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Allan Saunderson is managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

VENICE-The Italian city of Venice is to host the first international exhibition on tourism real estate next April. TRE–Tourism Real Estate will target at international operators in quality tourism property, local governments, territories and entire supply chains in the segment.

To be held from 15 to 18 April 2010, the event will be promoted by ExpoVenice and located at the Arsenal, the old Venice shipyard. It aims match supply and demand of properties in tourism and the service providers of the sector. It is conceived not as a traditional trade fair but as four days of discussion, meetings and business relations between international actors of one of the few economic sectors untouched by the crisis, organizers say.

The event assumes significance because latest data show that despite a sharp drop in tourism revenue of €4 billion in Italy this year, luxury travel has seen 10% growth p.a. over the last five years. Over 25m tourists spent €116 billion last year on exclusive luxury holidays contributing 25% of total income for the sector.

“The tourism sector in Italy employs two million people, contributing 11% of GDP,” Expo Venice president Piergiacomo Ferrari said in a statement. “Hence it deserves to return to the centre stage of political and economic discussions. In this backdrop, we have a series of events that looks into new and promising market niches, which will contribute to revitalising the economy and creating new jobs.”

The business-to-business event will be represented by globally renowned resort chains, banks, investment funds, developers, architects, construction companies, cities and nations. A separate enclave is available for business-to-consumer interactions, bringing together real estate agencies and the prospective individual buyers.

Representatives from 25 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Holland and Hungary – will take part. Topics to be discussed include niche tourism – golf, spa and gaming – new low-cost and high-end demand, sustainable development, innovative models, facilities management and management of outsourced services. Special focus will be on redevelopment, particularly in coastal areas.

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