MILAN - After six intense days - three dedicated to B2B meetings and the same number open to the travelling public - the Bit Digital Edition, the innovative evolution of the International Tourism Exchange that made use of digital transformation tools to provide to all the participants in the industry with a platform to relaunch tourism, ends today with an excellent result.
The figures bear witness to this: 58,000 unique users visited the platform, with over 7,000 business appointments made via video chat, matching the offer of around 1,600 exhibitors and co-exhibitors with the demand from over 600 buyers. In just a few days, the Expo Plaza platform was populated by exhibitors with more than 1,900 stories, over 3,300 products and enriched with both multimedia and traditional content. The feedback from the travelling public is also confirmed by the social media numbers, which recorded 1.5 million impressions and reached a total coverage of 37,912 users.
"Bit Digital Edition met all the expectations. The digital formula has proved to be effective for a sector that, more than others, needs to restart at this time," says Luca Palermo, CEO and General Manager of Fiera Milano. "The results of this edition are an encouraging sign also for Fiera Milano. In fact, from the upcoming date of 15 June we will finally be able to resume organising trade fairs in presence and the success of this format will allow us to offer, in the future, a visitor experience where physical participation will be enriched by an innovative and complementary digital offer".
The Expo Plaza digital exhibition area will remain online until September and will be constantly updated with new content from exhibitors. Replays of some of the most interesting talks will also remain available.
This edition distinguished itself not only by participation but also by the high level of its content. Bit events and exhibitors' events joined to create no less than 160 Bit Talks streaming appointments, which for the first time combined the participation of sector experts and company representatives with the vision of philosophers, architects, artists and art curators, up to the less conventional representatives of pop culture to make up the Bit Special Talks schedule. Thanks to the quality of its content, this year's programme was sponsored by RAI.
There was also an impressive amount of data, studies and research presented and featuring important Italian and international partners: from Oxford Economics, participating for the first time at Bit with its authoritative European Tourism Forecasts, to the presentation of the XXIV Report on Italian Tourism by CNR-IRISS, in collaboration with Istat and Censis, or the Report on Food and Wine Tourism, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) presentations and data from analysts such as Euromonitor and BVA Doxa as well as technology insights in collaboration with an international leader such as Salesforce.
Doxa data, in tune with the numbers from the public at the event, confirm how much Italians are looking forward to travelling again: more than two thirds, 67%, intend to go on holiday this summer.
And experiences were at the heart of the trends that emerged at Bit Digital Edition. Whether it is a question of combining art and culture tourism with food and wine tastings, experiencing slow and open-air tourism in its various shapes, from villages, to cycle tourism and the rediscovery of the Cammini, to tours of lesser-known foreign destinations, the common thread is that today's travellers choose an experience in line with their lifestyle before choosing a destination.
In this new scenario where what is offered is defined more by the traveller, and less by the offer itself, it becomes even more important for operators in the sector to know in advance what the public is looking for and to network with the most appropriate parties through platforms such as the International Tourism Exchange.