THE NUMBER OF FOREIGNERS VISITING ITALY IS BOOMING

Andrew J. Wein - Jun 25, 2018
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The summer begins and Italian tourism forecasts for June to September arrive. In four months, over 260 million overnight stays will be recorded in Italian accommodations, according to estimates from Federalberghi. This is more than 60% of the total annual amount.

The contribution of foreign tourists is significant, representing about 51.3% of arrivals and showing an increase in attendance of almost 40% compared to the summer of ten years ago. The top five countries are once again Germany (6.5 million arrivals), followed by the USA and France (2.3 million), UK (1.9 million) and the Netherlands (1.5 million).

Even other estimates from Assotourismo Confesercenti have a more convinced sign. There are talks of a new record of the number of foreigners for the summer of 2018. 218.9 million admissions are expected. This is about 4.5 million more than in 2017. Unlike Federalberghi’s prediction, the Italian demand will form the majority with 53.3% and an estimated 116.7 million admissions.

The arrivals of tourists in official accommodations should amount to 50.3 million, a million more than last year. Moreover, there is a positive trend in terms of source market growth for the Italian tourism. An increase of inflow from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Britain and France is expected. The best trend is indicated for the inflow from the USA, China and Eastern countries.

Sea, cities of art and villages will drive the market. Italy is seemingly increasing its appeal to vacationers every year and another positive year is unfolding. This is also thanks to an effective strategic plan carried out by the Government in recent years and to a reception system that has become more evolved and based on the digitalization of services.

Furthermore, the close link between food, art, sea and landscape continues to represent the heart of Italian tourism promotion strategy in the world. The trend should be evenly distributed among the different types of accommodation business (+2.1% hotels and +2% non-hotels). In the first sector a 1.4% increase of Italians and 3% rise of foreigners are expected. In the second, estimates indicate a 1.9% increase of Italians and 2.2% of foreigners. Once again, the best expectations were reported by accommodation businesses operating in art cities/centers: an overall increase of 3.2%.

Summer 2018 could also represent a moment of verification of the positioning of Italian coasts, given that some Mediterranean destinations (Greece, Turkey, Egypt) have begun to attract new flows after they had slowed down in recent years.

Finally, the hot topic of summer tourism is the issue of fixed-term contracts. According to Federalberghi, Italian tourism companies employ more than 1.2 million employees in the summer. 500 thousand of these work on a fixed-term contract. Experts consider fixed-term contracts necessary to meet the demand elasticity that characterizes the holiday market. It is necessary to treat the matter with caution and avoiding hasty hypothesis of reforms that could put half a million of workers into uncertainty and break the balance which the industry has created.

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