The fortieth edition of BitMilano proposes, among the initiatives aimed exclusively at the trade, a dense network of conference activities that will see the alternating stages of the various authoritative rooms of different speakers.
The schedule conference will go deeper into four macro areas: education, technology, hot topics, and food and wine tourism. The theme of food and wine – and of the trips connected to it – seems, year after year, to become increasingly of general interest for the final consumer: on the occasion of the next BitMilano event, Roberta Garibaldi will present an updated picture of food and wine tourism in Italy which will follow up the analysis presented last year.
The 2019 Enogastronomic Tourism Report showed that Italian food and wine tourists represent a tourism segment that affects all generations across the board – first of all, Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) and the Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1998). In particular, the latter is in strong growth and declare to prefer destinations where this offer is wide and diversified and harmoniously integrates both with a context of particular landscape value and with a strong cultural identity rooted in the resident population.
Therefore, the concept of “food and wine landscape” that is a combination of culture, people, environment, activity, and typical product, which the Italian food and wine tourist takes more and more into consideration when choosing the destination of his next trip, is asserting itself.
The continuous growth of the sector represents a very important datum that must be kept in strong consideration by the operators of all Italian destinations in order to propose increasingly structured services.
The Italian 2019 Food and Wine Tourism Report showed that Italy has so much to offer: 825 food and wine products with Geographical Indication; 5,056 Traditional Agri-food Products; 4 food and wine products included in UNESCO’s list of tangible and intangible heritage; 2 creative UNESCO cities of food and wine; 334,743 restaurants; 875 restaurants of excellence; 23,406 holiday farms offering accommodation, catering, and other tourist proposals; 114 museums linked to taste; and 173 Wine and Flavor Roads.
Added to this is a multiplicity of themed experiences, such as visits and tastings in the cellars, in the breweries and in the mills, food and wine festivals and parties, social eating experiences, and cooking classes that find an ever greater space in the offer of traditional and online intermediaries.
An important offer in numerical terms is the continuous growth, even if not consistently for all types and that reflects the richness and variety of the eno-gastro-tourist-Italian heritage from North to South in the major cities as well as in the peripheral places.
Which are the most popular destinations? In the last report, among the regions most appreciated by all Italian tourists for a food and wine journey include Sicily, Tuscany, and Emilia Romagna, while Naples, Rome, and Florence are the cities that have received the greatest consensus.
As for foreign countries, Spain and France are the countries most appreciated by Italian tourists with Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid indicated in the foreign cities. Among the food and wine tourists, the most popular regions are Sicily, Tuscany, and Puglia.
Finally, special attention should be paid to wine, which is increasingly becoming an important tourist attraction factor. According to Roberta Garibaldi, “The desire to discover and make food and wine experiences have become over the years a transversal element that affects not only a small circle of enthusiasts but a vast diversified audience, which sees most visitors interested in an opportunity of cultural enrichment. Change the profile of those who arrive in the cellar, and the desire for new proposals and services that can enrich the visit of these fascinating and immersed in nature places also grows. “Most wine tourists love mixed routes that combine food and wine and other experiences and, therefore, have an eno-gastro-cultural profile animated by a strong desire to get in touch with the identity, traditions, and culture of the place they are visiting.
Despite the high interest, over 60% of Italians surveyed last year believe that guided tours of the winery are too similar to each other. Overall, the tasting of wines and the purchase of the same at attractive prices are the most sought-after experiences, but the data shows a strong desire for a richer offer with the tasting of refined dishes combined with the company’s productions such as sunset tastings (indicated by 78% of wine tourists) and dining in the vineyards (68%).
Very popular with this audience of enthusiasts are also the tourist harvest, wellness treatments, and sports, artistic, and psychophysical relaxation, as well as the possibility of finding activities dedicated to children.
The level of appreciation is in fact between 44% and 61%. This denotes a clear desire to live and experience the cellar through new and more engaging ways.
Will last year’s figures confirm this trend? Does the sector continue to grow? It will all be revealed soon.