ECR Party in Ischia to Address the Dynamics of Future Tourism

Culture - June 23, 2023

After tackling highly relevant topics in previous editions of the “ECR Party Culture Weekend,” this time the crucial theme will be tourism. From June 23rd to 25th, Ischia, Italy, will serve as the venue for this engaging event named “Tourism: a development engine for Europe”.

Continuing the momentum from past editions that delved into conservative agendas in Split (Croatia), solutions for a shared European project in Sofia (Bulgaria), and the intricate dynamics of agriculture and water resources in Jerusalem (Israel), the focus now shifts to Ischia. Renowned for its natural beauty, this idyllic location has been chosen as the venue to explore the key role of tourism in the European economy.

The Secretary-General of the ECR Party, Antonio Giordano, explains the initiative: “Tourism is one of Europe’s key issues. The attractions in our nations draw millions of tourists from around the world, just as every European citizen wants to explore every corner of our continent. This generates one of the most significant industries, exhibiting continuous growth. However, coordination is necessary among the various sectors encompassing the broader theme of ‘Tourism’ and among the different member states. Moments like this are essential. The mission of the ECR Party is to strengthen the bonds that unite us as conservatives. That is why our events are inclusive and open to young people, families, and enthusiasts. We aim to provide European conservatives with the opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries to discuss politics, culture, and the future in a friendly atmosphere.”

Secretary-General Antonio Giordano explains the purpose behind this initiative: “Tourism stands as one of Europe’s paramount topics. Our nation’s allure draws millions of tourists from around the world, just as every European citizen wants to explore every corner of our continent. This generates a thriving industry, showcasing continual growth. Yet, effective coordination among various sectors encompassing the broad theme of ‘Tourism’ and among the diverse member states becomes imperative. Moments like this are essential and play a crucial role. The mission of the ECR Party is to strengthen the bonds that unite us as conservatives. That is precisely why our gatherings are inclusive, welcoming young people, families, and enthusiasts alike. We aspire to provide European conservatives with the opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries, engaging in discussions encompassing politics, culture, and the future, all within a friendly atmosphere.”

Ischia, located on its eponymous island, is a city with a strong tourist vocation, exemplifying how many European treasures are found in peripheral areas of the continent. Together with the island of Procida, Ischia was designated the Italian Capital of Culture in 2022, highlighting the close relationship between culture and tourism.

Apart from its breathtaking beauty, the chosen venue serves as a demonstration of both the potential and challenges facing European tourism. The potential is evident in the splendid locales brimming with culture, art, and history, nestled amidst nature and exemplifying effective preservation of ecosystems while accommodating urbanization. Ischia caters to both “mass tourism,” primarily centered around beach activities, and “quality tourism” which caters to families and art enthusiasts.

The challenges are equally apparent: difficulties for foreign tourists in terms of distances, the need for infrastructure improvements in transportation connections, healthcare hindered by limited funding, and a lack of protection from a higher authority.

The program will commence on Friday, June 23rd, with the arrival of guests and a welcome cocktail at the Hotel Continental in Ischia, where the more politically-oriented events will take place. On Saturday, June 24th, there will be the key conference of the Culture Weekend and a networking dinner. On Sunday, June 25th, guests will have the opportunity to visit Ischia Island and the La Mortella Gardens, which attract 70,000 visitors annually.

The Conference will feature four different panels: “Tourism and Culture: business perspective and conservative strategies,” “Mobility in Tourism: the aviation system as a Strength,” “European tourism system: how much influence can the EU Commission have?” and “Religious tourism in Europe: itineraries to discover our identity.”

The guest list boasts high-profile attendees, including Daniela Santanchè, MP (FdI) and Minister of Tourism; Gianluca Caramanna, MP (FdI) and National Head of the Tourism Department of Fratelli d’Italia; Nicola Procaccini, MEP and co-president of the ECR Group; Carlo Fidanza, MEP and FdI delegation leader at the European Parliament; Antonio Giordano, MP (FdI) and Secretary General of ECR Party; Tommaso Foti, MP (FdI); Ladislav Ilci, MP and member of the Croatian Sovereignist Party; Donatella Di Nitto, Head of Press Office of FdI at the Chamber of Deputies, Ylenja Lucaselli, MP (FdI) and FdI Responsible for the Budget Committee in the Chamber of Deputies; Michele Schiano, MP (FdI); Federico Mollicone, MP (FdI) and President of the Culture Committee in the Chamber of Deputies; Fabio Roscani, MP (FdI) and President of Gioventù Nazionale; Galeazzo Bignami, MP (FdI) and Undersecretary of Infrastructure and Transport.

Notable figures from the economic and entrepreneurial tourism sector will also be present, such as Marina Lalli, President of Federturismo; Domenico Lombardi, Economist; Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair; Alessandra Priante, Director of Europe, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Pasqualino Monti, CEO of ENAV; Fabio Lazzerini, CEO of ITA Airways; Gregory Alegi, Aviation Journalist; Barbara Arbitrio, CEO of AMI ITALIA; Barbara Kolm, Vice President of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank; Adela Mirza, President of Alternativa Dreapta; Giancarla Rondinelli, RAI 1 Reporter; Veronica Pamio, Vice President of External Relations & Sustainability for Aeroporti di Roma; Tommaso Tanzilli, Board Member of “Ferrovie dello Stato”.

Defining new strategies for a comprehensive tourism system that enhances all regions of Europe and provides a fresh interpretive framework is crucial. This will not only restore Europe’s position as the crossroads of global tourism but also invigorate Europeans to rediscover the true Europe, comprised of ancient cultures and traditions that form the roots of European identity. This is the project of European conservatives, a pivotal step in charting the path toward the future of Europe envisioned, designed, and proposed by the ECR.