Metaverse and sustainability at the heart of BTO 2022

New forms of tourism, including Metaverso, unusual destinations and medium-long term stays, will be at the center of the 14th edition of BTO – Be Travel Onlife, scheduled at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 November.

Metatourism is the keyword of a program full of important contributions: 100 events including insights, workshops and futuristic speeches to learn about the new trends in technology applied to travel, destinations, professions, ways of travelling. If by 2026 a quarter of people will spend at least an hour a day in the Metaverse (Gartner estimate), BTO 2023 presents itself as a great preview: thanks to the futuristic creativity of La Jetée, the Stazione Leopolda will host a series of spectacular installations. A “talking” colonnade will introduce visitors by anticipating the thematic areas of the event thanks to augmented reality technology, while inside it will be possible to “virtually get to know” some of the main speakers: just frame the identification badge they will wear around their necks or respective ‘photographic’ copies reproduced in full size on a wall, to listen to the presentation from their hands.
Another novelty is the META-BTO created by Carraro LAB, an unprecedented experimentation of the phygital synergy between physical and virtual events: while the inaugural speech is held on stage, the virtual duplicate of the Leopolda appears on the big screen, with avatars and 3D environments interact with real speakers and attendees.

Another opportunity offered to participants in BTO 2022 is to personally visit, in the form of an avatar, the exhibition in the Metaverse, accessing it in cross-device mode from PCs, Smartphones and VR Visors through a Qrcode/link that will be provided after the presentations. The experimentation of META BTO is an emblematic case history of the applications of the Metaverse to MICE tourism.

The search for sustainable solutions is, together with innovation, the other red thread of BTO 2022: it is no coincidence that the 14th edition bans plastic and focuses on alternative mobility. Thanks to an agreement with Publiacqua, two drinking water fountains will be available inside the Leopolda. Ecodesign principles were also adopted for the fittings, with low-impact materials and attention to disposal methods. For this edition, the Florence Chamber of Commerce, co-owner of the BTO brand together with the Tuscany Region, has involved the Italian Chamber of Commerce system and economic operators active in the territories through the promotion of BTO ON TOUR, an anticipation of the major themes of the initiative. The promotion was developed in three appointments in which the central theme of BTO2022 was presented: Metatourism. BTO ON TOUR took place in three stages: in Siena on 3 November in the complex of Santa Maria della Scala, in Padua on 15 November, as part of Digital Tourism 2022 and, finally, in Rome at the headquarters of Unioncamere on November 16th.

The opening of works in Leopolda is scheduled for 9.45 on Tuesday 29 November. At 10.30 the inauguration of BTO2022 is scheduled in the presence of the president of the Tuscany Region, Eugenio Giani, the President of the Florence Chamber of Commerce, Leonardo Bassilichi and the organizers. Following, at 11, the panel ‘Destination Tuscany, results and prospects for 2023’ with the regional tourism councilor, Leonardo Marras. Participating, among others, Matteo Biffoni president of Anci Toscana, Francesco Palumbo director of the Tuscany System Foundation and Francesco Tapinassi, here in the role of director of Toscana Promozione Turistica.

On the Hospitality front, an eccentric futurist such as Simone Puorto and a nostalgic traditionalist of hospitality such as Michil Costa will confront each other, as well as a pool of academics and managers called to evaluate the opportunities and risks of the Metaverses.

One of the most awaited panels, relating to the difficulties of recruiting in Italian hotels, will feature the general manager of Federalberghi Alessandro Nucara, the DG of Confindustria Alberghi Barbara Casillo and the national coordinator of Confesercenti Corrado Luca Bianca in a discussion entitled ‘Big Quit, Quitfluencer and Appeal in tourism’ (November 30 at 11). Together with Federalberghi we will talk about innovation and transfer of skills thanks to apprenticeships while with Confindustria Alberghi we will see what changes for the large online platforms and hoteliers after the new EU regulations.

The green transition of Destinations, on the other hand, will be at the center of the thematic area curated by Emma Taveri.

DIGITAL STRATEGY & INNOVATION – The Digital Strategy & Innovation program curated by Giulia Eremita and Rodolfo Baggio will develop on the definitions of Metaverse and on the applications of Web3 technologies in tourism. Phu Styles, known as “Madame Crypto”, will talk about the Web 3, DeFi, NFTs, P2E and metaverse traveler communities, between dematerialized and real experiences. Stephen Hicks, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford and founder of Oxsight Limited who is trying to make avatars even more “humanised” with tracking, will speak precisely on authenticity as the key to bringing immersive experiences and VR to the general public real-time expressions. In addition, exclusive Wunderman Thompson issues and trends will be presented by Global Director, Emma Chiu.

BTO LABS – The training sessions continue online until the end of December thanks to the “BTO Labs”, digital laboratories designed as thematic insights to encourage interaction and cooperation between the various players in the regional tourism system: a web conference that Toscana Promozione Turistica and Region of Tuscany make available to all tourism operators in Tuscany, thanks also to the involvement of tourism trade associations.

ITALY AMBASSADOR AWARDS – For the first time BTO will host an event within an event: the award ceremony of the Italy Ambassador Awards, the first Italian prize for the best influencers, content creators and bloggers from all over the world who promote Italy: a acknowledgment of the work of those dedicated to making Italy’s many qualities better known, from culture to fashion, from flavors to travel.

BTO – Be Travel Onlife is an event of the Tuscany Region and the Florence Chamber of Commerce. The organization is managed by Toscana Promozione Turistica, PromoFirenze and Fondazione Sistema Toscana.

Metaverse and sustainability at the heart of BTO 2022