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Italy makes its tourist board a plc

The panel onstage at the press conference hosted by Italy

ENIT presents its restructuring at the press conference hosted by Italy

ENIT celebrated the restructuring of its state-run tourist board at ITB Berlin with a symbolic opening ceremony. It has now become a public limited company (S.p.A.). Speaking in front of the press on Tuesday in Berlin, Tourism Minister Daniela Garnero Santanchè said the change was aimed at making the organisation more flexible and dynamic. The minister also publicly supported wage increases for catering industry staff in order to ensure greater respect for their work.

That was the only way to confront the skills shortage which was widespread in Italy too, Santanchè said. In addition to Italy’s well-known cultural and natural attractions and its USPs, encounters between visitors and locals were an important factor in creating a lasting bond with a destination. That was why more emphasis had to be put on training the tourism workforce.

ENIT president Alessandra Priante added that the new plc would be more flexible and pragmatic than in the past. It would be more decentralised and place a greater focus on supporting women. Despite women already accounting for 62 per cent in the industry that did not apply to management positions.

Priante assured those present that sustainability was no longer simply an add-on among the products on offer, and appealed to companies to put their principles into practice, as more and more holidaymakers wanted to see goals actually being achieved. The same applied to social responsibility, she added. All in all, quality had to have priority over rising tourist numbers. The new plc wanted to “ensure that quality remained high throughout“.

Santanchè was adamant that working evening and weekend hours had to be better paid. In general, these jobs needed to be more respected. “It is not just the food, but the service too that should stick in the minds of holidaymakers.” Workers also had to be given the opportunity to rise up the career ladder.