Leonardo Visani, Business Developer of FCVB during the presentation

Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau (FCVB) held a workshop in Doha on 26 September, in partnership with Qatar Airways, with the support of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Qatar and under the auspices of the Italian Embassy to Qatar. During the workshop, members of the FCVB presented its new project ‘Destination Florence.

‘Destination Florence’ is a project realised in partnership with the Municipality of Florence that will redefine a future model for the governance and sustainability of Florence tourism, an undertaking that has the potential to become a benchmark for the entire country. The ‘Destination Florence’ project also includes an important and strategic instrument for the promotion and sale of the city of Florence: the portal www.destinationflorence.com, which will be the digital hub of Florence’s tourism. This unique website will be focused on providing an easy way for visitors to obtain information about the city.

Qatar Airways launched daily services to Pisa in August 2016, connecting travellers from Tuscany to the Qatar Airways network via its state-of-the-art hub in Doha, to more than 150 business and leisure destinations. Passenger demand for flights to and from Italy has increased greatly in recent years, and the addition of Pisa complements the airline’s three existing destinations in Italy: Rome, Milan and Venice.

Ilenia Pasi (FCVB team) presenting the Destination Florence project to the buyers

HE Pasquale Salzano, the Italian Ambassador to Qatar, while addressing the keynote speech to Firenze CB workshop, emphasised the growing interest of Qatari tourists in Florence as a preferred destination. He stated that “Approximately 30,000 tourists from Qatar visited Italy in 2016 and Florence is one of their most popular choices. In cooperation with our partners we aim to increase this number also relying on the new direct air route to Pisa inaugurated last year.”

Qatar Airways Vice President Commercial – Qatar, Martha Tilahun Paulos said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to meet Italian business leaders during this travel workshop. Passenger demand to Pisa, our latest gateway to Italy, has increased greatly over the last year. Italy is a very important market for us, and we currently operate a total of 42 weekly flights to Italy, with the latest generation aircraft, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.”

Over 80 travel agencies and tour operators participated in the workshop, which was a tremendous success in terms of generating interest in Florence and highlighting the many business opportunities that the destination offers.

In order to present the best of Florence, FCVB invited some of its associated members to the workshop, including Affresco Events Group, Hotel Il Salviatino, Hotel Portrait Firenze della Lungarno Collection Hotels, SINA Hotels, The Mall – the luxury outlet and Toscana Aeroporti.

FCVB scheduled a full program of activities dedicated to the Arabian market: in 2016 FCVB was in Dubai to present the MICE and leisure products to an audience of tour operators, DMCs and PCOs highly specialized in events and luxury travel of UAE. The Director of FCVB, Carlotta Ferrari said: “We want to increase our activities toward the Arabian market as we are sure that the success of a destination depends on its promotional plan. In fact, this is our third time in Arabia and we will be also in Dubai for the ATM fair in April 2018.”