bit siciliaItaly is an increasingly popular destination and the figures confirm this: according to estimates by CST Assoturismo tourist arrivals exceed 62 million (compared to 58.8 in 2017), with an increase of 5%. The fastest growing origin markets include the US (+5.5%) and China (+4.5%). What about Italians?

While a significant number prefer to remain in Italy for the holidays, many travel abroad: at least 24 million according to Ciset - an increase of 2.3%. More than half of total departures will be to the Mediterranean area (+2.9%) – France alone will be the destination of choice for 8 million people– while departures to other destinations loved by Italians are set to remain stable: Northern Europe, UK and US. But search results from the main websites demonstrate that there is also no shortage of more unusual choices: this year websites specialising in exotic destinations have revealed a significant interest for Thailand, Australia and Indonesia, with new entries Tanzania and, especially, Peru, which is this year's must for adventure holidays.

As Italians get ready for the holidays, plan journeys, dream of far-off locations and organise the final details so that they can enjoy unforgettable moments during the summer -and as an increasing number of foreigners flock to Italy from abroad -BitMilano, the International Tourism Exchange, is working flat out to make the next edition, which is scheduled to take place from 10 to 12 February 2019 at fieramilanocity, a new stage of the “Bit Revolution”.

BitMilano responds to this vibrant selection of markets with the third stage of its "revolution", which began two years ago and has been particularly successful, as shown by the results of the survey on the last edition. Indeed, viewers and exhibitors are in agreement that it is of fundamental importance for Milan to host an international event dedicated to tourism (with 8.1 and 7.9 out of 9 points, respectively). BitMilano continues to satisfy professionals from the tourism industry edition after edition (as demonstrated by the increase in positive declarations compared to the previous edition from visitors, as well as exhibitors and buyers). Aside from these preferences we must add new contacts, which were obtained during the fair by 86% of exhibitors who were interviewed. Bit is an event which was defined as important by 91.1% of buyers who were interviewed, while 84.5% of them see the fair as an opportunity for signing contracts.

But BitMilano is not resting on its laurels, as it continues to grow and evolve towards new objectives and its activity has for the first time garnered an important accolade - the Trade Fair Certification from the United States Department of Commerce. This means that the fair has been certified as a suitable platform for companies from the American market and represents an additional opportunity for companies looking to do business in an area with significant potential in terms of tourism.

In the meantime, the journey towards 2019 starts with the new image, which picks up the graphic design from previous campaigns, thus maintaining a continuity in its message. The protagonist of the image is a young skater, who symbolises dynamism, initiative and a desire for discovery. She is a modern traveller combining freshness, elegance and informality.

Alongside the skater we find a reference to the image for the last three campaigns. This too is modern and based on a flat design, with skylines and monuments from some of the principal tourist destinations in the world.

The novelty of this edition is the claim Happiness is a Journey, a reference to the personal nature of travelling and journeys, which one experiences with optimism and a desire to make discoveries and discover oneself. This claim will appear in all communication building up to the event.

But Bit 2019 is not just about the image, as it will be characterised especially by its content. The most popular areas from the previous editions will be confirmed: A bit of Taste, the area dedicated to food and wine tourism, one of the main reasons travellers are encouraged to visit new or renowned destinations; I Love Wedding, which is dedicated to Honeymooners and the professions operating around this specific and popular context; Bit4Job, the area dedicated to Recruitment for the tourism sector which represents a unique opportunity for people looking for work and people looking to improve their business; BeTech, the area dedicated to digital technology which groups together business services & networking; MICE, the space for organisers of events, conferences, meetings, incentives, congress centres, locations for events and hotels with conference centres to facilitate meetings with specialised buyers.

There is still a long way to go until Bit 2019, but we can already confirm some of the exhibitors for this edition: these include, amongst others, Dominican Republic, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Space Hotels, Nicolaus, Geco, Acampora.

Bit is also set to be an occasion for comprehensive interaction. Indeed, there will be a focus on training and the most interesting issues, through an extensive panel of conferences, with at least 70 meetings to be held during the course of the event.  The issues that will be discussed during the conferences will include food and wine as drivers of areas, which will be covered in the conference "Food, taste and cultural diversity: diversiTASTES training", "Extraordinary chefs" with the discovery of destinations thanks to top chefs, the growing market of the Study Abroad Programs; the drivers of success and opportunities offered by travellers from Russia and the "stan" countries.

To contact Bit 2019 today and discover the many novelties that will be revealed in the build-up to the event in February, you can follow and interact with the events social media channels and consult the website bit.fieramilano.it