Meeting Industry: Lake Maggiore becomes an irresistable destination

Rimini, 22 June 2012.

Yesterday, at the stand of Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry at the BTC, a preview of the Lago Maggiore Green Meeting project was presented to an audience including Roberta Costi, Executive of the Chamber of Commerce of Verbano Cusio Ossola, Cristina Rapisarda Sassoon, AD Global Trends, Gabriella Ghigi, AD Meeting Consultants, and numerous operators and buyers in the sector, both from Italy and abroad.

Aware of the impact that the conference industry can have on local and global socio-cultural and environmental equilibriums, Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry has launched a plan inspired by values of sustainability, approved and funded by the European Community, whose mission in the next three years is to promote events and conferences with a low environmental impact.

Following the example of Verbania, a town that for years now has been the object of awards by the environmental associations Legambiente and Ambiente Italia as one of the most sustainable towns in Italy in terms of its urban ecosystem, the destination Lago Maggiore aims to enhance and preserve the quality of the environment and the landscape, by reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources and adopting methods of operating that respect the environment.

The aim of the product Lago Maggiore Green Meeting is to establish a supply line of operators that will observe a code of behaviour in line with the best international experience, thus guaranteeing the end customer an event organised in full respect of the environment on the basis of three principles: sustainable management of the event through a process of organisation that reduces the environmental impact; innovation and quality in researching new solutions for the “green meeting” model; partnership, or the commitment to develop  a network of products and professional services oriented in the direction of sustainability.

Far from being a “greenwashing” operation, this code proposes concrete, measurable action to reduce the environmental impact for service providers, organisers, and participants. The planning and implementation of Lago Maggiore Green Meeting is aimed at reducing the use of electricity and water, greenhouse gas emissions and the generation of waste, and the use of materials.  It takes account of all activities and all services: location management, hospitality, catering, transport, free time activities, events, communication and marketing. At the end of the event, a report will be drawn up to highlight the actual results achieved by of the operators in reducing their environmental impact.

The objective is to stimulate partners, also through consciousness-raising processes and training through a shared code of rules, to create a sort of ecosystem to further increase the attractions of the destination, which stands out internationally on account of the elegance of its location, the beauty of the landscape, the good taste and fine living characteristic of Italy. An irresistible proposal for meetings and congresses expressing an all-round high quality of life, which translates into a top attraction for foreign clients.

In this way Lake Maggiore is establishing itself as the first “sustainable” congress destination on the Italian and Swiss markets, and already has four conference facilities – il Chiostro of Verbania, the Hotel La Palma of Stresa, the Hotel Splendid and the Hotel Simplon of Baveno – registered with EMAS, a major environmental certification recognised at Community level, and two others which will soon have this certification.  This excellent result has been achieved under the Interreg project “Meeting without borders”.

Quality, hospitality, environmental and geographical diversification are some of the aspects that make Lake Maggiore, especially places in the provinces of Verbano Cusio Ossola, Novara, Varese and the Swiss shore around Locarno, one of the favourite destinations for international clients.  The focal point is  Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry, which originated in an Italian-Swiss agreement between the agencies promoting tourism in the area (Chambers of Commerce, Provinces, Local Tourist Agencies, Convention Bureaus, Associations) to encourage the coordinated promotion of the congress offer in the area, and to strengthen the MICE sector by a unified presence on the market and an accessible, integrated organisation.