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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.
Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry kicks off with the new conference hall seating 650 people in Regina Palace in Stresa. On 14th November, this hall will host the third leg of the women’s Giro d’Italia, an event dedicated to tourism, tinged with a hint of green for the occasion. The area is becoming increasingly greener, thanks to awards won by Verbania and the Valgrande and Veglia Devero parks.
BTC’s first event in Florence on 12th and 13th November will focus on green meetings, crowdsourcing, new technology and much more. Among the most important participants that will be present in this events exhibition will beLago Maggiore Meeting Industry, established as a result of an Italian-Swiss agreement between the tourist promotion agencies in the area (Chambers of Commerce, Provincial Authorities, Local Tourism Agencies, Convention Bureaus and Associations). Its position as the first “sustainable” conference destination in the Italian and Swiss market has been confirmed once more thanks to the Lago Maggiore Green Meeting project launched at the previous edition of the event.
Designed to encourage the coordinated promotion of conference facilities available within the territory with the aim of strengthening the MICE sector, presenting itself in the market with a single voice and an integrated and accessible system, the project presents Lake Maggiore as a point of reference for the organisation of green meetings. MICE operators can therefore depend on a chain of operators that observe a code of conduct based on international best practices and can therefore provide end customers with an event created with respect for the environment based on three principles: sustainable event management through an organisation process that reduces the impact on the environment; innovation and quality in the search for new solutions for the “green meeting” model; partnership, that is to say commitment to the development of a network of products and professional services focused on sustainability.
Those wishing to organise a conference that combines an elegant location, beautiful landscapes and the Italian style and good life with facilities that are efficient and sensitive to the environment can choose from 410 three to five-star hotels with almost 16,700 rooms and seating for more than 50,000 people, distributed over 517 meeting rooms. Added to this is the new Conference Hall of over six hundred square metres in the Regina Palace Hotel in Stresa. A sumptuous hall, well furnished and fully equipped that can accommodate more than 650 people. On 14th November, the hotel, which is one of the destination’s flagships, will host the third leg of “Giro d’Italia delle donne che fanno impresa“. For this sixth edition, this event, promoted by Unioncamere in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce and Committees for the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship together with the Chamber of Commerce of VCO Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, focuses on tourism and sectors revolving around it. For this reason the event has been organised locally by the committees in cooperation with Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry, so in Stresa the women’s Giro d’Italia will also be tinged with green and its theme will be Women and Sustainability.
The area has recently received two important awards related to protection of the environment:
– Verbania has once again received recognition from Legambiente: it has always ranked highly for the quality of the environment in small cities, it came second in the twentieth edition of «Ecosistema urbano», a report published by Legambiente, Ambiente Italia and Il Sole 24 Ore presented last October 29th. For separate waste collection Verbania scored more than 70% (72.8%, it was 72.1% the previous year), coming second only to Pordenone. There has been an improvement in the number of people using public transport and it has recorded a constant increase in the amount of urban areas reserved for pedestrians and bicycles.
– the Parco Nazionale Valgrande and Parco Veglia Devero parks have obtained the highly regarded “European Charter for Sustainable Tourism” (CETS) certification, awarded to the two parks last November 6th at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.
LAGO MAGGIORE MEETING INDUSTRY HOSTS
“GIRO D’ITALIA DELLE DONNE CHE FANNO IMPRESA” 2013
“Donne per la sostenibilità” (Women for sustainability) is the name that has been given to the third leg of the tour, which this year is dedicated to promoting the female side of tourism as a means for developing businesses and entrepreneurship in Italy.
Thursday 14th November, Stresa will play host to the third leg of “Giro d’Italia delle donne che fanno impresa“, a tour of Italy promoted by Unioncamere in cooperation with the chambers of commerce and committees for the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship, which started off in Naples on 6th November. This travelling show is designed to promote women’s entrepreneurship and provide an opportunity for shared reflection on the world of women’s business.The theme of the sixth edition of the tour is tourism and sectors that revolve around it such as handcrafts, Made in Italy, food and wine and social and responsible tourism, which is why the event is organised locally by the committees in cooperation with Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry.
The leg of the roadshow – designed to facilitate meetings and provide an opportunity to present ideas and exchange experiences – that will be held at the Regina Palace Hotel in Stresa (http://www.regina-palace.com/) is entitled “Donne per la sostenibilità” (Women for sustainability), as Lake Maggiore was the first place in Italy to set itself the objective of offering environmentally sustainable meetings and conferences. The women involved – business women and representatives of the territorial system – will therefore talk about sustainability, sharing their own experiences in relation to the subjects of tourism, social responsibility and food. Presentations and proposals designed to highlight the desire to encourage women’s entrepreneurship in tourism, responding effectively to the needs expressed by business women and women employed in this sector.
The event will give participants a chance to enjoy the attractions and opportunities that the destination has to offer and experience a taste of Green Meetings. The initiative takes place as part of an Italian-Swiss cross-border cooperation project entitled “Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry: Green Meeting by the blue waters’ lake”, which involves the tourism promotion agencies for the area encompassing Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Novara and the territory of Varese and Locarno. The aim of the project is to form a chain of operators that, observing a code of conduct drawn from international best practices, offer final clients an event created with respect for the environment. Partners involved are required to adhere to three principles: sustainable management of events; innovation and quality in the search for new solutions for the “green meeting” model; partnership, that is to say commitment to developing a network of products and professional services geared towards sustainability. Suppliers of the various services – from hotels to restaurants and transport providers – are asked to use local, zero-mile produce, avoid the use of disposable materials, take care to avoid waste and use materials made from FSC certified paper.
Low impact is an approach increasingly adopted in organizing meeting and events.
For a green oriented enterprise, indeed, is very important to exploit these occasions to show up – in a concrete way – the commitment to a more sustainable model.
From internal meetings and training courses to initiatives aimed to involve clients or partners, the request for environmentally friendly locations and structures is quickly growing.
Enterprises are becoming more exigent about the smaller organizational details and the meeting industry is developing a suitable answer to these requests.
Among the measures aimed to reduce events’ impact, the more widespread are the following:
– to use recycled paper folders and materials;
– to chose zero distance food and beverage;
– to opt for energy saving buildings;
– to check the availability of shared or public transport.
Related to these needs a green supply chain for environmentally friendly events is developing, involving not only the meeting structures but also the surrounding area.
This new situation creates a great opportunity of widespread sustainable development.
When the meeting industry is able to connect virtuously with the territory, a positive circle can be created: a well structured meeting industry can bring visitors to a district, and a green approach can provide economical opportunities without compromising the area’s natural balance.
That is exactly the Lake Maggiore Meeting Industry business model: to offer a high performance service which is not endangering the environment.
In this view, sustainability is not an optional but the core of a well defined strategy.
Lake Maggiore Meeting Industry promotes, in the whole area, a more sustainable approach to economic development: the scope, thus, is not only to promote low impact conferences and events, but to enhance and preserve the quality of local environment.
Recognizing that the attractiveness of the territory is an added value to every business is the first step to develop a comprehensive strategy and to boost, at the same time, local environment and meeting industry.