Ryanair: The ‘tour operator’ coming soon to a city near you.


Schermata 2016-06-27 alle 16.37.20

Tourists & locals mixing in Via Pescherie Vecchie

No longer content with just flying punters in and out of city hubs, the successful Irish airline is dipping its toes into providing tour operating-like services.

In a highly publicized event, Bologna’s big guns of tourism Bologna Welcome and APT Servizi Emilia Romagna signed a new three-year agreement to promote Bologna city and the region courtesy of Ryanair’s sponsorship.

The deal includes a marketing spree in English, French, German, Spanish and Danish via external billboards such as on the London Underground, digital methods including using social media and bloggers, across each of the four languages. Free trips to incentivize travelers will also be touted as well as pop-up restaurants; one is currently being planned for Denmark Food Festival in 2016 and will tempt people with traditional Bolognese delights.

Lepore – “This agreement is a key strategic tool for our area.”

Ravara – “Our commitment to the growth of tourism for Bologna and Emilia-Romagna is already enhanced by a program operating out of Marconi airport, and further enhanced by 5 new winter connections: Berlin, Bucharest, Cagliari, Copenhagen and Gran Canaries.”

Since Ryanair boasts 10million visitors to its web site, this too, will feature banners promoting Bologna on the web sites of foreign hosts, again, to lure potential visitors into booking flights here.

Who pays?

  • Comune, Bologna Welcome & APT to cough up €350,000
  • Ryanair the other 50%

At the media reception councillor for Tourism & Promotion of Bologna, Matteo Lepore, added, “This agreement is a key strategic tool for our area.” For its part, the comune along with Bologna Welcome and APT Servizi Emilia Romagna will pay half of the €700,000 that’s been put aside to cover the bi-lateral agreement.

With a projected 3 million passengers flying into and out of Bologna over 26 routes, Ryanair’s Sales & Marketing Executive for Italy, Chiara Ravara announced, “Our commitment to the growth of tourism for Bologna and Emilia-Romagna is already enhanced by a program operating out of Marconi airport, and further enhanced by 5 new winter connections: Berlin, Bucharest, Cagliari, Copenhagen and Gran Canaries.”

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