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Fairs and restaurants

Di Antonio Caneva, 26 novembre 2004

Fairs are very similar to restaurants, in that they both depend on the public; I have sometimes happened to feel uncomfortable dining at a restaurant, albeit beautiful, where the tables were empty and the smallest sound was amplified, or, on the contrary, I felt good at restaurants where the festive atmosphere of the background voices allowed even the most apparent deficiencies to take second place. Well: fairs have the same nature; to a great extent, it is visitors that make for their success, by swarming the pavilions, among the stands, and discussing and getting involved in the proposals exhibited. Unfortunately, the latest TecnHotel in Genoa, with few stands in the pavilions and a limited number of visitors, did not exactly convey a sense of vitality. I hope that the work the Fair is doing to enhance the quality of the event (also by collaborating with Studio Piva) will yield the desired results, and that we will be able to talk about this and the last few editions as part of a transition phase.
The opening event of the Fair was unusual and particularly appreciated, because it was outside the canons of traditional liturgies. It featured a polemic debate between the Vice President of the Liguria Regional Government and national co-ordinator of Regional Tourism Ministers, and the Director of Federalberghi, the Italian Hotel Association, linked with Confcommercio (the Italian Confederation of Trade). Unusual, we said, because in similar circumstances it is unlikely that participants make opposing cases. Here, on the contrary, a most significant issue was raised – who will govern tourism in coming years, and how? Regional governments propose a plan that is based on regional autonomy with nation-wide coordination, whereas hotel owners are in favour of resuming an institution similar to the former Ministry of Tourism, which the Regional Minister of Liguria defines as obsolete.
It is a topic of no minor impact, because we expect this institution to provide the hoped-for impetus (event the Italian Prime Minister participated in the recent conference in Genoa, and assured the attention of political forces) to revive initiative in this industry, which, like many others in our Country, is currently in great difficulty.

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