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Dal piccolo promontorio su cui sorge la terrazza del Grand Hotel Majestic è difficile non rimanere incantati dalla bellezza del paesaggio circostante: le isole Borromee, accerchiate dalle acque dal lago Maggiore, i paesini che si diradano man mano che si alza lo sguardo fino a raggiungere le cime dei monti innevate. L’aria pulita.
Marco de Marco, responsabile degli eventi per l’hotel, lo afferma senza remore: “Il nostro business è strettamente legato alla natura in cui siamo immersi, senza di essa non saremmo nulla”.
Non sorprende quindi la scelta del Grand Hotel Majestic, che da qualche anno ha deciso di dedicarsi con sempre maggiore attenzione alla tutela del territorio grazie a scelte “green” che puntano a rispettare l’ambiente circostante e a valorizzare le comunità locali tramite la promozione di stili di vita sostenibili tra gli ospiti e la riduzione di sprechi alimentari, energetici e materiali nella gestione della struttura.
La scelta di partecipare al progetto “Lago Maggiore Green Meeting”, cosi come l’adesione alle linee guida di Legambiente turismo dimostra la serietà dell’impegno preso dal management della struttura.
Abbiamo quindi voluto fare una chiacchierata con il dottor De Marco, per capire meglio come una struttura alberghiera possa intraprendere il cammino verso la sostenibilità al fine di imporsi come esempio tanto per il servizio offerto alla clientela quanto per la difesa e sviluppo del territorio locale.
Ci può raccontare in breve la storia del Grand Hotel Majestic ?
Costruita nel 1870 per rispondere alle richieste del boom turistico e delle prime avvisaglie della Belle Époque, era una struttura riconosciuta in quanto all’avanguardia, con l’impiantistica più aggiornata per l’epoca e con soluzioni architettoniche evidentemente particolari ed ancora attuali; promotore di cultura e di ispirazione artistica, ora come in passato.
Negli ultimi quindici anni, la proprietà ha investito in importanti ristrutturazioni per ridare al GHM la propria nobiltà architettonica. La clientela ha risposto positivamente e si è selezionata nel corso degli anni, imponendo un elevato stile di servizio e abitudini provenienti da tutto il mondo.
Come definirebbe ad oggi il vostro posizionamento verso il mercato green?
Siamo pienamente consapevoli dell’importanza per un’impresa come la nostra di adottare condotte green, ma il nostro muoverci in questa direzione è innanzitutto una risposta all’indicazione e agli input della clientela internazionale, di alto lignaggio, che si aspetta di alloggiare in una struttura ecosostenibile con soluzioni e impianti di risparmio idrico ed energetico, per proseguire, anche in vacanza, uno stile di vita che per loro è normalità.
Non siamo ovviamente ancora perfetti, ma la strada è quella giusta: abbiamo consolidato nostre le idee di fondo, le abbiamo condivise con lo staff e con i clienti; usiamo insomma buone condotte in maniera convinta: dentro le regole, fuori dalle regole, spesso anche oltre le regole.
Quali sono le scelte operative poste in essere in relazione alla sostenibilità?
Oltre alla ormai consolidata raccolta differenziata dei rifiuti abbiamo attuato procedure ed impianti di risparmio idrico ed energetico in un ottica più ampia di riduzione delle emissioni.
Al momento stiamo spostando le attenzioni sull’ambiente esterno per:
valorizzare le produzioni e i servizi locali;
presentare e valorizzare il territorio, le sue bellezze (naturali, artistiche, culturali, …)
valorizzare l’enogastronomia locale;
proporre e coordinare una fruizione attenta delle risorse turistiche (destagionalizzare, usare i mezzi di trasporto collettivi, sensibilizzazione sulle condotte ecologiche)
Che tipo di riscontro avete da parte dei clienti?
La nostra è una clientela internazionale di elevato livello culturale.
Oltre ad apprezzare, condividere, partecipare alle nostre iniziative green, sono spesso gli ospiti stessi a consigliarle, suggerirle: da richieste generiche quali la valorizzazione del territorio ad alcune più specifiche sul risparmio di materiali o utilizzo di alternative ecologiche. Ricordo bene un cliente che, infastidito da una piccola zanzara, mi consigliò un disinfestante ecologico, invece di quello che stavamo usando … evidentemente poco efficace! Lo stiamo testando.
Per l’organizzazione di un evento, quali pratiche green adottate?
Come prima regola, proponiamo e incoraggiamo l’utilizzo di un servizio di transfer da e per l’aeroporto che permetta un’ottimizzazione nell’utilizzo degli automezzi.
Inoltre mettiamo a disposizione di ogni delegato una connessione internet ad alte prestazioni, così da facilitare lo scambio digitale degli atti e dei documenti, la registrazione dei partecipanti via internet e soprattutto le operazioni di voto senza l’utilizzo di schede e modelli, solitamente molto dispendiosi in termini di carta utilizzata.
Per quanto riguarda i rinfreschi monitoriamo attentamente le presenze ai pasti, così da evitare ogni spreco alimentare e offriamo sempre una cucina legata ai prodotti del territorio.
In che modo ritiene che la politica di sostenibilità di un albergo possa essere strategica oggi?
Il nostro fattore produttivo più importante è l’ambiente: sono le bellezze ambientali ad attrarre più turismo. La loro salvaguardia garantisce il futuro di quella che tutti riconoscono essere l’attività economica più importante per la città, per il Lago Maggiore, per l’Italia.
Siccome oggi la clientela è attenta a queste tematiche, per le aziende diventa importante assecondare queste richieste. È una basilare regola di marketing.
Senza contare che la promozione di comportamenti green produce un’ulteriore selezione della clientela verso fasce di mercato più acculturate, abituate a viaggiare, con maggiore predisposizione alla spesa turistica.
Quale vi sembra il punto di forza di lago Maggiore Green Meetings?
Le aziende che scelgono di organizzare un evento fuori dalle grandi città, magari sul Lago Maggiore, lo fanno alla ricerca del nostro bellissimo ambiente, positivo e rispettato. La disponibilità di servizi Green e di una politica rispettosa di quell’ambiente completa il cerchio perché lo protegge e asseconda la scelta “Ambientale“ dell’azienda. È un rafforzamento delle bellezze ambientali e un modo attento di presentarle.
Che tipo di opportunità rappresenta per voi l’EXPO?
Crediamo possa diventare un’ulteriore, importante attrattiva turistica per la prossima stagione estiva. Immaginiamo che turisti interessati a una vacanza sui laghi, possano preferire il lago Maggiore (come il lago di Como) per la relativa vicinanza al sito Expo.
Cruciale sarà l’accessibilità all’Esposizione, sia in termini di trasporti sia in termini d’informazioni sugli eventi e sulle modalità di fruizione.
Quali altri obiettivi vi ponete?
Il nostro obiettivo generale è quello di considerare prima di tutto l’ambiente in tutti i prossimi lavori di miglioramento strutturale dell’albergo ed una diffusione sempre più capillare delle buone prassi ecologiche, fra tutti gli attori locali del mercato turistico: parliamone più spesso e in maniera sempre più diffusa e coinvolgente.
Intervista rilasciata a BWConsulenza per il progetto LM Meeting Industry
IMEX, Frankfurt May 20-22, 2014 THE CLIMATE ON LAGO MAGGIORE changes for the better: A RECOVERY FOR MICE ARRIVES FROM NORTHERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA
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.
SAVE THE FOOD A DAY DEDICATED TO FOOD WASTE AWARENESS – Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno VB THURSDAY JUNE 5, 2014
SAVE THE FOOD
A DAY DEDICATED TO FOOD WASTE AWARENESS
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.
For additional information: http://savethefood5giugnobaveno.wordpress.com/
At the Zacchera Hotels: Grand Hotel Dino, Grand Hotel Bristol, Hotel Simplon, Hotel Splendid, indoor and outdoor areas have been designed specifically for corporate #meetings or private #events and celebrations. Wheter you are planning a #wedding, a top board meeting, an employe #incentive, or just a #conference, the Zacchera Hotels properties combine a truly original style with competence and cutting edge technology. At your disposal a dedicated Events Department with professional team trained to deal with individual requirements helping your plan the whole event from the conception to the implementation.
Our handsome spaces are fully equipped with extensive facilities creating the perfect enviroment for all types of events from celebrations to multimedia presentations.
The award will be vested in in London on 10 April
It will be held on April 10 in London the awards ceremony of the Royal Horticultural Society, which will award the RHS Veitch Memorial Medal 2014, the annual award for the greatest contribution to the progress of scientific knowledge in horticulture – the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for horticulture and gardening.
This year the prestigious award goes to Gianfranco Giustina, master gardener of House of Borromeo and technical director of the gardens of Isola Bella and Isola Madre…… continue reading
A special educational last month aimed at European MICE operators was organised by the Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Chamber of Commerce, in close collaboration with Lago Maggiore Conference and linked to the Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry. The event allowed attendees to enjoy the beauty of the area and above all to experience first hand the opportunities this destination offers the international meeting industry along with their ‘Green meeting’ ideas. RAM Org arranged for 5 buyers to attend representing the UK MICE market.
The initiative is part of a cross-border cooperative project between Italy and Switzerland called “Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry: Green Meeting by the Blue-Waters’ Lake“. 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. 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 16 buyers from UK, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland were welcomed at the Grand Hotel des Isles Borromèes at Stresa, with a workshop event the next morning at Stresa’s Grand Hotel Bristol. Over the following days the guests were able to discover how much the destination had to offer in terms of hospitality structures, (4* and 5*), and the multitude of services. In particular an utterly Italian experience: Marco Sacco, the star chef of Piccolo Lago restaurant of 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.
Other hotels visited included Regina Place Hotel, The Grand Hotel Dino, Hotel Splendid, Grand Hotel Majestic – plus a boat tour of the Palace and Gardens of Isola Bella, local wine tasting from the Novara area, the medieval village of San Guilo, and a final stop at the Volandia flight museum before departing from Milan Malpensa airport.
Source: RAM Org UK
RAM Org are the UK point of contact for Lake Maggiore Meeting Industry. Judy Till from RAM says “How often are organizers looking for a ‘different’ European destination that is still accessible yet can tick the boxes be it for city, resort, 4* and 5* hotels, good facilities, yet serene and inspiring views? Lake Maggiore has it all”. What the clients thought:
“Despite a hectic schedule, it was fruitful and Lake Maggiore is a great location but you have to be quite picky with the hotels. I am considering it for a 2015 group as it would provide a real contrast from next years event in Turkey, and offer some stunning scenery, plus I know first hand how good the pasta and wine is! Helene from Avenue Events.
“It really was a fantastic trip and a great opportunity to see a destination that is in such a good location for groups coming in from all over EMEA that we hadn’t really considered until this year. The workshop on Friday morning was really useful, overall a great mix between educational side alongside the activities. The scenery there is just beautiful and the highlight was definitely the cooking activity in the 2 Michelin star restaurant, what a great experience for groups!” Louise from Image Events.
With a size of 18 square kilometres Lago d’Orta is the little sister of Lago Maggiore which is nearly twelve times bigger and lies a car drive of 20 minutes eastwards. The pearl in the region of Piedmont convinces visitors with its cultural treasuries. The lake elongates from south to north and is surrounded by a tremendous landscape with rare villages. In the biggest village Omegna at the northern end of the lake you can find festivals and self-made kitchenware. The Lago d’Orta area features various meetings facilities in its charming ancient village Orta San Giulio………… CONTINUE READING
Pallanza, Verbania. Copyright: LMMI
Restaurant Il Portale, among the five restaurants proposed by the Lago Maggiore Conference, can now show up for being a starred restaurant: Chef Massimiliano Celeste has been awarded a Michelin Star. The prize recognizes highly sophisticated work, passion and quality of the products and service of the restaurant.
The dining location lies in Pallanza, a district in the city of Verbania. It hosts up to 90 guests – 40 inside, 50 outside – and presents an almost totally green cuisine with regional products. The location offers a beautiful panorama view over the square of Pallanza. continue reading
The Villa Recalcati is as noble dwelling and the seat of the Province of Varese. The residence was original built in the 17th century with the looks of a country house. It got remodelled and embellished into a Rococo styled building during the 18th century and received its current face as an impressive residence with plenty rooms, statues, iron balconies and beautiful surroundings. The villa consists of a main building, facing the city of Varese, and two wings at the sides that open up……… continue reading