Conference and Marketplace of Ideas
"Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development"

15-17 February 2017. Bergamo, Italy

Rural Tourism is already an important part of the European tourism sector. But many assets and resources for recreation in rural areas are yet not used, or remain undetected. This conference is a step to broaden ChiefEssays.Net the view and unleash the full rural potential for leisure through a holistic approach that includes hospitality, food, gastronomy, culture, active tourism, and any other relevant aspects.

It is a first-ever event that brings together stakeholders from two of the most relevant sectors for the European economy to set common ground for practical cooperation and synergies:

  • Tourism represents around  10% of European GDP, and is one of the most resilient sectors of EU economy with excellent perspectives of growth.
  • 92% of EU territory is rural or peri-urban, providing a wide scope of resources and public goods for 743 million habitants in Europe.

In plenary and workgroups, open and dynamic discussion will take place around four topics:

  • VITALITY for Smart and competitive rural areas
  • VALUE CHAINS and how to manage them in benefit of rural areas


On Thursday 16th, each of the above is discussed in a moderated panel of experts and best practice cases from Europe and Italy. Further 40-50 examples will be presented in a Marketplace of Ideas in the foyer, where participants shall vote for the three most inspiring cases. On Friday 17th, the four topics are discussed in smaller work groups , while a fifth group will deal with possible joint projects. The results are presented at the closure session where also the winners of the contest from the Marketplace of Ideas shall be announced.

The formal programme is complemented by social events and visit to the Cittá Alta of Bergamo. Participants at the Marketplace of Ideas have the opportunity to present their experience to the general public over the weekend at the AgroTravel & SlowTravel Exhibition.

The organisation is shared between EuroGites-European Federation of Rural Tourism and   MER-Mouvement Européen de Ruralité, in the context of the UNWTO “2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development” and the implementation of the Cork 2.0 Declaration . It counts with support of the UNWTO-World Tourism Organisation, ENRD-European Network of Rural Development, COPA-COGECA, EDEN Network, Regione Lombardia, and Ente Fiera Promoberg, amongst others.

Languages:  simultaneous translation between Italian and English.
French can be spoken only.



Raise awareness about the actual and future potential for sustainable tourism and recreation in rural areas and initiate practical steps to put them into practice by:

  • Highlighting the wide range of rural resources that can be put into value through recreation and tourism
  • Presenting innovative, inspirational, “out-of-the-box”, or even disruptive ideas
  • Detecting new potentials for profitable business around them
  • Discussing different views and perspectives
  • Exchanging views and practical experience across Europe and worldwide
  • Establishing new professional and business contacts in the field
  • Setting up partnerships and consortia for future joint projects


  • Decision makers at local, regional, and national levels from the private and public sector
  • Rural entrepreneurs with interest in opening new fields and markets for their activity
  • Research and training institutions
  • Organisations and companies looking for partners to launch new projects or businesses
  • …. and in general, anybody involved and committed with lively and vital rural areas in Europe and elsewhere in the world



Wednesday, 15-feb    

  • Afternoon:  set-up of panels for the Marketplace of Ideas at venue.
  • Evening:   reception of participants of the Conference.


Thursday, 16-feb  

 Full day:        plenary sessions

                        See details below

Friday, 17-feb               

Morning:       plenary sessions

parallel workgroups (5)

                        See details below

 Noon:             Results of workgroups, contest, conclusions, closur

Afternoon:    individual meetings on arrangement

REGISTRATION FEES for international participants:

* Members of EuroGites, MER, and practice cases
with poster display at the Marketplace of Ideas
                              150 EUR

* Members of organisations related with tourism
and rural development                                                                          195 EUR

* Other participants in general                                                            250 EUR

* Education and Research Institutions                                            125 EUR

This fee includes the local transfers, congress participation, documentation, full social program and meals from Wednesday evening to Friday afternoon, guided tour to Bergamo Città Alta.

Accommodation is on account of participants, alternative options will be suggested at preferential rates at two levels (2- and 4-star-hotels) in due course. Rates start at 40 EUR/sgl room incl breakfast



Registered participants have free access to the fair “AgriTravel & SlowTravel Expo” that begins right after the end of our conference. This includes various opportunities for professional exchange (seminars, workshops, etc.) and business contacts B2B and B2C through a special match-making service of the fair.


Special conditions for participants at the conference apply for individual exhibition space at this fair, as follows:

  • Space with individual exhibition panel for posters,          150 EUR

shared desk, chair

  • Proper individual stand 3 x 3 mts with desks,                  350 EUR
  •  chairs, electricity, and at least 5 panels for decoration


For more details, you can download the offer here


Set-up of panels for the Marketplace of Ideas at venue

Panels can be set up at the venue: Ente Fiera Promoberg starting at 15:00 until 19:30

Meeting point M1.lle Storie & Sapori Restaurant ( V.le Papa Giovanni XXIII, 18- Bergamo)

At M1.lle Storie & Sapori Restaurant ( V.le Papa Giovanni XXIII, 18- Bergamo)

8.00 and 8.45
Shuttle for Fiera Bergamo

Departure from Bus Station/ Urban Center Bergamo

Luigi Trigona – General Secretary Ente Fiera Promoberg

European Commission – DG GROW –Tourism Unit
Video message by Ms Iuliana Aluas – acting head of unit
MER – European Countryside Movement. Mr. Gérard Peltre - President
EuroGites – European Federation of Rural Tourism. Mr. Jan Tjosaas – President

Maccioni, Elena -ENRD - European Network for Rural Development
Ehrlich, Klaus - EuroGites – European Federation of Rural Tourism

networking, animation

Valorisation of local assets and social dynamics: how can recreation and tourism support the generation of new economies and opportunities that benefit rural areas as a whole. We look not only at rural economy, but the full set of sustainability including social, cultural, and environmental aspects such as
• food production
• human capital, infrastructure, image
• cultural and natural assets (Natura 2000 network etc.)
• gender opportunities
• innovation

MODERATOR: Clare Cooper
PANELLIST: Beauchard, François. ENOS / MER
PANELLIST: Murtas, Donnatella. International Terraced Landscape Association
CASE: Hajas, Pal. Taste of Success: Kozard, Hungary
CASE: Morandi, Alessandra.Az. Dosso Badino de Brescia

Include guided tour to the posters or cases at the Marketplace of Ideas related with topic 1

Value chains combining rural resources, tourism, and circular economy: how to optimize the effects of external visitors to rural areas. This includes local cooperation, branding, post-visit sales, or promotion - but also the management of potentially negative impacts such as resource consumption or waste. Core terms are
• Rural-urban linkages
• Sales channels
• Cooperation of structures: CLLD/Leader, DMO, professional organisations, etc.
• Circular economy

MODERATOR: Arunas Svitojus
PANELLIST: Domenico Mastrogiovanni. COPA
PANELLIST: Miralda Cortinovis. EDEN Network
CASE: Sabina Ramovic. Sabina Ramovic
CASE: Massimo Scalet – Agritur “Delaip dei Pape” (IT)

guided tour to the posters or cases at the Marketplace of Ideas related with topic 2+3, networking, animation

The concept of image, expectations and experience: what does a visitor expect from a visit to the countryside? - how can we know these expectations, define segments, and then address and communicate with the actual and potential customer?
• demand patterns, trends, segments
• cultural identity and heritage
• gastronomy and food – from the field to the table
• active tourism (equestrian, outdoor sports, … )

MODERATOR: José Maria de Juan. EARTH
PANELLIST: Fairhurst, Tim -ETOA-
PANELLIST: Mauro Lattuada – Più Turismo (IT)
CASE: Prot, Sarah. AirBnB
CASE: Andrea Spinelli – Programma Spighe Verdi (IT)

Guided tour to the posters or cases related with topic 3. If you already made up your mind about your favourite idea at the Marketplace, this is the moment to vote. Departure from Bus Station/ Urban Center Bergamo

8.00 and 8.30
Shuttle for Fiera Bergamo

Departure from Bus Station/ Urban Center Bergamo

Digitalization is changing the concepts and channels for communication between providers and clients. It also offers new opportunities for long-term sales connections for local produce. How to make best use of this for organisation, management, development, and marketing of rural areas based on tourism and recreation?
• Consumer based product design and feedback
• Sharing Economy
• Communication: Social Media, Blogs, Web 3.0
• Direct sales and supply of farm produce to urban consumers
• Knowledge transfer - E-Learning in rural areas

MODERATOR : Klaus Ehrlich. EuroGites
PANELLIST: Colum Joyce. Connemara Programme
CASE: Rémi THORET - FITE (GIS promotion of equestrian routes)
CASE:Antonio Lattanzi – Agrileisuretime (IT)

Mr Umberto Selmi – ISMEA Istituto de Servizi per il Mercato Agrícolo Alimentare

The last opportunity to vote for the three most challenging and inspiring cases amongst the Marketplace of Ideas (poster displays) in the foyer

Work groups shall deal in more detail with core strategic aspects of sustainable tourism and rural development. Results should build on the discussions of the previous day, and focus on practical action to be implemented in the future. Each of them will be moderated by representatives from the partner organisations with most experience in the topic.
Group 1: Vitality. Moderation: Clare Cooper
Group 2: Value chains. Moderation: Arunas Svitojus
Group 3: The Rural Experience. Moderation: José Maria de Juan
Group 4: Digitalization. Moderation: Colum Joyce
Group 5: Find a partner for projects. Moderation: Asnate Ziemele

Italian authorities (national and regional) Partner organisations Patronage entities


A full version of all documentation of the conference will be available for participants after the event, on-line (with password) and via USB (to be confirmed).

No printed version confirmed, however, complete series of online documents will be registered with an ISBN code as an electronic publication (to be confirmed).


Meet our most valued speakers


Designer @ Winstagram

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    CTO @ Finterest

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    VP Product @ Flopbox

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    Evangelist @ Doogle

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    Graphic Designer

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    Project Manager

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    • The “Marketplace of Ideas” is an opportunity for innovative, out-of-the-box, or challenging initiatives on sustainable tourism in rural areas, from Italy, Europe, and the rest of the world thesis about dreams to showcase their experience. We look for consolidated examples that work in reality, but do not exclude ongoing projects if they open new perspectives. Simply introduce your case online HERE , or fill in the following WORD form – we will contact you for technical details.


    • Cases exposed at this Marketplace of Ideas enjoy a reduced Conference Fee.They shall present their experience in the foyer of the conference with a 1x2mts poster displays provided free of cost. These displays will also be placed at the following B2C  “AgriTravel & SlowTravel Expo” over the week-end, generating direct impact and possible clients in the future.


    • contest to be voted by the conference participants will select 3 cases that they consider most inspiring. Winners will be presented during the Conclusions of the conference, and receive refund of their participation cost (maximum 500 EUR).


    • Selection by the Programme Committee of two comprehensive cases in each area (one from Italy, one from Europe) for plenary sessions on Thursday 16th. These selected cases will be invited “all cost paid”, but can NOT participate in the contest.


    • Electronic-only presentation of cases (i.e. without participation at the Marketplace of Ideas) is possible, following a standard model (Powerpoint or PDF) which ensures a common structure, and therefore allows the confrontation of all cases based on the same criteria. These cases will be included only in the documentation and cannot participate in the contest.
      • 25 January 2017                 to be considered at plenary  -CLOSED-


    • 12 February 2017                for the rest (poster displays, or only electronic)



    for four plenary session will be invited on private notice. However, if you have an innovative, out-of-the-box or disruptive view on recreational activities in rural areas and would like to be part on a panel, we invite you to write us to



    Additional to the practical cases, we welcome more comprehensive studies, essays, or articles.  They will not be presented in the plenary sessions, but may be used in the WorkGroups on Friday morning, and will be also included in the conference documentation.

    Such papers can be sent directly to    They should comply with the usual requirements for scientific publications. In case of doubts, please contact the Programme Committee for more detailed technical specifications.



    Bergamo is a city of about  120.000 habitants, situated in centre of the region of Lombardia in the north of Italy.  It is set at the foothills of the Alps that begin immediately north of the town.  Due to its rich historic and cultural heritage, especially in the UpperTown (“Cittá Alta”) that is still surrounded by Venetian walls, it is the second-most visited city in Lombardia after Milan, which is only 40 kms away.

    A guided tour to Bergamo “Città Alta” is included in the registration fee.

    For  AIR TRAVEL  we recommend the following options:

    • Bergamo “Il Caravaggio” (BGY) (4 kms) is the third-busiest airport in Italy and  served by many low-cost airlines from all across Europe: RyanAir, Wizz Air, and BlueAir are the most important.
    • Milano Malpensa (MXP) is served by all international regular airlines.   Direct coach connection several times a day to Bergamo city centre (see HERE ).
    • Milano Linate (LIN) is closer to Milan city centre, but no direct public transport to Bergamo is available (only via Milano Centrale railway station) – we discourage to use this airport.

    Transfer from and to Bergamo airport will be arranged for all registered participants free of charge.    One free transfer from Milano Malpensa will also be organised in the later afternoon of  Wednesday 15th-February.   The exact schedules will be defined depending on arrival times of participants.

    For arrival by   CAR,  you find the exact location of the venue “Fiera Promoberg”  at  the bottom of the website


    Prices displayed here are available only for participants to the conference ‘Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development’ and visitors to the fair Agri Travel & Slow Travel.

    For more information please send an email to



    Via San Giorgio, 10

    24122 Bergamo




    Double room, single use, breakfast included € 55.00 + 3,50 (tourist tax) 


    Double Room, breakfast included € 65.00+ 3,00 (tourist tax ) 



    Piazzale Guglielmo Marconi 11,

    24122 Bergamo


    Double room, single use, breakfast included € 78,00 + 3,50 (tourist tax )
      Double Room, breakfast included €80.00+ 3,00 (tourist tax) 



    If you travel in group or if you are looking for best prices, we recommend to search an appartment or other options in or

    FREE SHUTTLE from city centre  (Piazza Giacomo Matteotti  e Stazione dei treni) to Fiera Bergamo will be available for registered participants.


    • Ente Fiera Promoberg
    • 15-17 february 2017


    Organized by
    In connection with
    Regione Lombardia
    Ente Fiera Promoberg