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Foreign tourists in Italy: 8 million come to the sea

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Cristiano Radaelli, Extraordinary Commissioner of ENIT (Italy’s national tourist board), at the first conference on coastal tourism held in Favignana, Sicily Island, said that almost one in 5 foreign tourists comes to Italy above all for sea holidays.

During this first national conference for the country on coastal and maritime tourism, Commissioner Radaelli said “over 8 million foreign tourists (equal to 17% of the total) who visit Italy, choose the marine destinations for their holidays” with a spending that in 2013 amounted to €3,586 million, according to the latest Bank of Italy figures. “The seaside and nautical industry is one of the main axes of the Italian tourist system. In February this year, the European Union has identified coastal and maritime tourism as one of the key drivers of growth and employment creation and the pillar of the economy of many coastal regions, particularly in southern Italy,” he added.

“ENIT is continuing its international promotion of tourism in Italy and within the framework of the transformation of ENIT, will give a new impetus to the promotion of the sea industry, also with the methodologies of digital marketing,” concluded Radaelli.

Sanvito Lo Capo


“Travel Appeal” has developed for ENIT, as the trends on the main Italian holiday destinations between June and September 2017 demonstrate through the analysis of big data from major technology platforms, such as Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor (7,739,650 reviews and 34,595,031 opinions on Italian accommodation facilities), over 2,167,783 searches on Google, Trivago users’ preference analysis, and Amadeus’s bookkeeping trends.

San Vito Lo Capo, queen of the sea for summer 2017, according to growth forecasts, elaborated on the ENIT research with “An Italian Summer.” The Sicilian town precedes a few percentage points over Rimini and Ischia.

There is also a significant increase in interest in seaside resorts from Central and Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania (the latter mainly to Rimini), with good signals also from a mature market such as the United Kingdom.

The Russians are on a comeback, (+62.9% compared to the previous year), recording preferences for Trentino and Sicily, while Rome figures are at a standstill point. These briefly show the results of the mega survey of Italian summer that reveals the emerging destinations of the online and digital market for sea Italia 2017 with some surprises and hence another certainty.

Among the marine destinations, however, the gold medal goes to the Gulf of Gaeta (+29.2% of travelers from France, the USA, and Russia) before the Argentario and the Coast of the Gods (85% of tourist’s satisfaction).

Matera, finally, the next European Capital of Culture in 2019, is ranked first among the places for satisfaction rate (87.54%), while London overtakes New York and becomes the first city for passenger flows. St. Petersburg (+97%) is about to become the third foreign city by influx (in 2016 it was 16), but the biggest increase was recorded by Tel Aviv (+180%).

Among the mountain destinations, Val di Fassa wins the 85.9% satisfaction of travelers, while Turin is among the art cities with 79%, followed by Milan and Palermo. Among the tourists who visit Italy’s cities, Argentina and Australia, also are gaining in numbers.

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About the author


Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.