According to a recent survey conducted by the Italian Government Tourist Board known as ENIT, one third of Italians are already looking forward to and planning for the Christmas holidays. According to market research provider Euromonitor, the future of Italy tourism and travel will be sustainable, responsible, and digital.
So, how is tourism really going in Italy and in the world? Between timid signs of recovery and contradictory numbers, the answer to this question may not be easy.
BIT 2021 Observatory analyzed and compared the data of the main sector analysts, and this is what emerged. The usual study by Confcommercio on the summer season found a drop of 2 points in the index representing the propensity of Italians to travel.
Although this is the first decline in 5 years, the decline is less than expected and considered partially offset by a dazzling August. And if, as Confcommercio keeps confirming, the post-lockdown has had a significant impact on foreign visitors, the Federation of Italian Hotel and Tourism Associations (Federalberghi) notes that 96.2% of Italians who went on vacation this summer remained in Italy, for 26.7 million people, with a growth of 12.1 percentage points compared to 84.1% in 2019.
And then? The desire for a holiday continues until autumn and the forecasts give hope. According to a survey by ENIT which interviewed over 4,000 people in the last week of August, 58% of Italians still plan at least go on one vacation. It will still be holidays by the sea (57%) or in the mountains (48%), but they also expect a return to the cities of art (42%).
Other types of stays include food and wine (29%), at the lake (29%), and at the spa (28%), and 33% are already thinking about the Christmas holidays – 92% in Italy, in particular in Lombardy, Sicily, Piedmont, and Campania. Abroad, Northern Europe is at the top of the holiday wishlist.
But what can we expect in the medium to long term? According to research by Euromonitor, between now and 2025, we will see double-digit rebounds in all sectors. Cruises, particularly affected by the health crisis, will record the best performance with a cumulative +20%, on a par with attractions – such as theme parks – and growth of more than or equal to 15% will also be in favor for air carriers and short-term rentals.
Among the growing trends, Euromonitor sees proximity tourism, adventure and nature, sun and sea, wellness, luxury, and glamping. “Unsustainable” holidays are down. Sustainability and digital transformation will be the key drivers for the relaunch of the sector in the coming years.