and relevant issues, from staff training and the personalization of experiences, to embracing sustainability and digital innovation. As always, the BIT Milano program is enriched by events hosted by the exhibitors: institutional meetings, presentations of new consortia and destinations, live performances, discussions and cultural insights.

People and environment: the foundations of travel today and tomorrow The event began on Sunday, 4 February, with the opening ceremony attended by Italy’s Minister for Tourism, Daniela Santanchè. The meetings dedicated to the topic of skills as a guarantee of quality are key, such as “Skills in the tourism sector: a new vision”. In addition, “Wanderlust: the future of tourism is now” is a highly anticipated appointment with international CEOs for a focus on new trends in tourism, which is becoming increasingly sustainable, aware, personalised, and at the same time accessible and cross-generational.

People and the environment are therefore the cornerstones of travel now and in the future, with a growing focus on the specific needs of individuals, both travelers and industry professionals. The discussions will cover companies’ proposed business models, which are becoming more responsible and sustainable, as explored in “Tour Operators Beyond Revenues: The Social Value of Companies Comes into Play”. New types of business travel will also be discussed in “Business Trips – Never again without bleisure”, the formula that blends business travel with the chance for
employees to enjoy the destination.

The events focusing on slow, immersive, and authentic tourism are aimed at celebrating local culture, with a special emphasis on Italian offerings. We’ll discuss ways to enhance the hands-on experience in “Food and wine tourism: balancing innovation and authenticity” and “Food and wine: blending quality, digital integration, and creativity”. And these topics will be reflected in a broader discussion on regenerative tourism titled “Green Hospitality and Regenerative Tourism: When sustainability turns into action for destinations” – an analysis of exemplary startups and case studies focused on sustainable innovation, in Italy and globally. Routes to sustainable technological advancement.

The focus therefore remains unwaveringly on subjects like innovation and digital accessibility. In the talk “The role of artificial intelligence in travel: from inspiration to booking”, we will discuss new, generative software designed to make travel booking easier; we’ll explore innovative and engaging approaches for the conference industry in “MICE and AI: pairing intelligence for a new way to communicate events”; and we’ll delve into the opportunities, challenges, and boundaries of artificial intelligence across three seminars: “Artificial intelligence and sentiment analysis. How can we strike a balance between empathy and data?”, “The role of ChatGPT and generative software in travel”, and “Hotels: Automation, AI, and human advice.”

Sustainability remains a crucial theme for BIT Milano, guiding more mindful decisions and travel options that safeguard the environment and the economy. The discussion about the future of transport is crucial, with three sessions focusing on the cruise sector and air travel: “Cruises’ new mission must include environmental protection”, “The future of air and cruise transport in the vision of manufacturers and associations”, and “Aviation between demand peaks, pricing and supply under stress. How to square the circle?”. Linked to these are key events such as “Overtourism, the return: strategies to avoid crowding”, dedicated to new models and case histories to limit tourist overcrowding, but also alternative travel proposals, in “Nature and tourism, the culture of the environment for a wellness holiday”.

Experts, associations and companies come together

Many notable figures will attend the conference segments of BIT Milano, including leading institutional experts like Franco Gattinoni, President of FTO; Gabriella Gentile, President of Federcongressi&eventi; Ivana Jelinic, President and CEO of Enit – Italian National Tourism Agency; Matteo Montebelli, Head of Research and Publications, Institutional Relations Directorate and Study Center of Touring Club Italiano; Flavio Tagliabue, Founder and Secretary of Associazione Startup Turismo; Roberta Garibaldi, President of the Associazione Italiana Turismo Enogastronomico and Professor at the University of Bergamo.

Among the companies, the following names stand out: Alpitour World; Bluvacanze;; Costa Crociere; IATA; Idee Per Viaggiare; ITA Airways; MSC Cruises; Nicolaus Tour; Royal Caribbean International; Saber Italia; SEA – Milan Airports; Veratour; Fly; Volonline.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.