The thing had already been communicated in February, however the news is catching public attention only now, as it is taking shape: a slice of 114 million euros of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) was immolated for resuscitate Italia.it, a web portal announced in 2004 and immediately condemned to a not particularly brilliant fate. Many at this point are wondering if a single site deserves such a heavy expense, especially in a period of intermittent crises.
If the name of the page does not tell you anything, perhaps you will still be able to reconnect the project to a long dormant memory, that is to the attempt to relaunch it in 2007, an occasion in which a very plastered Francesco Rutelli had tried to promote its functionality with a video that became infamous for the politician’s poor use of the English language. One way or another, Italia.it however, it has embodied the dreams of growth in the tourism sector in alternate years. To promote Italian beauties on the Net Approximately 22 million in loans were thus spenthowever, the original design finally ran aground in 2014, when the staff who ran it were de facto left without salary. It was a small taste of what would later turn out to be the crac of PromuoviItalia.
Of the 114 million euros mentioned, at the moment about 41 million have been assigned – 29 in September 2021 and another 12 last February -, figures that far exceed the budget absorbed by the portal to date and which are apparently translating into results. not very exciting. It is undeniable that Italia.it has enjoyed a commendable makeover, however the crude functionality of the site does not seem to justify an investment of this magnitude at all. Before shouting at the theft, it is also necessary to take into consideration the goal the Ministry of Tourism is aiming for: the establishment of a “digital hub” which will also include an app with which the state wants to stock up on traveler data.
«Through the portal and above all through the app, each person can plan their tourist experience saving time, because each user will come profiled and geolocated and, thanks to artificial intelligence systems, tailor-made contents will be proposed, in fact everyone will see different contents »had triumphantly announced Andrea Scotti, councilor for the Ministry of Tourism, on the occasion of the Italian Tourism Exchange held in Milan last April. Not only will the digital tools provided focus on meticulous profiling, but the site and the mobile application will also act as “wallets” in which reservations, tickets and payments will be deposited. If you want, you can even redeem NFTs distributed in the main points of interest of the Bel Paese, as well as accumulate loyalty points to be obtained by sharing your experiences on social profiles.
The collection of information has surprisingly little reason to exist beyond mere customer service. The most important purpose of the whole operation is probably to provide tour operators with data updated in real time, an added value that perhaps could actually be worth the sum put in place by the Government, if the operation is completed successfully. Through this project, the National Tourist Board (ENIT) has set itself very high objectives, however many are ready to bet that Italia.it it will in any case be destined to collapse in on itself, if only because the way in which it was presented recalls what we saw with ItsArt, the “Italian Netflix” dedicated to art that in the space of a year lost 7.5 million euros.
[di Walter Ferri]
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