A volcano, Etna, that she looks at from her terrace, this is Paola who 10 years ago has opened her Take it Slowly incoming tourist agency in Sicily.
Many left the island because they could not see their future in this land, but Paola could not see her future far from this land. And from Catania, she tells us:
"It's as if sometimes people can't see what their reality is and think that since they won't be able to change it, it's better to leave.
But change is possible, if only we could look at ourselves as they look at us from abroad. Then I thought I needed weapons for my battle and after graduating in Languages in Catania I obtained a Masters in Rome where I also started my travel agent career. "
Language is the first weapon you need if you want to live on tourism and you want to move people deeply to give them living unforgettable experiences.
But it is not the only one.
There are not only organized trips for large groups, but more and more there are personalized trips and for this one must becme a friend and a psychologists to understand people's wishes and organize their dream trip.
“Travel has become an experience to try different but real worlds. People travel in small groups and often know what passions they want to experience but don't know what the region offers.
And then the best part of our work begins. To create a tailor-made trip, imagine the unimaginable to enrich the human being who after a trip is not the same individual as when he left ".
Experiential tourism is also cultural tourism, but people are still on vacation. They do not come for a study holiday, but to have fun with culture.
And few people have understood it (or remember it) and for this reason the offer by our regions is often boring.
To have fun with culture one must be happy inside and curious to discover the beauty of the world (and of our territories) which then make themselves known to others. Edutainment is the right word.
And you need to know how to build 'intercultural bridges', like the ones we do with our Discover & Taste Your Italian Roots program.
“I remember when I personally met a group of Japanese who came to Catania to hear a tenor and who had been abandoned by their Tour Operator. I organized everything so that they could get into our spirit. And I did it. They bought kilos of jams and then made me go to Tokyo to present Italy and my Sicily. "
The Asian world is getting closer and the channels with China are interesting. We studied Italian emotions for them too. We were told to prepare gluten-free menus but after a few nights I found them at midnight eating spaghetti with seafood with our wine! ".
Paola's experience is a textbook and we will all have to learn from people like her not only to make tourism grow in smaller towns but also to show young people how paradise is here with us.
We must arm ourselves and throw ourselves into the fray. Then everything will magically have its own plan.