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Italy Tourism pulls in nearly 40 billion in international traveler spend


The positive outcome in 2018  for Italy’s tourism shows an increase of almost 11%, with around 41.7 billion euros spent by international travelers compared to 39.1 billion euros in 2017, with a volume of 25.5 billion euros spent by Italians abroad against the 24.6 billion euros from the previous year, equal to 16.2 billion euros.

This was the most significant data presented at an Italy and international tourism conference. Results and trends for incoming and outgoing in 2019 were organized by Ciset (International Center of Studies) on the Tourism Economy Ca Foscari University of Venice in collaboration with the Bank of Italy in Treviso.

On balance, a significant growth in international revenue is certified for tourism (+ 6.5%), compared to a more limited expansion of expenditure (+ 3.8%). During the conference, the profile and preferences of the incoming tourist of the Italian territory were illustrated: itinerant, where the landscape is as an integrated mix of elements namely culture and art, nature, food and wine, traditions, and becomes the main attraction in the choice of destination.

In detail, Mara Manente of Ciset pointed out that the wealth generated by tourism remains polarized in the top 5 tourist regions: Lombardy, Lazio, Veneto, Tuscany, and Campania, which account for 67% of the expenditure of international tourists, with some respectable performances as the consolidated economic role of traditional cultural tourism, which settles at around 15.7 billion euros, with a decidedly more contained trend compared to the previous two-year period (+ 1.8%). It also confirms the excellent results for beach tourism (6.6 billion euros, + 19.8%) as well as the double-digit dynamic for the active food and wine green holiday (+ 17% of turnover, equal to 1.2 billion).

Finally, the results for the mountain tourism are also very positive, confirming the recovery trend already recorded starting from 2017 (1.6 billion in turnover). With regard to the main basins of origin of international vacationers, Central Europe is retained very good, in particular Austria (+ 11.5% of expenditure) and Germany (+ 8.1%).

Equally positive was the performance of the French market, which spent 2.6 billion euros (+ 8.8%) in Italy, both in the UK and Spain, both in double-digit increments. For the German market, in particular, 2018 was the year of massive rediscovery of Italian beaches, from the Northern Adriatic to Puglia, from Liguria to Calabria.

The total cost for the sea-and-sun holiday has exceeded 2.2 billion, distancing again the cultural stay, both traditional and marked by an experience of tasting and active vacation (1.75 billion in turnover, +4.6%) . The appreciation of the Germans for the Italian mountains has been confirmed, where 600 million euros of expense have been exceeded.

On the non-European front, the strengthening of the US market continues (+5.8%), whose average expenditure stabilizes at around 170 euros per day. The most significant result, however, is found in the economic contribution of Chinese tourism which, thanks to the increase in both flows and average expenditure (176 euros), recorded a significant +45% of revenue per holiday.

For both Russian and Brazilian tourism, on the other hand, a decrease of 10% and -6% in holiday spending was reported. Massimo Gallo, official of the Bank of Italy, focused attention on incoming vacationers, highlighting concentrations in terms of characteristics, origin, type of holiday, and destination. Italy has seen an increase, in particular, of tourists belonging to the younger age groups and those coming from non-European areas, where the incidence of travelers on the potential basin of residents is still low. This profile of traveler (young and non-European) is most frequently associated with cultural holidays – since 2010, arrivals for cultural holidays, or in art cities), have in fact recorded the greatest growth, and even rural holidays and those at the sea have been enriched with cultural and artistic contents. The large urban areas, especially UNESCO Heritage sites, turned out to be the preferred destinations.

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About the author

Mario Masciullo - eTN Italy

Mario is a veteran in the travel industry.
His experience extends worldwide since 1960 when at the age of 21 he started exploring Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Mario has seen the World Tourism develop up to date and witnessed the
destruction of the root/testimony of the past of a good number of countries in favor of modernity/progress.
During the last 20 years Mario's travel experience has concentrated in South East Asia and of late included the Indian Sub Continent.

Part of Mario's work experience includes multi activities in the Civil Aviation
field concluded after organizing the kik off of for Malaysia Singapore Airlines in Italy as an Institutor and continued for 16 years in the role of Sales /Marketing Manager Italy for Singapore Airlines after the split of the two governments in October 1972.

Mario's official Journalist license is by the "National Order of Journalists Rome, Italy in 1977.