Conference and Marketplace of Ideas
"Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development"

14-15th  February  2019

Tourism is an important part of the European economy. Rural territories are the base for agriculture, but also offer a wide array of assets and resources for recreation not yet used or that remain undetected. This conference is a step to broaden the view and unleash the full rural potential for leisure through a holistic approach that includes hospitality, agriculture, food and wine, gastronomy, culture, environment, active tourism, and any other relevant aspects and tourism sector organizations.

Building on the results and conclusions of  STRD2017, in this second edition we again bring together the stakeholders from two of the most relevant sectors for the European economy: tourism and agriculture

  • The total contribution of Travel and Tourism to European GDP in 2017 was 9.9%, while it is estimated that this will increase by 2,7% for the end of 2018.
  • Out of all EU territory, 92% is considered rural or peri-urban, which provides a wide range of resources and public goods for its 743 million inhabitants.



The focus of STRD2019 is on the preparation of the upcoming new Planning Period 2021-2027 and the implementation of the new CAP – Common Agriculture Policy of the European Union. The following topics are on the agenda:

• Increase the added-value that tourism and recreation can generate for rural areas – diversification of activities, promotion of local products, empowering rural communities, commerce and agricultural production

Use opportunities of digitalization – Smart Villages, marketing and distribution, communication, CRM

• Solutions for areas with natural constraints – the attraction of landscape and mountains, a perfect symbiosis to support fragile territories through tourism

• Demographic changes – how to attend the ageing population and other groups with special needs (accessibility and social tourism)

Our Partners

Preparing the ground for adequate consideration and support of the above topics in the upcoming Rural Development policy within the CAP and EU Cohesion policy is important.  On that purpose, the European Farmers (COPA), the European Movement for Rurality (MER) and other public and private stakeholders are included in the preparation and organisation of this conference.

The programme is complemented by social events and visits to the Cittá Alta of Bergamo. Besides, participants at the Marketplace of Ideas have the opportunity to present their experience to the general public over the weekend at the Agri Travel & Slow Travel Expo


Who should participate?


• Decision makers at local, regional, and national levels from the private and public sector

• Rural entrepreneurs with interest in opening new fields and markets for their activity

• Research and training institutions

• Organisations and companies looking for partners to launch new projects or businesses

…. and in general, anybody involved and committed to lively and vital rural areas in Europe and elsewhere in the world


Set-up of panels for the Marketplace of Ideas at venue
Joint round table with participants of the conference on Experiential Tourism, followed by reception of participants of the STRD2019
Inauguration and Welcome notes
Coffee Break

ELARD – Ms Kirsten Birke-Lund
DG Agriculture – Karolina Jasinska
• Rural Destination
Practical case: Ms. Federica Burini

Coffee Break - Fair opening

• Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism (IT) – tbc
• Ms. Mercedes Bresso – European Parliament
• Mr. Domenico Mastrogiovanni, Rep of COPA-Cogeca
• Mr. Gérard Peltre – MER
• Mr. Tim Fairhurst – ETOA and NET (European Tourism Industry umbrella)

Winners Marketplace - Conclusions
Individual Meetings on Arrangement



The “Marketplace of Ideas” in the context of the STRD2019  is an opportunity for innovative, out-of-the-box, or challenging initiatives on sustainable tourism in rural areas, from Italy, Europe, and the rest of the world to showcase their experience. We look for consolidated examples that work in reality, but do not exclude ongoing projects if they open new perspectives. Simply introduce your case online HERE or fill in the following Word form. In both cases we will then contact you for technical details.

  • Cases exposed at this Marketplace of Ideas enjoy a reduced Conference Fee. They shall present their experience in the foyer of the conference with a  1×2 mts  poster displays provided free of cost. These displays will also be placed at the following B2C Fair  “AgroTravel & SlowTravel Expo”  over the week-end, generating direct impact and possible clients in the future.
  • A contest  to be voted by the conference participants  will select three cases that they consider most inspiring.  The winners will be presented during the Conclusions of the conference, and receive refund of their registration for up to three representatives.
  • Selection by the Programme Committee of three comprehensive case for plenary sessions on Friday 15th. These selected cases will be invited “all cost paid”, but can NOT participate in the contest.


 27 January 2019                 to be considered at plenary

10 February 2019                for the rest (poster displays, or electronic only)


For our plenary session, panellists will be invited on private notice. However, if you have an innovative, out-of-the-box or disruptive view on recreational activities in rural areas and would like to be part on a panel, we invite you to write us to


Registration Fees for international participants

* Members of EuroGites, MER, COPA and practice cases
with poster display at the Marketplace of Ideas                              90 EUR

* Other participants in general                                                            130 EUR

Accommodation is on account of participants, alternative options will be suggested at preferential rates at two levels in due course.



Participation at the fair

Registered participants have free access to the fair “AgriTravel & SlowTravel Expo” that begins right after the end of STRD2019. This includes various opportunities for professional exchange (seminars, workshops, etc.) and business contacts B2B and B2C through a special match-making service of the fair.

Special conditions for participants at the conference apply for individual exhibition space at this fair.  More details to be available soon


Bergamo is a city of about  120.000 habitants, situated in centre of the region of Lombardia in the north of Italy.  It is set at the foothills of the Alps that begin immediately north of the town.  Due to its rich historic and cultural heritage, especially in the UpperTown (“Cittá Alta”) that is still surrounded by Venetian walls, it is the second-most visited city in Lombardia after Milan, which is only 40 kms away.

With the events taking place around 14th-February, a great opportunity to join us with your partner ! 

For Air Travel we recommend the following options:

• Bergamo “Il Caravaggio” (BGY)(4 kms) is the third-busiest airport in Italy and  served by many low-cost airlines from all across Europe: RyanAir, Wizz Air, and BlueAir are the most important.

• Milano Malpensa (MXP) is served by all international regular airlines.   Direct coach connection several times a day to Bergamo city centre (see here).

• Milano Linate (LIN) is closer to Milan city centre, but no direct public transport to Bergamo is available (only via Milano Centrale railway station) –we discourage to use this airport.

Transfer from and to Bergamo airport will be arranged for all registered participants free of charge.

For arrival by CAR, please find the exact location of the venue “Fiera Promoberg”  at  the end of the website.



Via Lunga, 24125 Bergamo

14 – 15th  February 2019



Organized by
Ente Fiera Promoberg
With the support of
Regione Lombardia