From October 10-13, a special educational aimed at European MICE operators was organized by the Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Chamber of Commerce, in close collaboration with Lago Maggiore Conference and linked to the Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry. This event allowed attendees to savor the beauty of the area and above all to experience first hand the opportunities this destination offers to the international meeting industry. In addition they enjoyed a ‘sample’ of the Green Meeting, which Lago Maggiore is able to offer as a conference destination.
The initiative is promoted as part of a cross-border cooperative project between Italy and Switzerland called “Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry: Green Meeting by the blue-waters’ lake” involving the tourism promotion associations of the area overlooking Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Novara and the territories of Varese and Locarno. The goal of the project is to form a chain of operators, adhering to a code of conduct based on international best practices, in order to ensure the end customer an environmentally friendly event. Three principles are held by all parties involved: sustainable event management; innovation and seeking new, quality solutions that adhere to the “green meeting” model; partnership or a commitment to develop a network of professional products and services geared to sustainability. Suppliers of the various services for the educational event – from hotels to restaurants to transportation – were asked to use local products procured at 0 km, avoid the use of disposable materials, and take care to avoid waste. Even the paper material used for the educational program was FSC-certified paper.
The sixteen buyers coming from France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland were welcomed at the Grand Hotel des Isles Borromèes at Stresa on Thursday evening, while the presentation of the educational was held at the Hotel La Palma’s Sky Bar where dinner was also served. Over the following days the guests were able to discover how much the destination had to offer in terms of hospitality structures, many of which were 4 and 5 stars, as well as the multitude of services. In particular, Friday afternoon, after the workshop organized at Stresa’s Grand Hotel Bristol which included fifteen local operators (three convention bureaus, hotels, conference centers and DMC/agencies), it was they who offered the guests an utterly Italian experience: Marco Sacco, the star chef of Piccolo Lago restaurant – a eatery with 2 Michelin stars located on the enchanting Mergozzo Lake – held a cooking lesson focused on the preparation of a complete dinner that the guests were then able to taste.
The visit continued Saturday at Stresa’s Regina Palace Hotel, the Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno’s Hotel Splendid, Verbania-Pallanza’s Grand Hotel Majestic, and with a boat tour of the Palace and Gardens of Isola Bella. The day ended with a tasting of local wines from the Novara area accompanied by lake and pre-alpine specialties in a dinner at Isola dei Pescatori’s Belvedere restaurant. Sunday was spent on Lake Orta with a visit to the medieval village of San Giulio and concluded with a lunch at the Conca Azzurra restaurant, which features a panoramic view of the Rocca (or Castle) of Angera. Guests departing from Malpensa Airport also enjoyed an opportunity to visit the Volandia flight museum.