Bill Alen - Sep 21, 2020
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This summer season was a difficult one for the tourism industry. The spread of Covid-19 led to the implementation of extensive travel restrictions and awakened fear of travelling in many. Countries that are especially dependent on tourism, such as Italy, Spain or France, suffered the most and their economies will have a hard time bouncing back.

However, if we compare the above-mentioned countries, Italian tourism came out as the “winner” of this mini-contest. The fact remains that the country suffered a great decline, as tourism’s share of the GDP is set to decrease by 2.6% in 2020 (3.2% of the GDP) compared to 2019 (5.7%).

Although significant, this decline is lower than that of many other countries, for example, France (-4.5%) and Spain (-3.1%). The reason? It seems to be Italy’s flexibility on the market.

“The flexibility of our offer system partially compensates for the reduction in terms of foreign tourism thanks to the ability of our operators to attract the domestic market,” said Giorgio Palmucci, president of ENIT.

Massive Decreases Expected

Nevertheless, massive decreases in terms of tourism inflow are expected. The number of international visitors is predicted to decrease by 58 % (37 million visitors) in 2020. The number of overnight stays will decrease by 126 million compared to 2019.

The downward trend also applies to the domestic market. According to the latest data of the Italian tourism board, 31 % less domestic visitors (16 million visitors) are expected in Italy, while overnight stays will fall by 46 % compared to last year. Thus said, despite this small “victory” for the country, Italian tourism still suffered a big deal.

Tourism Behavior Next Year

As for the forecasts on the behavior of foreign tourists in Italy based on a survey among French, German and British citizens, it emerged that for the next holidays on the Apennine peninsula travelers will focus on various product combinations.

The French and the British want to focus on culture, gastronomy and the sea. The Germans, meanwhile, seek a combination of culture and relaxation. Folklore and group social holidays are also of interest for British tourists.

The favored destinations are Tuscany (69%) with Florence and Pisa in the lead, Lombardy (65%) with Milan and Lake Como, Lazio (63%) with Rome, Veneto (62% with Venice and Campania (60%) with Naples.

The most preferred way of travel will be either as a couple or in families, generally in groups of 3-4 people on average, who will stay for 9/10 nights. 50% of British will choose an all-inclusive holiday compared to 30% of the Germans and 29% of the French. UK tourists will choose 4 or 5-star hotels (45%), while French people will opt for 3-star versions (34%). Germans, in the meantime, will mainly use private homes (25%), particularly the rented ones.

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