The Italy Minister of Tourism (MITUR), Ms. Santanchè, cut the ribbon at the Italian pavilion at the Paris thermal fair “Les Thermalies” with the motto “MITUR will support thermal tourism.”
The pavilion organized by the ICE-Agency for the promotion of Italy abroad and the internationalization of Italian companies aims to relaunch Italian thermal tourism.
The Italian delegation was made up of the Minister of Tourism, Daniela Santanché; the President of Federterme (the Italian Spa Federation), Massimo Caputi; the Director of Paris Ice, Luigi Ferrelli; and the Managing Director of ENIT (Italian National Tourist Board), Ivana Jelinic, who presented the Italian thermal tourist offer and the ItalCares platform created and promoted by Federterme with the co-financing of the Ministry of Tourism. Also with them was the Italian Ambassador in Paris, Emanuela D’Alessandro.
The message of Minister Santanchè
“I would like to thank the Italian ambassador in France for the work she is doing and has done for Italy. I would also like to thank the French, a people I love very much, especially since it chooses Italy as its second tourist destination,” the Minister said.
“France and Italy were called Latin sisters.”
MITUR has an important task: to help the players in the sector to do better and more, to create the conditions for which they can work at their best. I thank the President of Federterme who gave me this opportunity. I stand for a sector that has suffered very significantly during the years of the pandemic and which, today, my ministry absolutely must support.”
Santanchè added: “Italy ranks eighth in terms of wellness tourism. We are not happy about it, because we want to progress since spa tourism was discovered by the ancient Romans. We were the first nation that understood the benefits of spas.
“Spa is a sector that we exported many years ago, [and] we aim to regain the top position. The Italian government must do two things: first, it must believe in it; second, [is] to help the workers in this sector to move forward.”
The collective participation in the event intends to strengthen the internationalization of the spa system and national well-being and intercept the demand of French consumers, which is particularly high at the moment.
“Minister Santanchè’s presence is very clear evidence of the importance to promote the Italian tourism sector to the French market of high importance for Italy,” said D’Alessandro.
Caputi recalled: “The spas represent one of the peaks of ‘Made in Italy’ excellence. The many visitors of these days have experienced the Italian way of life made of attention to the well-being of the person from care to relaxation, to quality food and wine, to the environment. Italy has no rivals, but it is wise to maintain constant improvement of quality standards in order to face the challenges of increasingly aggressive competitors.
“Italy’s great success at Les Thermalies proves the goodness of the project on medical tourism and well-being created by Federterme and financed by the Ministry of Tourism.”
Jelinic underlined: “The spas make it possible to attract tourist market shares also in [the] low season and contribute for a homogeneous distribution of flows on the national territory.”
“Italy performed well for the month of December 2022. The rooms demand on the OTA channels reached to 37.6% against 18.8%% in the same month of 2021, and the spa sector was perfectly in line with the national average, reaching a saturation rate of 37.5% of the December availability.
“Analyzing the Christmas holidays from December 19, 2022, to January 8, 2023, 35.1% of the available rooms were reserved for the spa, against 18.4% in the same period 2022/2021. In this case, the performance of the thermal product exceeds, albeit slightly, the national average result which is 32.5%.”