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A showcase of freshwater tourism

Di Antonio Caneva, 13 Maggio 2005

Last week I attended the presentation of a new fair, which is going to be the twenty-ninth in Italy. Did we feel the need for a new event? Probably so, this time, the new fair being WaterwaysExpo, focused on the themes of Italian freshwater tourism, to be held in Padua from 20th October to 1st November 2005, with the slogan “Products Around a Product”.
All over Europe, inland water tourism is in ferment. The traditional waterways of the Rhein, the Danube and the French canals, just to mention a few examples, have been joined by those of northern Russia ( Moscow – St. Petersburg) and southern Russia towards Ukraine. Lake tourism is also very attractive, and now Italy is preparing itself to make profit of its own territory by extracting the value of assets that are second to none: suffice to think of river Po that flows into the Adriatic sea, or the Brenta canals, and of course our beautiful lakes. This is no doubt a good initiative, which is going to increase the visibility of these products, complemented by thermal spas, agri-tourism, food and wine, parks, sport and nature, and houseboats.
During the meeting, the authoritative speakers made some contradictory statements, as if they had been talking about different projects; a few examples: “the event will be exclusively reserved for the presentation of Italian products” immediately followed by another speaker “….and there will be a showcase of foreign products”; or “what truly counts is that for the first time we are dealing with freshwater tourism systematically” shortly afterwards contradicted by “the tourism we are presenting is global; just think that when inland navigation in Italy is stopped by winter cold, in the Caribbean it is in full swing”.
Small communication glitches, which do not in any way affect the importance of the initiative, on the occasion of which the Ainet convention is also to be held. Ainet , the National Association of Tourist Networks, was created a few years ago, and thanks to the passion and competence of its Chairman Adriano Biella, already includes 16 among the main industry operators.

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