The National Tourism Observatory of Italy, in cooperation with others, prepared a report on food and wine tourism and the results are somewhat surprising.
Food is the driving force behind Italian tourism and economy. In 2017, 223 million euros were spent by foreigners for Italian food and wine, marking an increase of 70% compared to 2013 (131 million).
The corresponding increase in total holiday expenditure in the same period was significantly lower (+18.4%). One in four tourists in Italy, moreover, is driven by food and wine interests (22.3% of Italians and 29.9% of foreigners).
There are two factors of the Italian food and wine offer that give added value to the sector:
In terms of spending per capita, a foreign traveler, who in 2017 chose Italian tourism destinations for a holiday motivated by food and wine, spent on average 149.9 euros per day. The most significant source markets generating the greatest revenues are: USA (45.5 million Euro), UK (25.4 million Euro), Austria (18.7 million Euro), Switzerland (17 million Euro), France (16.5 million Euro), Canada (11.6 million Euro) and Brazil (11.5 million Euro).
Italy is the country of the European Union with most awards of food products PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and IGP (Protected Geographical Indication). With 293 awards (35% growth between 2007 and 2010), Italy is ahead of France (245) and Spain (190). Together, the three countries concentrate 54% of PDO and PGI products registered in the EU.