Many people in Italy travel on holidays to explore the country's rich cultural heritage. Visitors interested in cultural experiences typically spend €93 per day, which is higher than the average spending of €74 per day per tourist.
In 2022, Italy recorded 142 million visitors, according to the survey carried out by ISNART (National Tourist Research Institute) for the Observatory on the Economy of Tourism of the Chambers of Commerce.
The data revealed that cultural experiences and heritage is the second reason for a holiday in Italy, following leisure travel. Furthermore, the desire of cultural tourists to visit new places outside the "traditional routes" is growing: an interest reported by 20% of the interviewees. "One in 5 tourists is looking for new experiences and destinations to discover," underlines Loretta Credaro, the president of ISNART. This emerging phenomenon should not be underestimated in planning the local tourist offer and aims to highlight even the minor attractions of the area.
Cultural Travelers Spend More
The cultural tourist has a substantial economic impact but is worried by the cost increase. Those traveling for cultural experiences spend significantly more daily than the average Italian tourist when they purchase goods and services during the holiday: 93 euros against 74 euros on average. A significant spending trend exceeds the 70 euros recorded in 2019. The budget allocated to accommodation stands at 61 euros per day. In parallel, the attention to the quality-price ratio triples (from 4.1% in 2019 to 13% in 2022), thanks to the current inflationary shock.
The average foreign tourist tends to spend slightly more than the Italian visitor in terms of food and wine (28 euros in restaurants and pizzerias) and culture (14 euros in tickets/cards). Another important data revealed by the survey show that cultural tourists get inspired by information on the Internet – 1 out of every 2 visitors is influenced by the Internet, which is thus fundamental in disseminating logistical and experiential information for cultural tourists.
The Post-pandemic Combination of Culture and Nature
The cultural tourist is looking for a holiday not only dedicated to culture, interested in the cities of art (which had suffered during the pandemic), but also in the Italian countryside, which allows combining cultural and rural tourism perfectly. According to the ISNART survey, cultural tourists have a diverse profile. They are interested in culture, history, art, and architecture.
They also enjoy discovering new tourist attractions, including natural destinations. Approximately 22.2% of cultural tourists are attracted to nature-based destinations.
On the other hand, foreign tourists are driven by the desire for novelty (22%), combined with that of discovering typical local food and wine (18.1%). When reaching their destination, cultural tourists typically prioritize visits to historical centers (35.3%), monuments (30.1%), palaces and castles (28%), museums (25.3%), and archaeological sites (18%). However, they also enjoy exploring nature through excursions and trips (57.1%).