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INTERVIEW – The future of Italian tourism lies in unlimited fabric tablecloths

Giancarlo Pastore, founder and director of Cipas, the center that trains future hotel and restaurant managers, has not the slightest doubt: “Campaigns like «Notice the Difference?» point the way to the only possible path for our country, one paved in beauty and quality service”.

Hospitality.
PASTORE GIANCARLO;WWW.CIPAS.INFOOne of the underlying principles of the “Notice the Difference?” campaign that Assofornitori and EXPOdetergo International launched about a year ago to promote the use of textile linens in Italian restaurants and hotels.
Hospitality with a capital H.
A perfect fit for Italy, also known as the Belpaese.
But that does not reflect reality, as anyone minimally acquainted with Italy’s tourism figures and trends would know. A hospitality that is all-too-often improvised, lacking in receptivity for the new brand of travelers (better-educated but with shallower pockets than in the past), where anarchy rules in pricing and facilities are often outdated. This is the scenario we have needed to come to grips with for some time now.

Default– A scenario that has perhaps deteriorated in the last few years but one you, Giancarlo Pastore, were familiar with back in 1991, when you decided to create Cipas, is that right?
“Yes, that year was the turning point in my professional career. After having worked in superior hotel management settings, like the Hilton and Principe di Savoia, I decided to capitalize on these experiences by founding Cipas here at Stresa, in the province of Verbania”.

ristorante-bari– Can you please tell us how the idea came about, and what Cipas is?
“The starting point was purely personal. At the time, after some fantastic work experiences, I came to the conclusion that Italy simply did not have what I had long been looking for. By that I mean a highly qualified training program, capable of offering the most complete education possible for managers and staff, with a common mission: to make tourism a business that must have as its core value the complete satisfaction of its guests. What is known as hospitality, receptivity”.
– A spot-on idea, judging from what happened next.
“In 23 years, we certainly have never tired of it. Just look at the numbers: the nearly 2,000 students that Cipas has launched into the management, restaurant or coaching fields, through courses intimately attuned to the most relevant changes in the entire sector”.
The-Ritz-Carlton-Kuala-Lumpur-Executive-Deluxe-Room– Currently, what do these courses cover?
“Hotel and restaurant management, resource management, innovations in food and beverage, and education aimed at training”.
– A setting in which a synergy with the “Notice the Difference?” campaign immediately found its driving force.
“It could not have been otherwise. First of all because, if we want to perpetuate something similar to the good old days of Italian hospitality, the reception offered by our restaurants, and even in our trattorias, cannot exclude an authentically Italian heritage like textiles. Of course, to an industry professional like me, its eco-significance lies at the heart of the matter, since using textile linens means reuse aimed at environmental stewardship. But that is not enough…”.
– What do you mean?
18fae33e35e64a858756a513008807d2_RestaurantLR2_Crop“In addition to being functional and healthy, to be completely Italian, the result must also be beautiful in terms of colors, patterns, and the quality of materials. A must, in my opinion”.
– Why is that?
“Because tourists, especially foreign tourists, expect to find beauty in Italy. Not just in her monuments and landscapes, but also at the table”.
– Thus, total adherence to the “Notice the Difference?” campaign.
“It was an instantaneous intuition, thanks to the values that we at Cipas can only promote. Simply because we have always believed in them”.
– To the great satisfaction of Assofornitori.
“Of course. See you at EXPOdetergo International”.

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