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Sicilia Convention Bureau shut down. The news will leave many people and professionals astonished, as the only official organisation for the destination marketing of Sicily, but this is the harsh reality. After ten years of service to the territory for its tourism promotion and the creation and strengthening of a tourist and meeting identity on the international scene, the company was put into liquidation and will cease its activity on December 31 2019, maintaining the ordinary operations until the end of the year.

Sicily loses an important tool for the growth of the tourism sector, a fundamental tourism asset in the national and international competitive arena, a pool of professional expertise in the field, and a great opportunity. But it was not enough, although the results produced by a diligent destination marketing strategy and plan carried out since 2009 – thanks to the skills and dedication of a team of five, who have contributed to build up the international reputation of the destination in the tourism and meeting industry.

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With no public funds, the company has been managed over the years to guarantee operations and reach the business goals. Counting on average 130 providers belonging to the network in the ten years of activity; seven editions of a meeting industry observatory for the statistical survey of the value of the local sector; over 20,000 prospects developed through the participation in a wide range of national and international trade fairs; over 1700 inquiries for meetings and events and 600 confirmed offers, directly and indirectly, generating a potential turnover from 2009 to the present of over 180 million euros.

Vincenzo Tumminello

President of Sicily Convention Bureau

Vincenzo Tumminello, says: “Undoubtedly, this is the most bitter communication I had to give in my 6 years of presidency, in which I loved this company and the people who made it so important. Many Sicilian suppliers, working in the meeting industry, has been following us from the very beginning and can well understand how difficult this decision is”- he continues -“I would like to thank all those who have contributed up to now to support our activity with human, professional, intellectual and financial capital. Our journey stops here, but what we have built together will remain a heritage for the destination that we hope will be enhanced over time in compliance with the great work done by this company and its staff”.

Even Ornella Laneri, Managing Director SCB, comments: “The indifference of the institutions has meant the end of a truly important project for the tourism growth of the territory, the first virtuous example of collaboration among private companies in the local tourism industry”.

What will happen to the staff and all the know-how built up over the years? These are open questions.