According to Assoturismo-CST data, after two negative years, in 2022 tourism in Italy was growing again, registering almost 400 million overnight stays with a boom of foreign tourists. Cities and art centers reported increased numbers of visitors, with a rosy forecast for 2023 as well.
The Italian tourism supply chain is breathing again after two very awful years: according to Assoturismo-CST estimates, 2022 closed with almost 400 million nights spent by tourists, with a jump of +38.2% on 2021. An absolute positive result, even though the pre-Covid levels are still out of reach
The sector records a solid recovery in arrivals and overnight stays, above all thanks to the important increase in foreign tourists and the strengthening of Italian demand. Positive results were achieved by hospitality entrepreneurs in all regions and for the several kinds of tourism products, but cities/art centers recorded the most significant growth overall.
In general, overnight stays in accommodation facilities in 2022 increased by +38.2% compared to 2021, for a total of around 399.5 million. On the other hand, according to the estimates, arrivals stand at a growth of +42.8% over the past year for a total of 112.3 million. However, compared to 2019, the data still show -8.5% of overnight stays and -14.5% of arrivals.
Above all, European visitors are the driving force, even though there is also a strong increase in travelers from North America (mainly USA).
The strong recovery of foreign tourists has made the greatest contribution to the growth: the estimated increase is +83.4% on 2021 and in absolute values around 194.7 million of overnight stays, even if the difference with the 2019 data marks -11.8%. On the other hand, the Italian tourism market recorded an increase of +11.9%, for a total of 204.8 million overnight stays (-5.2% compared to 2019). The movement in the hotel structures is estimated to grow by +45.6%, while the non-hotel sector stops at +27.6%.
There is a certain optimism regarding the forecasts for the first three months of 2023, but with wide margins of uncertainty. The opinion of over a quarter of those people who had been interviewed, out of a sample of 1,334 entrepreneurs, is of further growth in the sector, but at a much more contained pace. For 54% of respondent the expectations are of a substantial stability of the market and about 20% expect a decrease in tourist flows. Slow economic growth in the euro area, high inflation and rising energy prices, aggravated by the prolongation of the war in Ukraine, could slow down the recovery in the first months of the new year.