Held in the Casa per Ferie La Salle, Roma, June 21-23.
After the first two successful events in Padova, Rome hosted the exhibition sponsored by the Borsa del Turismo Religioso Internazionale (BTRI), under the patronage of the National Office of the Italian Bishops responsible for leisure, tourism and sport, supported by the University of Tor Vergata, by the Centro Italiano Turismo Sociale (CITS) and by all the main national and local associations involved in the domain.
The exhibition aimed to bring together all the different bodies concerned with tourism (religious, cultural and artistic) and to provide a meeting point for interchange which would result in better quality for piligrimages and religious or cultural tours.
The programme included thematic presentations, workshops, press meetings, panels and seminars for hosts and exhibitors (www.btri.it/programma/).
Nicola Ucci, patron of the BTRI, said she was confident that the event would provide “a follow-up to the valuable results of the first two meetings in Padova” and that the attendance “would be even greater”.
Worlwide, there are some 330 million religious tourists, and Italy is one of the principal destinations with its 1,500 sanctuaries, 30 thousand churches, 700 diocesan museums plus the many monasteries and convents. St Peter’s Basilica is univesally famous and is among the top 25 most visited places in the world. According to the National Institute for Research on Tourism, religious tourism in Italy generates more than 5.6 million overseas visitors annually, which is 60% of the total.
The three days crowded with activities took place in the Casa per Ferie La Salle (in Via Aurelia, 472) with its 6 meeting rooms to accommodate 170 participants, a multilingual staff and 120 rooms for guests – all in easy reach of the Vaticano.