The second UIC TopRail Forum, jointly organised by UIC, FS (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group) and FS Foundation was entitled “The attractiveness of Rail Tourism”. It was held near Naples at the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa which is one of the most important railway museums in Europe.
UIC initiated the TopRail project to bring together railway industry operators and the tourism industry in order to discuss business opportunities in the rail and tourism sectors. The second edition brought together different actors from the railway world, the tourism industry and the European community.
50 participants from 8 different countries have attended this second edition. It consisted of a single intense day of morning and afternoon sessions.
They were introduced by Mr Mauro Moretti, President of the FS Foundation and Mr François Davenne, Deputy Director General of UIC.
The sessions were organised around three panels:
- Making rail attractive for tourists
- Making rail attractive for communities
- Making rail attractive for tourists and communities: a railway point of view
Highlights included presentations by the following guest speakers:
- Tim Fairhurst, Secretary General, ETOA – European Tourism Association
- Lyublena Dimova, Research Project Manager, ETC – European Travel Commission
- Pascal Deyrolle, General Manager, Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), Belmond
- Andrea Giuricin, CEO, TRA Consulting
- Renzo Iorio, CEO, NUGO
- Vito Borrelli, Acting Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Italy
- Inara Watson, PhD Researcher, London South Bank University
- Serafino Lo Piano, Head of Sales for High Speed and Long-Distance, Trenitalia
- Massimiliano Astrologo, Chairman, Eurail Group
- Pietro Diamantini, Campania Regional Manager Trenitalia
- Stefan Andermatt, Chef SBB Foundation
- Laura Massera, project leader for touristic product development and regional quality, SBB
- Yasunari Nakajima, Director Paris Office, Japan Railways
This event was received with enthusiasm, suggesting some very promising areas for development.
Carles Casas, the chairman of TopRail, pointed out that the future of sustainable tourism development will necessarily use rail. He highlighted that trains are social and emotional and that the challenge is to make them meaningful for the tourist sector and the final customer.
He thanked FS, FS Foundation and the UIC Team for their excellent organisation and for making this event a success.
The closing was delivered by Mr Luigi Cantamessa, Director General of FS Foundation. He invited the participants to visit one of the most beautiful trains of the museum.
During the second day of the second TopRail Forum, the participants enjoyed a visit to the Unesco site of Pompei in a historical train.