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NEWSLETTER N.34

Florence, November 2018


Comparisons

Two scientific congresses were held in Florence during the last week in August. One was at the Fortezza da Basso, the other at the Palazzo dei Congressi and together they hosted a total 3,500 participants. It came to me that this number corresponds to 70 tour buses, the kind that dump hundreds of people in our city for a visit that lasts just a few hours.

Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion about our fragile art cities and the fact that huge numbers of visitors are unsustainable. Over the past few years these cities have been turned into something like theme parks where rushed tourists go looking for a symbol to immortalize – most likely in a selfie to take home as proof of where they have been: the Ponte di Rialto or the Ponte Vecchio, that will probably become confused in their memories within a short time. There is a triangle of mass tourism – Rome Florence Venice – and this kind of tourism risks causing more damage than benefits as it creates terrible consequences for our ancient cities: minimarkets, vendors selling horrible souvenirs, street food for thousands of consumers who leave traces of what they have eaten all over the streets. And this goes without even mentioning the latest, and as yet murky, Airbnb phenomenon.

Please, don’t be offended. Everyone has the right to operate a business as long as it is regulated in a way that helps rather than damages our cities because otherwise they will gradually lose their appeal and their uniqueness.

I would simply like to make a comparison between “eat-and-run” tourism and congress tourism. Congress participants arrive by plane, and often by train. They get around the city on foot; they spend at least one night in a hotel; they go to at least one museum and they make an effort to enjoy medium- to high-end wine-and-food offerings. There is more: they gather to discuss scientific topics and engender meetings of different cultures; then the strong bonds between the congress participants and our cultural institutions, such as the university, create positive impact on the host cities.

The icons of our culture must be sheltered in a respectful environment. Our sensitivities and feelings for beauty must be preserved because our "great beauty" also fuels industries, luxury goods in particular, that are related to it.

How can we regulate all this? Clearly, I am biased when I ask that our political leaders make a commitment to the congress industry by helping it with appropriate policies for urban sustainability, making places of cultural interest accessible and "user friendly" and, above all, that they regulate mass tourism.

The list of events we of ENIC have organized over the past months says something about the "audiences" they have attracted, and their positive effects on business all around the host cities.

Maria Cristina dalla Villa

Hitachi

Florence, Palazzo Vecchio - Salone de' Cinquecento
July 3, 2018




Menarini Fair Play

Florence, Cortona, Castiglion Fiorentino
July 18-19, 2018




IMSC - International Mass Spectrometry Conference 2018

Florence, Fortezza da Basso
August 26-31, 2018




Andrea Bocelli Foundation 2018

Florence, Portovenere, Verona
September 5-10, 2018




Trunk Show Ferragamo

Bruxelles
September 10, 2018




IFPS - XX International Forum of Psychoanalysis

Florence, Convitto della Calza
October 17-20, 2018




SIOG - VIII Congresso della Società Italiana
di Oftalmologia Genetica

Florence, Complesso Sant'Apollonia
October 13, 2018




SIDO - Società Italiana di Ortodonzia

Florence, Complesso Santa Maria Novella - Gala Dinner
October 12, 2018




Festa Fogliante

Florence, Palazzo Vecchio - Salone de' Cinquecento
October 27, 2018




Awards Ceremony FALP
Florence Academic & Leader Program

Our award winners:

Dott. Luciano Bertinelli
CEO Ferragamo Parfums

Firenze in Rosa Onlus
Organizing Committee 2018 IBCPC Dragon Boat Florence Festival



Translated by Julia Hanna Weiss







foto enic

November 2018
Comparisons
Two scientific congresses were held in Florence during the last week in August. One was at the Fortezza da Basso, the other at the Palazzo dei Congressi and together they hosted a total 3,500 participants... (Read more)

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