Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry

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The shores of Lago Maggiore finally feel a shift towards lovely weather; one begins to see horizons that bring hope for a beautiful season. A popular destination for meetings and conferences at the highest levels, the lakeshore areas – especially those areas touching on the provinces of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Novara, Varese and the Swiss shores of Locarno – feel the benefits of an economic recovery originating in the Northern European countries. The clientele, coming from Scandinavia, Denmark, and other countries that love the Lakes, has returned to choose the structures ofLago Maggiore Meeting Industry, created thanks to a joint agreement between Swiss and Italian tourism promotion bodies (Chambers of Commerce, Provinces, Local Tourist Agencies, Convention Bureaus and Associations), to organize their engagements. “It’s been an excellent May, such as we haven’t seen for the last three or four years – Andrea Zacchera asserts with satisfaction. Finally we can register a strong recovery for the MICE industry from abroad, although we must overcome the lack of trust that foreigners have regarding our Country for reasons of which everyone is aware. However, we can say that, thanks to our climate, the beauty, and above all, to the services that we are able to offer – our flagship – their faith has been renewed”. There are more than just a few Companies that, once they’ve discovered Lago Maggiore’s offer, willingly return year after year, reconfirming the location’s attractiveness. They are caring for service and professionalism to reward, as pointed out by Gianluigi Mariani, director of the Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromées&Spa: “Our Wellness Center is a great success with a clientele that is increasingly attentive to the professionalism and the quality of the product, but the MICE sector that caters to 5 star has not shown a great deal of activity, even if the business indicators show a weak recovery. With the exception of the Russians, there are still few companies that “dare” to book luxury facilities such as ours; for the moment sobriety is the watchword, and consequently our category is suffering. However, some encouraging signs are coming from the individual market. In this area the Russians also demonstrate strong purchasing power. The month of April has shown very good results. There are many reasons, good weather, the Easter “highpeak” and the Salone del Mobile in Milan that always draw many tourists to the lake; we have also seen the benefits of some internet marketing upon which we’ve embarked”.

Anyone wishing to organize a conference which unites the elegance of the location, the beauty of its landscapes, Italian good taste and good living with hospitality structures that are environmentally sensitive and efficient, can choose from amongst 410 hotels from three to five stars with nearly 16,700 rooms and more than 50,000 seats distributed over 517 meeting/conference rooms that Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry provides. With an eye to the environment: in fact, it is the first destination – aware of the impact that the conference industry can have on the eco-systemic and sociocultural balance at a local and a global level – to have launched a plan inspired by the values of sustainability, approved and funded by the European Community, and for the promotion of events and conferences with low environmental impact.

Set up two years ago, the product Lago Maggiore Green Meeting – a chain of suppliers with a code of conduct based on the best international experiences, to guarantee the final customer an event carried out with respect for the environment – that has the goal of motivating participants with a series of awareness and training seminars, on the basis of three principles: sustainable event management through an organizational process that reduces environmental impact; innovation and quality; partnership that represents a commitment to develop a network of professional products and services geared toward sustainability. The code proposes concrete and measurable actions to reduce the environmental impact to service providers, organizers and participants. The creation of a Green Meeting on Lago Maggiore is oriented towards reducing: energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and the use of materials, all whilst taking into account all the activities and services: location management, hospitality, food and beverage/catering, transport, leisure activities, events, communications and marketing.



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The conference sector’s contribution

Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno VB THURSDAY JUNE 5, 2014 – hours 9:30 – 13:00

The next 5th of June a conference dedicated to waste reduction and the sharing of food abundance, will be held on Lake Maggiore. After the success it found in Milan, some conference hotels and restaurants, partners of the Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry Project, started the testing of food retrieving and re-distribution, in fellowship with Banco Alimentare, one of the most important charity istitutions for food distribution in Italy. An update on national policies to fight against food waste will be presented by PINPAS, co-ordinated by Andrea Segrè, president of Last Minute Market.

For a more fair present and to guarantee new generations a bright future, waste reduction is fundamental. Our resources are limited and we are all called upon to make a contribution; both private and professional choices that we make every day can make the difference. The world of events can also contribute to waste reduction in many areas. For the first time, a conference destination is putting into play the subject of waste reduction and the sharing of food abundance by organizing, in collaboration with theFondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus and Last Minute Market – and sponsored by Federcongressi and Expo2015 – the conference: “SAVE THE FOOD – the conference sector’s contribution”, to be held at Grand Hotel Dino in Baveno, on June 5th 2014. Lago Maggiore Green Meeting Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry’s project, created thanks to a joint agreement between Swiss and Italian tourism promotion bodies (Chambers of Commerce, Provinces, Local Tourist Agencies, Convention Bureaus and Associations) – continues its work in organizing events with reduced environmental impact and introduces measures that will be adopted for the reduction of food waste at meetings, conferences and incentives. Together with Banco Alimentare they stated experimenting by gathering unused breakfast foods from the Grand Hotel Dino in Baveno, and the Regina Palace Hotel and Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées in Stresa, such as: bread, cakes, pastries and cookies left over from breakfast, which are to be picked up by a Charity, and consumed by its guests ont hat same day. The initiative falls within the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus’ “Siticibo” program – established in Milan in 2003 as the first Italian application of Law 155/2003 (the so-called Good Samaritan Law) in order to retrieve surplus fresh and cooked food from organized catering (hotels, company and hospital canteens, school lunchrooms and businesses) and, since 2009, also collecting food surpluses from large retail outlets. In 2013, in the city of Milan alone, Siticibo – which works with 33 canteens, 99 school lunchrooms and 3 hotels – collected 225,000 portions of cooked food, more than 68 tons of baked goods and 102 tons of fruit.

Save the Food” will take place on World Environment Day that this year dedicates particular attention to the themes of sustainability and the fight against food waste. Andrea Segrè, President of Last Minute Market and Co-ordinator of PINPAS, is scheduled to attend the conference with a video contribution. It will be a worthwhile occasion for Baveno, to be put forward into the guidelines and milestones of the first national plan for preventing food waste in Italy, launched at the end of 2013, and to be in full swing by November 2014. Among its primary goals, PINPAS takes up some requests from the European Parliament Resolution 2012: halving food waste by 2025, and urging the establishment of a European year against food waste. PINPAS aims to produce practical, effective solutions in terms of reducing – at the source – the amount of food that ends up as “waste” over the short, medium and long term. The aim is to achieve by 2020 a 5% reduction per unit of GDP of municipal waste, 10% of hazardous waste and 5% of special waste.

With this initiative, Lago Maggiore is again confirmed as the first “sustainable” MICE destination on the Italian and Swiss market. On this occasion the guidelines for food and waste reduction in events, tests performed by the hospitality structures of the region, and other best practices applied by the Companies of the area will be presented.

The event, which will be followed by an aperitif of local, seasonal products from the territorry, named Kilometre Zero in Italian, is organized in co-operation with the Lago Maggiore Green Meeting Partners, following the best practices to reduce environmental impact by avoiding the use of disposable materials, paper (from invitations to presentations, all of the material is available online), taking care to avoid waste, and reducing as much as possible the number of transfers, as in previous events held in compliance with the Green Meeting code of conduct. For example, through the website created for the event you can carpool by accessing the carpooling websites of Autostrade and Blablacar or indicate your availability to offer a ride or interest in accepting one.

With its splendid panoramic view of the Borromean Islands and the surrounding mountains, the chosen location for the conference is Grand Hotel Dino, which has taken part in the Green Meeting program from the very beginning, carrying out numerous modifications to the building (heating, cooling and lighting systems) that have reduced the structure’s environmental impact. Grand Hotel Dino is currently waiting to receive its EMAS certification.

The project “Green Meetings by the Blue Waters Lake” – co-financed by Interreg Italia Svizzera, places at the center of Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry’s development policies all of the varied aspects of the word “green”: landscape, social, cultural and environmental. Aware of the impact that the conference industry can have on the eco-systems and socio-cultural balance both at a local and global level, Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry intends to contribute to the development of an integrated system of conference offers inspired by the values of sustainability. The Lago Maggiore Green Meeting Code of Conduct, developed on the foundation of the best international experiences, is the starting point for future actions on the part of promotional agencies aimed at encouraging Member Companies to work towards achieving internationally accredited certifications in the green meeting sector (BS 8901, ISO 20121, GRI Sector Supplement for Events).Thanks to this program, on Lago Maggiore MICE operators can rely on a chain of suppliers who, by adhering to the code of conduct, guarantee the final customer an event carried out with respect for the environment on the basis of three principles: sustainable event management through an organizational process that reduces environmental impact; innovation and quality in researching new solutions that follow the “green meeting” model; partnership – a commitment to develop a network of professional products and services geared toward sustainability. The project proposes Lago Maggiore as a point of reference to encourage the coordinated promotion of the territory’s offer for conferences, with the aim of strengthening the MICE sector by providing the market with unified communication and an integrated and accessible system for the organization of eco-friendly meetings.

All of this taking place within the breathtaking scenery of the immense blue water basin surrounded by a crown of mountains that, throughout history, has intrigued famous personalities like Alessandro Manzoni, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche, Honoré de Balzac, Giacomo Casanova, Gabriele D’Annunzio with Eleonora Duse, Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, Richard Wagner, Giacomo Puccini, Arturo Toscanini and Ernest Hemingway. They, like us, were captured by the richness and the power of nature surrounding Lake Maggiore, but also by the elegance of the luxurious villas, beautiful gardens and five Unesco sites that dot the lake shores creating an unparalleled feast for the eye.

Streaming. Those unable to participate in person will be able to follow the June 5th events in streaming and post comments and questions to the presenters.

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