Tourism Strategy: Impressive and “About Time”

TORONTO – Compliments! The headline is not a play on words, in part because what the world calls “Italy” is cultural-historical entity that is “timeless” – an experience rooted in pre-history, making contributions to the human condition “like no other” in the past three thousand years. 

Those contributions are recognized in the visual, artisanal, literary, legal, governance, financial, commercial, philosophical, architectural, engineering and social organizations known to humankind. The land itself is a cornucopia of vistas, flavours, music, innovation and styles to stimulate interests of all varieties.

Yet, despite its popularity as a destination for foreign visitors it ranks third in Europe and fourth in the world, according to an article produced by Bruno Venditti on the Voronoi App (reposted on Visual Capitalist: Ranked: The 10 Most Visited Countries in 2023).

In the last one hundred and fifty years, Italians from all background generated a world-wide a massive migration phenomenon that today sees about eighty million ethnic Italians living outside the Belpaese – twenty million more that in their country of origin. That is a large pool of potentially ready-made tourists to invite back home, for a visit at least.

That may have been the genesis of the Italian government’s recently launched “Turismo delle Radici” (Roots Tourism). A team of senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy, launched a campaign ITALEA with a gala event hosted at Toronto’s Casa Loma, Sunday night. It was the place to be and to be seen.

The Consul General, Luca Zelioli, was at his finest as co-host with Luigi Maria Vignali (general director of the Department for Italians Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Giovanni Maria De Vita (responsible for the “Turismo delle Radici” project for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

The music was first rate – a headliner in its own right, the food tastefully prepared and presented, the hospitality evoking those qualities for which Italians are renowned. Did we mention the seven Ferrari at the entrance of the Castle?

There was no shortage of personalities from the private and political sector to bask in the radiance of associating with the event and to lend support. Among them were the former Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota, MPs Marco Mendicino, Francesco Sorbara, MPP Rudy Cuzzetto, Councilors Frances Nunziata, Anthony Perruzza, Nick Mantas, former Senator Con Di Nino, Senator Toni Varone, former Minister Joe Volpe (Publisher of the Corriere Canadese), the Italian Senator Roberto Menia, the director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Toronto, Veronica Manson.

The formal part of the evening ended with an impressionistic video and dancing number (see here) inviting that diaspora to complete the “circle back home”.  It was a superb launch for tourism and connectivity by ITALEA.


Here below, videos and photos by Priscilla Pajdo / Corriere Canadese