According to a recent survey conducted by the Italian Government Tourism Office known as ENIT, a third of Italians are already looking forward to and planning for the Christmas holidays. According to market research provider Euromonitor, the future of tourism and travel in Italy will be sustainable, responsible and digital.
So how is tourism really going in Italy and around the world? Between timid signs of recovery and contradictory figures, the answer to this question may not be easy.
The BIT Observatory 2021 analyzed and compared data from leading industry analysts, and this is what came out. The usual Confcommercio study on the summer season found a drop of 2 points in the index representative of 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 blistering August. And if, as Confcommercio continues to confirm, 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 left for holidays this summer stayed in Italy, for 26.7 million people, with a growth of 12.1 percentage points compared to 84.1% in 2019.
Then? The desire for vacation lasts until autumn and the forecasts give hope. According to an ENIT survey that interviewed more than 4,000 people in the last week of August, 58% of Italians still plan to go on vacation at least once. They will always be holidays by the sea (57%) or in the mountains (48%), but they also expect a return to cities of art (42%).
Other types of stays are food and wine (29%), by the lake (29%), and at the spa (28%), and 33% are already thinking of the Christmas holidays – 92% in Italy, especially in Lombardy, Sicily , Piedmont and Campania. Abroad, Northern Europe tops the holiday wish list.
But what can we expect in the medium and long term? According to research from Euromonitor, by 2025 we will see double-digit rebounds across all sectors. Cruises, particularly affected by the health crisis, will record the best performance with a cumulative +20%, tied with attractions – such as theme parks – and growth greater than or equal to 15% will also be in favor of air carriers and short term rentals.
Among the growing trends, Euromonitor sees local tourism, adventure and nature, sun and sea, wellness, luxury and glamping. “Unsustainable” vacations are down. Sustainability and digital transformation will be the main drivers for the revival of the sector in the years to come.