Tourism on the increase in Lombardy. “Now, we’re going to focus on small villages”
The assessment of 2018, by Lara Magoni, Regional Councillor for Tourism, Territorial Marketing and Fashion: "Almost 500 meetings throughout the territory, to promote Lombardy."
“I’ve been at the job for three seasons, and I’m ready for the fourth. No fewer than 270 days have passed since I was appointed as Regional Councillor for Tourism, Territorial Marketing and Fashion. It’s certainly been an intense and demanding time, but not without its satisfactions.”
The overall assessment made by Regional Councillor Lara Magoni at the end of 2018, is undoubtedly a positive one. “There have been a great many initiatives I’ve had the opportunity to participate in, many of which were strongly wanted and supported by my department,” she said. “In the area of tourism, I can think of initiatives such as Next Stop?#inLombardia, the bus that travelled all over Europe to promote our region as a tourist destination; Lombardia Segreta, an event created to enable consular delegations in Milan to get to know the most hidden places in our region; Cult City, a project aimed at promoting tourism in the art capitals of Lombardy, and Como la Città dei Balocchi, a Christmas event dedicated to children and families.
I paid particular attention to food and wine tourism and experiential tourism, and some initiatives such as Milan Food City, a week of events connected with the world of food, the Festa del Torrone, in Cremona, and Wonderfood & Wine, which sought to promote projects concerning the food and wine of Lombardy, as the Galà dello Spinato in Gandino shows.”
“Then, If I think about the delegations of fashion and design, I can’t help but mention Fashion Graduate Italia, an open fashion week dedicated to fashion schools, Design Competition: Expo Dubai 2020, an initiative created with the aim of identifying design ideas presented by young designers, together with the companies concerned, to create prototypes, and Lombardia Design Hub, Hackathon, which targets students and design professionals under the age of 35. Numerous events, created with the aim of making our region shine and of presenting our territory in a more innovative way, highlighting its excellence and beauty: for example, the decision to place 2 totems along the BreBeMi motorway, to promote Lombardy and its events in real time.”
The department was genuinely very busy, with almost 500 events, meetings, roundtable discussions, exhibitions, and inaugurations held in Lombardy and in the Regional Building, which Councillor Magoni attended and took part in. These events of interest sought to demonstrate, once again, how important it is to communicate with stakeholders, in order to promote Lombardy, its resources and all of the initiatives and ideas aimed at bringing improvements and benefits to strategic sectors, such as fashion, design and tourism.
“Making a first assessment at the end of the year isn’t easy,” Magoni explained. “I’ll certainly continue my work in 2019, with the same enthusiasm and spirit of initiative that I’ve shown in these first months. In January, I’m setting off from Mantua and, on that occasion, I’ll be resuming my institutional visits around Lombardy, to listen to local demands, so that I can rewrite the annual tourism plan, with those who work in the sector and with the local administrators, to ensure that public resources are used to the best advantage.
“Bergamo and its valleys, Pavia and the Oltrepo region, Varese and its lake, Cremona, Como, Lecco, and Sondrio and its valleys, are the territories I’ve visited so far. I can only say that I’m satisfied with the interest and participation of the operators, who have proven to be very active and proactive towards Lombardy Region and the authorities.
“We have done a lot, but I’m sure we can work even harder: my aim is to be able to give more prominence to the less important destinations in Lombardy, and the latest resolution approved by the Regional Council for the ‘Viaggio #inLombardia‘ initiative helps to achieve this, making the most of our beautiful villages, real gems set in our marvellous mountains, overlooking the crystal clear waters of our lakes or simply immersed in the green of our plains.
“For me, promoting the less important villages and territories is a strategic objective; in addition to offering visitors new travel destinations, that are certainly less chaotic and sometimes even more charming, we can allow all of the ‘guardians of craftsmanship’ to be known and valued; after all, aren’t the craftspeople our great little masters of design and fashion? Companies and shops, often hidden in small villages, which are handed down from generation to generation, trades that, even today, form the foundation of Italian and Lombard creativity, which has always distinguished us throughout the world.”
Not only visits and meetings within the region; to promote Lombardy as a travel destination and as a destination for design and fashion par excellence, in 2018, Councillor Magoni participated in numerous fairs, meetings and initiatives in Italy and abroad. From Bergamo’s Alta Quota to Modena’s Skipass, the Exhibition of Tourism and Winter Sports, from Rimini’s TTG to London’s WTM Fair, from Salerno’s IFTA Awards to Milan’s Handicrafts Fair, to name by a few. “It’s essential for Lombardy Region to be present throughout Italy and abroad, to continue to increase the number of visitors who choose our region, not only for its artistic and cultural heritage (it’s no accident that we are the Italian region that boasts the highest number of UNESCO sites), but also for the increasingly significant initiatives that are organised within our territory. The programme of events organised by our region attracts an increasing number of visitors from every corner of Italy and the planet; for this reason, going outside the borders of Lombardy to promote our initiatives will certainly be a winning strategy,” Councillor Magoni concluded.