Lake Maggiore, its Valleys, its Flowers: dates to note in February and March

As in previous years, the first months of 2011 have been crowded with engagements for the Lake Maggiore tourist destination. First, from 15 to 23 January, it participated, as always, in the Stuttgart CTM – the International Fair for caravan, car and touring holidays (Caravan, Motor & Touristik) – which recorded over 220,00 visitors. The destination “Lake Maggiore, its Valleys, its Flowers” subsequently took part, with its own stand, in major events in a number of European countries: Salon Mahana in Lyon (from 4 to 6 February), Ferie for Alle in Herning in Denmark (from 25 to 27 February), ITB in Berlin (from 9 to 13 March), and in the next few days it will be at the TUR in Göteborg, the most important fair for the Swedish and Scandinavian market.

The participation of the destination in these international events is part of the project for promoting the area’s resources, “Lake Maggiore: nature, environment and culture”, elaborated in conjunction with the Chambers of Commerce of Varese and Novara and with the main public and private bodies and associations working in the field of tourist promotion in the area around Lake Maggiore. Their common aim is to publicise on the international markets the territory adjacent to Lake Maggiore, from the lake to the mountains of the Ossola, Lake Orta, Novara and its hills, the Varese and Locarno areas. The sales manual of the destination, translated into various languages, will be available at the Lake Maggiore stand, along with other material designed to publicise the area.

From 4 to 6 February the Lake Maggiore destination took part for the third year running in the Mahana Fair in Lyon (  This is one of the most important events in the sector in France, with four dates in different French regions: Lyon, Lille, Marseilles, Tolouse. Being so close to Italy, the Mahana Fair is of great importance for our area: Lyon is only 450 km from Lake Maggiore, which is thus easily accessible for weekends and short breaks. While there was a slight drop of 3.8% in the number of visitors to the fair – 27,000 as opposed to 28,000 in 2010 – the level of interest shown in Lake Maggiore, and in the Italian lakes in general, was very high. The Fair is mainly aimed at the public, but significant contacts were also made with French tour operators and journalists.

Two weeks later, from 25 to 27 February, Lake Maggiore was present for the fourth year running at the International Tourism Salon “Ferie for Alle” (Holidays for All) in Herning (, the largest event open to the public in Scandinavia, which since 1997 has been held in the eighth week of the year.  The fair, open to tour operators as well as the public, is organised around 5 different themes: Camping, Denmark, Abroad, Outdoor and Danish Golf Show. This year again Ferie for Alle confirmed its status as the major fair aimed at the public, not only in Denmark but in the whole of Scandinavia, setting another new record for the number of visitors: 66,112, a marked increase over last year’s total of 62,690.

From 9 to 13 March the tourist destination “Lake Maggiore, its Valleys, its Flowers” took part in the 45th edition of the ITB – International Tourism Exchange – in Berlin (, the most important event for public and professionals in the tourism sector in the world. A grand total of 11,163 exhibitors and organisations from 188 countries were present, an increase from the 11,127 exhibitors from 187 countries present last year.  This year the ITB confirmed its status as the fair with the highest number of professional visitors in the world: 110,791 out of a grand total of 169,295 visitors.  The number of professionals was unchanged from those of previous editions, though the presence of private visitors showed a slight drop. 40% of operators and the press come from abroad. The record number of presences was recorded at the ITB Berlin conference (9-11 March 2011) – around 14,000 participants (+15% over the 2010 edition) and 100 speakers, making it the most important conference on tourism in the world, with 250 famous experts in the tourism sector discussing the issues of the future.  Lake Maggiore was taking part for the fifth year running.

At the ITB this year, the new edition of the sales manual of the destination was distributed, with general information on the Lake Maggiore area and details on the various parts of the territory (upper, central and lower lake areas), the Ossola valleys, Varese and the Lombard shore, the hills and vineyards of the Novara area. The Manual was available in German (fifth edition) and in English (second edition), along with other material publicising the area. The 2011/2012 edition included some pages devoted to the Swiss part of the lake, and the last pages were devoted to the hotels participating in the on-line booking initiative available through the tourism portal

The English version of the new edition of the sales manual will also be distributed in the next few days in Sweden.  From 24 to 27 March, Lake Maggiore will be taking part in the TUR (, the major fair in Scandinavia on travel, tourism and conferences, to be held at the exhibition centre Svenska Massan in Goteborg, Sweden.  Last year, at the 27th edition of the TUR, in which Lake Maggiore was taking part for the second time, a total of 49,500 visitors attended.

From 16 to 19 March 2011, Moscow will host the 18th edition of the International Tourism Fair MITT (Moscow International Travel & Tourism) ( This is the biggest fair in the sector in Russia, and is aimed at tour operators as well as the public. In 2010 over 3,000 exhibitors from 158 countries welcomed over 79,850 visitors (74% trade). As in previous years,  the sales manual and other material on the destination in Russian and English will be available at the ENIT stand.

For further information visit the sites of the events or contact the Business Promotion Department of the Chamber of Commerce, tel. 0323  912833, e-mail