A DELEGATION of Italian businesspersons from Rome, Milan, Bari and Sicily visited Banská Bystrica in May to explore possibilities of cooperation with local businessmen and the city management in tourism and to draw more Italians to this region, the TASR newswire wrote.

“Banská Bystrica has ambitions to be a centre of tourism and to be a good destination,” said Jana Majerská, a representative of the travel agency Famiko, as cited by TASR. “It is in the centre of Europe as well as Slovakia…. It has a good network of hotels and wellness centres loved by Italians.”
According to Majerská, Italians like gastronomy and wellness and they are great aestheticians.

Packages of services to be offered within the first phase will focus on senior citizens and later on families with children.

“We have good meals which Italians like and which they do not have at home,” said Majerská. “These are haruľa, langoše, lokše [all made from potatoes], roasted duck and chicken broth with fine noodles. They do not like halušky [a typical Slovak meal served with salty sheep cheese].”

Majerská added that Italians love nature, mountains and forests. They also love spas, and Banská Bystrica has all of these. A bonus is the picturesque village of Špania Dolina, the Ľupča Castle and spas and wellness centres in Brusno, Sielnica and Kováčová.

Salvatore Federico, who is responsible for tourism at the regional military headquarters in Palermo, Sicily, came to Banská Bystrica too.

“We are interested in your region,” Federico said. “We have a lot of retired policemen and soldiers for whom we are looking for new tourism destinations.”