Half a Billion Ultra Rich Make for Luxury Tourism Treasure

LUXURY image courtesy of Pascvii from | eTurboNews | eTN
image courtesy of Pascvii from Pixabay

More than glitz – emotions. This could be in a nutshell the new trend of luxury tourism regarding the tendency of the coming tourist seasons.

The International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), an event entirely dedicated to the luxury segment, was held in Cannes and attended by thousands of highly specialized operators in the sector.

Today, luxury means the ability to combine an exclusive stay with unique cultural attractions, gastronomic experiences in the name of typicality, or more simply, glamping breaks and unprecedented excursions into nature.

This segment, according to data from Bank of Italy and ENIT (Agenzia nazionale del turismo – The Italian Government Tourist Board), currently represents 3% of the Italian GDP and is one of the few areas where investing means a return on revenues which also involves related industries.

Luxury tourists can generate business opportunities alone – 15% of the total turnover of the hotel sector and 25% of total tourist expenditure (direct and indirect).

In 2022, the first year with at least 10 months at pre-COVID operating levels, high-end international tourists – mainly Northern European and American – according to Bank of Italy data, spent around 24 billion euros in Italy, broken down into 7 billion euros for accommodation (almost always luxury hotels, private villas, but also historic homes); 3 billion euros for catering; and 14 billion euros for visits, tours, excursions, and shopping.

Among the regions that benefit most from the attendance of high-end tourists, there is Lombardy with its lakes, Milan for fashion, the Piedmont for wine tastings, and Lazio, Tuscany, and the Veneto of art.

Regarding booking methods in the luxury segment, direct contact with the accommodation facility is the most widespread (48%), followed by OTAs (29%) and traditional travel agencies (23%).

France stands out among the markets showing a rapid recovery in luxury travel. In the first 6 months of last year, high-spending French tourists recorded a total tourist expenditure in Italy of over 1.6 billion euros, equal to a +180% compared to the 2021 quarter.

And if demand recovers, there is also great excitement in supply.

In the last year in Italy – according to Trends data – 61 new luxury hotels opened in large cities and in decentralized areas enhancing regional and cultural heritage.

The nautical sector is also driving the market, where in addition to the yachting sector, the rental of sailboats and sailing ships is registering a high demand, proving that even luxury travelers are increasingly sensitive to sustainability.

Finally, according to estimates by Altagamma and Global Blue, by 2025, luxury world travelers will reach 450 million people, compared to 390 million in 2019. This means new substantial opportunities also for the industry of travel and hospitality, perhaps further innovating the concept of luxury holidays.


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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.

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