ITALY (eTN) – Due to massive budget cuts and restructured programming, the Italian State Tourist Board-ENIT is closing its iconic German Office in Munich (the Berlin office closed in 2009).
Only two weeks ago at the annual reception held on December 1 in Munich, ENIT director Leonardo Campanelli annouced that the Munich office will continue its work and not close down. Now, only two weeks later, he sadly had to distribute letters of dismissal to the staff.
Leonardo Campanelli is facing uncertainity. Waiting for a decision from the Eternal city and Head office in Rome, he wonders where he will be at the end of this year, and this is in two weeks time. Munich, which has always been the Gateway to Italy and often is considered by Italians as Italy’s northest city, had very strong market shares in the outgoing market, with a market of 82 million inhabitants.
With only one office left in Germany (Frankfurt), Director Marco Montini has a lot to do. The Frankfurt head office – responsible for Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and Benelux countries, with the Amsterdam office closing at the end of this year – is also organizing Trade Fairs and Conventions in all these countries.
What is left of ENIT’s former glory?
Switzerland – Italy’s next door neighbor moved away from the customer-friendly street office, to a small second floor office in Zurich. Switzerland remains a very important market for incoming tourism – especially for the northern Italian regions.
ENIT Madrid is hiding on Paseo de la Castellana in a tall building on the 7th floor and is supervised from the ENIT office ihn Paris (also in charge of Portugal).
The big exception is Vienna. Vienna is handling all the Eastern Europe Markets, like Ungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Croatia, etc., and is located right in front of the Vienna Opera, with the luxury of a window-front office and infomation center.
Whereas ENIT’s Americas Office on 630 Fifth Avenue (Rockefeller Center in New York) is only accessable after going through security checks and is located on the 15th floor. The office handles many in-house manifestations (and functions), as well as conferences inside the office. “We are bursting and need more [space]; we get an incredible amount of visitors and requests for Italy,” said Salvatore Persampieri.
While the stunning and glamorous office in Los Angeles was put down soon after opening, paintings and art decor disappeared in boxes, due to cost cuttings. ENIT rented half of the office space out much to the regret of customers and office staff.