Bologna has won the bid for the 2024 International Conference and General Assembly of the City Destinations Alliance, Europe's leading association for sharing knowledge and forward-looking insights for destinations operating in tourism. The event will bring to Bologna the most important European cities innovating in the field of tourism and will be an opportunity to share expertise and best practices with the most cutting-edge tourism destinations. The event, which returns to Italy after nine years, will be held for the first time in Bologna, at Palazzo Re Enzo, from April 24 to 27 and will involve about 200 tourism professionals from all over Europe. The announcement was made public today in Valencia at the CityDNA Autumn Conference 2023, in presence of industry professionals from different international destinations.
City Destinations Alliance started as the European Federation of Conference Towns in Brussels in 1964: since then the association has grown over the years and has come to be a point of reference for DMOs from all over Europe. Today it has as many as 120 members from 39 countries who share a strong interest in a concrete and sustainable development of their destinations. In fact, the association is based on the 11th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the United Nations, "make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable."
Bologna Welcome Convention & Visitors Bureau has been part of the association since its establishment and has worked on the destination's successful candidacy as a host venue through the activities of its Bologna Convention Bureau business unit. For the three-year period 2022-24, Bologna Welcome's managing director Patrik Romano was also elected as a member of the association's board and became treasurer this year: this has contributed over time to the destination's relevance on international platforms and to an organic and significant development of promotion activities according to European standards.
Starting this year in November, Bologna will be welcoming already more than 80 members of CityDNA for the 2023 edition of the TIC - Tourist Information Centers Expert Meeting, who will be meeting for a day and a half in Auditorium Biagi (Biblioteca Salaborsa) and discuss current strategies for the growth of information points. For both candidacies, Bologna Welcome was supported by the City of Bologna and Mayor Matteo Lepore.