Rome, 22 June 2017 – A stand to welcome those who are interested or simply curious at the International Religious Tourism Exchange (BTRI) of Rome, and to meet with the specialist press and tour operators, with the various municipalities making a joint effort to promote their individual points of excellence.
To increase the influx of visitors the Palermo Norman Coast Tourism District has relied on an event of growing importance regarding a segment of great interest for the development of tourism in the area. According to the WTO there are more than 300-330 million “religious tourists” in the world which produce a considerable volume of business (estimated at more than 18 billion US dollars) and with growing trends in places considered sacred or having a rich cultural, historic and artistic heritage.
With Palermo, the Italian capital of culture for 2018, as representative, and president of the District mayor Leoluca Orlando, a total of sixteen municipalities and more than 30 private concerns are promoting their distinctive characteristics at the BTRI fair in Rome. The event focuses on a particular segment of tourism which aims to develop the religious tourism offer of Italy.
In this sector the Palermo Norman Coast Tourism District can claim the imposing presence of the Sanctuary of Saint Rosaly, the city’s patron saint, where the Itinerarium Rosaliae (Rosaly itinerary) starts and finishes, offering lovers of religious itineraries a chance to walk about 160 km along a route that winds through nature reserves and beautiful villages in the provinces of Palermo and Agrigento.
Another charming historic-religious walk which has just been opened connects Palermo with Agrigento and follows the so-called Magna Via Francigena. A crucial stop on the way is the town of Castronovo di Sicilia, another member of the tourism district.
As regards the walks, another section of the rediscovered Vie Francigene of Sicily will be opened by 2017. Starting from the church of Saint Christine “La Vetere” on via dei Pellegrini in Palermo you can walk to Messina along the old footpaths, one of which goes from the Saint Felix hermitage in the municipal area of Caccamo for 113 km through the entire Madonie park along an organised geo-referenced route which will take the name Vie Francigene delle Madonie. Not to mention the extraordinary treasures and places of worship in Unesco’s Arab-Norman Palermo itinerary ‘From Solunto to the Sicanian Mountains’ which includes almost all the other religious places of the municipalities making up the District itself. It represents a heritage of priceless value that will be promoted online together with the tourist accommodation and services available thanks also to the activities of the District.