The Covid-19 pandemic is rapidly getting worse in Italy. The restrictions are tightening, and the country will continue in this mode until April 6. During the Easter holiday bars and restaurants will be closed, travel limited, meetings prohibited. Tourism has been essentially frozen and there are only very few opportunities to travel across the globe. Naturally, the travel behavior of Italians has been changing significantly.
Generally, it is expected that Italian tourists and their travel habits will follow similar trends as in 2020. This was confirmed in recent research conducted by Trip Advisor, according to which 21 % of Italians plan to stay close to home during their next holiday.
Local Tourism and Slow Tourism
16 % want to travel to destinations that are not more than 90 minutes from their residence, while 33 % would travel to destinations just over 90 minutes from home. It must also be noted that shorter holidays and in uncrowded places will be preferred.
Among the favorite places are mountain destinations, preferably close to the most populated areas. Meanwhile, just like last year, small villages and towns are gaining popularity. Tourism linked to tradition is also on the rise and the same can be said about the so-called slow tourism, linked to experiences, even better if sustainable and ecological.
In this sense, searches on excursions, nature and relaxation have increased in the past months. This is a clear indication that Italians have a desire to spend their free time in the open air, especially in little-known and unexplored destinations, by bicycle, by foot or even by horse.
Staycation and Food and Wine Tourism
Thus, it can be said that this year the phenomenon of a staycation, i.e., tourism practiced near home, in one’s own region or country, is the winner of the year. A trend that in 2020 has made it possible to save, albeit in part, the season of many accommodation facilities and destinations that have not been able to benefit from the foreign inflow.
Another trend that will continue with respect to Italian travel behavior is that of food and wine tourism. Scheduled trips to wine and oil roads, to the districts of DOP products and to small wineries to taste local specialties will continue to be popular among Italians.
Workation a Growing Trend
Another habit that is growing is the concept of workation. In short, the word workation stands for working while on vacation, without moving much from the home area.
In this sense, more and more people are booking vacations in beautiful places to relax and take a break with their family after work. A somewhat different way to experience the thrill of a holiday.
But a way which can be recreated anywhere, from a small remote village to a hotel room. In this context, more and more accommodation facilities are equipping themselves in this sense to make their travelers live a unique experience.
Luxury tourism is also on a rise. Travelers are increasingly looking for places that only few can access where they can relax and enjoy a carefree holiday.
In this sense, packages that offer uncrowded and charming accommodations or in historic residences and villas are currently very trendy. An interesting aspect of Italians’ travel behavior is also the growing popularity of boat accommodation.
Boat Trips and Cruises
And speaking of boats, the desire for cruises is also growing. Here, all the premises are secured, and it is even possible to dine in the cruise restaurant respecting the regulations in effect.
In this case, as well, proximity tourism is the winner. The trend, in fact, is to give tourists a chance to board mini cruises to all Italian stops to make them live a unique experience. This will be possible thanks to the help of technology that will make things easier with downloadable tickets on smartphones and contactless checks.
In the current context, precision tourism will also grow. This is a concept of tourism designed down to the smallest detail that will allow destinations and operators to guide their strategies, in line with their specificities. Even here technology will give tour organizers a big hand.
Optimism about the Future of Travel
There are therefore still many travel possibilities that will persist in the Italian context even in 2021. One consideration must still be made: the world of tourism will still take some time to fully recover.
Vaccination will certainly help with the recovery, but it will still surely take some time before it will be possible to travel again without much thought.