Pat Hyland - Dec 5, 2016
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Tourism industry in Italy has become the most important growth provider for the country’s economy this year. The trend is expected to continue in 2017/18 as well. The gross domestic product is expected to increase by 0.9% in 2016 and tourism by 1.5%. The turnover in tourism accounts for 171 billion euros, which is 11.8% of the GDP. The sector employs 3.1 million people, 12.8% of the Italian workforce.

Neither the crippling environment nor international competition of growing supply on a global scale, have slowed the positive trend in Italy. Arrivals have risen by an estimated 3% this year and are expected to grow at this rate in 2017 and 2018 as well.

These trends were announced at a conference in Rome about strategies and resources of tourism in Italy. The average length of stay (3.5 days) as well as the average expenditure per day (108 euros) have also increased.

The tourism industry strategy plan for 2017-2022 was also presented at the conference. In addition to growing digitalization (duty-free shopping will be digitized from January 1 at Italy’s airports) and improvement in infrastructure, the sector will focus on the sharing economy. As of now it already accounts for 15% of tourism industry.

However, it was not all positive in tourism this year for Italy. The Jubilee year promoted by Vatican was indeed a religious success, but by no means an economic one. According to various travel companies the pilgrims might be worried about possible terrorist attacks during the tours.

The hotel association in Rome reported just 1.2% increase in arrivals. Milan, with the largest increase in tourists (+4.5%), benefited not only from the Expo exhibition held last year, but also from growing business, trade and shopping tourism. Winter tourism, among others, is also on a rise this year. 

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