The United States, Australia and China are among the major source markets for long-haul international tourism in Italy, according to the data of the Bank of Italy and the latest survey of the Centre National Tourist Unioncamere-ISNART.
Italy has reported growing share of the organized international travel – the forecast for states 5.1% increase in demand according to 45% of foreign tour operators that offer Italy as a holiday destination.
The prime source market for long haul holidays to Italy, the United States, totalled 3,455,000 travelers at the Italian border in 2013, for a total of 30.61 million overnight stays in Italian accommodation establishments (9.5% of foreign overnight stays in Italy). The U.S. is an established market that still has room for growth, with a positive trend in the last three years both in terms of passengers (+31.3%) and overnight stays (+19%). In 2013 American tourists spent almost EUR 4 billion in Italy (12.1% of foreign tourist expenditure in Italy in 2013). There has also been a rise in budget holidays in recent years (+34.1% from 2010 to 2013).
Regarding package tours, Italy sold 43.7% of packages to U.S. buyers (slightly lower than the 46.8% recorded in 2013). The packages include especially city breaks, beach holidays and culinary vacations. For the next year, the predictions are also positive: + 6.8% projected sales for U.S. tourists to vacation in Italy.
Australia is the second largest long haul market in terms of overnight stays. There were 812,000 Australian travelers at the Italian border according to the latest data from the Bank of Italy in 2013. They accounted for a total of 7.8 million overnight stays (2.4% of foreign overnight stays in Italy) and their spending was estimated in the range of EUR 945 million, or 2.9% of total foreign tourism expenditure. Australia is a growing market in recent years with a percentage change of +38.6% for the number of travelers, +41.9% for overnight stays and +38.2% for tourist expenditure of Australians staying in Italy between 2010 and 2013.
About one in four tour packages sold by travel agencies in Australia is for travel and vacations in Italy (25.6%), which is a slight drop from the excellent 2013, when the portion for Italy went from 33.5% in 2012 to 47.5%. The forecast for 2015 reports a slight increase in demand (+3.2% scheduled for the next year).
China is the source market with a great appeal for Italian destinations. There were 299,000 Chinese travelers in Italy recorded by the Bank of Italy in 2013, for a total of nearly 1.9 million overnight stays (2.6% of total foreign), a trend characterized by a buoyant change in recent years (+100.7% travelers, overnight stays +230.4% between 2010 and 2013).
Big spenders, Chinese tourists spent EUR 479 million in Italy in 2013, which is significantly more than three years ago, when Chinese tourists spent 'just' EUR 199 million in Italy (+140.7% variation in three years).
Regarding organized tourism, the share of sales to Italy rose from 16.3% in 2013 to 23.1% of packages sold by the Chinese tour operators during 2014. The bestseller tourism products for Chinese buyers are the Italian cities of art, wine and food tourism and business tourism. For 2015, the forecasts of the Chinese players are growth-oriented: 7.8% increase in demand is expected for travel and package holidays in Italy.