According to FIAVET, the Italian Federation of Travel Agent there are approximately 11,400 travel agencies in Italy, of which 8,500 generate significant business. In recent years*, travel agency closures and mergers have become commonplace as commissions have shrunk or disappeared and a new generation of customers has moved online so it came as some surprise this morning to find that in Barga they are bucking the trend and actually opening a new travel agency in Barga Giardino.
Alberto Rocchi and Laura Rinaldi trading as “Lucchesia Viaggi” opened for business on Larga Roma with balloons, speeches, corks popping and ribbons being ceremonially cut.
Alberto has more than 25 years experience working in the travel sector. The multilingual Laura was for the last 10 years the main pin at the Ciocco Travel agency. They are aided in their venture by the “Welcome Travel” section of the Alpitour company.A confident and upbeat Alberto Rocchi this morning talked about the agency becoming the centre point for tourism in this area with a new initiative looking towards new markets not just the by now “traditional” markets of the UK and the USA.
Click on the link below to hear a brief interview with Alberto Rocchi (in Italiano)[display_podcast]
The Lucchesia Viaggi site can be seen here
*In the UK, figures from the Association of British Travel Agents suggest 1,400 agencies have closed in the past decade.