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Western Sicily was an exciting discovery for 10 Swiss professionals of the meetings industry. In fact, from last 7 to 11 September, an educational tour took them through the natural, historical, cultural and gastronomic treasures scattered along a route that from Palermo to Trapani involved their emotions even before they experienced them.

“Sicilia, Nice To Meet You “ was the name of the tour, organized by the Department of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment of the Sicilian Regional Government under the operational programme OP-2013 ERDF; it was aimed to continue the tour started from the Southeast of Sicily: in fact, during the first edition of the educational tour based on an enchanting format, last March 15 British buyers were welcomed to the Sicilian baroque of Ragusa, Modica and Scicli.
The Sicily Convention Bureau working machine started coordinating the operational services of the Educational Organization in collaboration with Swiss – that offered the buyers the air transfer from Geneva to the Falcone Borsellino Airport in Palermo – Gesap, the management company in Palermo Airport , Frankfurt ENIT, the first interlocutor with the intercepted Swiss market and five Sicilian DMCs (Destination Management Company) – Edrisi Viaggi, Sicily Events, S. Tagliavia & Co., Trippuzzle and Ulisse Events – that carefully designed a program rich of various activities ranging from site inspections to the team-building activities, going through food tastings as well as cultural tours.
The Arab-Norman Palermo, the seventh Sicilian site recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, enchanted the Swiss professionals; from the Cappella Palatina to Palazzo dei Normanni, passing by the Teatro Massimo, now stopping for a taste of street food in the typical historical markets, then having fun aboard the folk “bee-gig” (ape-calesse) in the streets of Palermo, they will always preserve the memory of a city vibrant in its Sicilian core.

And again, from the treasures of the Cathedral of Monreale to the Erice’s breathtaking views, from the pier to Mozia and Marsala salt pans to the Temple of Segesta; history and territory were the protagonists of a cultural route that made the participants enjoy the additional value of original stays to discover the Sicilian tradition through recreational activities: the fascination of the Opera dei Pupi Siciliani, the ecstasies of the palate by the fragrancies of the Sicilian cuisine they could experience themselves at work in a fun cooking class, up to being elated by the excellence of the wines tasted in a refined atmosphere at the Florio cellars.

On that occasion, many structures were seen by the buyers, both for a relaxing stop waiting to start again and for a business inspection, made even more pleasant by desserts and coffee breaks: from the Principe di Villafranca and Villa Igiea to Domina Coral Bay Sicily Zagarella and The Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes in Palermo; from the Resort Baglio Oneto in Marsala and Il Giardino di Costanza in Mazara del Vallo, up to the two medieval beams in Partinico, Baglio della Luna and Borgo degli Angeli, where a speed business meeting enabled more than thirty Sicilian tour operators to introduce themselves to buyers for a B2B workshop before they said goodbye.

A photographic challenge involved the buyers in a tour’s storytelling recreational activity through the#SiciliaToMeet hashtag. The winner, Ms.  Doumiana Kherchouche Frison from APN Voyages, captured a Sicilian cart in the heart of Palermo; this earned her the title of ‘ the best shot of  “Sicilia, Nice To Meet You” together with a lovely gift offered with the compliments of Micac’era  that was to represent the Sicilian tradition through its craft.

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