It was 1991 when Nino and Franco Caronia founded Norma Vacanze in a small office composed by two desks, one typewriter, one telefax, one employee and, above all, a big motivation and lot of passion on tourism.
Selling daily excursions, weekends and holidays in Sicily to Sicilian guests is the easiest way to start but the turn comes when a new business in Sicily is created by Caronia brothers: selling holidays to clients collected by several local C.R.A.L.S (recreational and welfare centre for workers) that before used to work not as a team, but as independent companies, with small numbers and high prices. Norma allows all C.R.A.L. clients’ to travel and have very good holidays at cheap rates.
After only one year, Norma Vacanze became for most of Sicilian C.R.A.L.S. the easiest and more reliable way to sell to its employees holidays in Sicily and Europe and in the main time many Italian C.R.A.L.S. (banks, post offices, Telecom, and so on) decides to use Norma’s services in Sicily.
More than 3.000 guests are managed by Norma Vacanze in Sicily in 1992 and these numbers, that for Sicily at the beginning of 90’s are really big, give the possibility to make very good agreements with some hotels. Nino always love to say that Norma grew up thanks to most of his main hotels, because they trusted on him and as well most of his main hotels grew up thanks to Norma, because Nino and Franco trusted and invested on them.
In 1993 the first brochure “Sicily and Garda lake” is printed and Caronia brothers start to go to some national and international tourism exhibitions without any stand. Walking through the stands with their small brochure, Nino and Franco meet most of tour operators that in the following years become their main clients. Clients grow up quickly, besides C.R.A.L’S clients some new ones from Germany arrives by bus and a new office able to host more staff is needed.
In 1994, seven young and motivated guys occupy the desks of a bigger and modern new office composed by 2 floors. After few years, first individual international clients arrive: Roza Vetrov, a Russian T.O., decide to put the first direct charter from Moscow to Palermo and Dertour print Sicily in one page of its brochure for the first time. In the following years new important clients arrives: Olimar, a german TO, prints Sicily on its brochure for the first time and Gate One, one of the biggest American TO, starts to use Norma’s service in Sicily.
A tour of Sicily called “Sicily Sun Tour” with guaranteed departures is launched – nobody guarantees a Tour of Sicily during the 90’s but Franco and Nino wanted to invest on this idea and only after two years, a new edition of this tour is launched also in German language. This tour is a really winning idea because complete the product given by Norma: not only hotels and transfers, but all individual clients are even able to discover Sicily with a tour joining other people speaking the same language. The rising number of Sicilian clients needs a wider offer, that is why Norma decide to invest on charter operations to Europe, sharing the seats with other two local tour operators.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century Norma gives to many Sicilian guests the possibility to spend their summer holidays in Paris, Prague, Andalusia and Wien with direct flights from Palermo or Catania. In many local radios and in the main streets of Palermo, Catania and Messina the first advertising campaign saying“Who told you that holidays are expensive? -With Norma You can” is launched and in 2000 Norma manages more than 10.000 guests.