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Press release - Bologna to host CityDNA's 2024 international conference



 From 24 to 27 April 2024, hundreds of tourism professionals from all over Europe will be involved in this valuable update and networking event at Palazzo Re Enzo.

Bologna has been selected for the 2024 edition of the International Conference and General Assembly of the City Destinations Alliance, the most important European association for sharing knowledge and forward-looking thinking for destinations operating in tourism. The event will bring to Bologna the most important innovative European cities operating in the field of tourism while providing an opportunity to present Destination Bologna and its development model and to share expertise and best practices with the most cutting-edge tourist destinations, in keeping with the strategy that has always placed Bologna at the forefront of dialogue and the development of synergies with other international DMOs. The event, making its return to Italy after nine years, will be held for the first time in Bologna, at Palazzo Re Enzo, from 24 to 27 April 2024 and will involve around 200 professionals from all over Europe. The announcement was made public in Valencia at the CityDNA Autumn Conference 2023, in the presence of industry professionals from various international destinations.

City Destinations Alliance was founded as the European Federation of Conference Towns in Brussels in 1964: since then, the association has grown over the years to become a point of reference for DMOs throughout Europe. With as many as 120 members today from 39 countries, the organisation shares a strong interest in the concrete and sustainable development of their destinations, being 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 a member of the association since its establishment and has been working on the destination's candidacy as host venue through the activities of its business unit Bologna Convention Bureau. For the three-year period 2022-24, the director of the DMO Bologna Welcome, Patrik Romano, was also appointed to the association's board, and this year he was chosen as treasurer: over time, this has contributed to the destination's prominence on the international scene and to the organic development of promotion activities according to European standards.

Already on 23 and 24 November this year, Bologna will be hosting more than 80 professional 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 (Salaborsa Library) to discuss current strategies for the growth of information points. Bologna Welcome was supported for both candidacies by the Municipality of Bologna and its mayor Matteo Lepore.


Bologna is particularly well suited to international events of this kind, on account of its easy accessibility through more than 100 flight connections from the G. Marconi international airport and the excellently connected railway network and motorway junctions. On top of that, the city boasts a strong hospitality tradition, fostered by the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, as well as a rich history and culture, with notable heritage such as the world's largest medieval centre, 40 km of porticoes listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and more than 50 city museums. Proof of this can also be drawn from the excellent results achieved in the latest ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Ranking, which ranked the top congress destinations in the world for international association congresses for 2022: Bologna ranked 35th in the world and 3rd in Italy, achieving its best result ever.


The 2024 event will provide a great opportunity for Bologna Welcome to introduce Bologna as a highly developed destination in terms of attractiveness and tourism management, with significant results achieved also thanks to the exchanges stimulated by the meetings organised by CityDNA, which have contributed to Bologna's development in core areas such as urban regeneration, legacy and impact on the territory, sustainability and the tourist-resident balance. Moreover, the event will serve as an opportunity to discuss Bologna's plans for tourism and culture in 2024, the performance of the "Bologna model" and the evolution of DMOs in Italy and abroad, as well as to celebrate the first 10 years since the constitution of Bologna Welcome.



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