The tourism market in Italy: positive numbers and trends

The tourism market in Italy: positive numbers and trends

The European tourism market is recovering strongly, with Italy leading the way. Against this backdrop, BitMilano will be the key event to present the Italian product and offer a platform for discussion on key issues in the tourism market, such as sustainability and digitalization.

As confirmed by the BIT Observatory, the European tourism market is undergoing a rapid recovery after the impact of the pandemic, with figures in the first half of 2023 recording the highest numbers of nights spent at EU accommodations in the past decade. This amounted to 1,193 million - an increase of almost 11 million compared to the same period in 2019 (+0.9%). The growing trend is also confirmed by overnight stays, which amounted to 136 million more than in the first half of 2022 (+12.9%) - source: Eurostat.


Italy, too, is riding this positive wake; its tourism market contributes significantly to the country's economy, directly or indirectly, with approximately 200 billion euro, or 10% of the national GDP, and employs 2.7 million resources - 11% of the total employed (CDP data)


After all, results for the summer season recently concluded also confirm Italy as a favorite destination, especially for foreign tourists, with more than 100 million overnight stays between June and August 2023 - with expectations of it doubling between now and 2033 - and a total of 21 million passengers at the country's airports (+3.8% compared to 2019).


Italy is now, therefore, faced with the challenge of responding to global trends in the travel industry, with an eye to the needs of today's and the next decade's national and international travelers, with a main focus on sustainability and digitalization.


These issues will be featured extensively in the 2024 edition of BitMilano, which not only represents the first marketplace for the Italian product in the world, but is also a space for the sector to exchange views through its rich schedule of conferences, “Bringing Innovation into Travel”.


The format, developed with the support of Fiera Milano's knowledge-unit, Business International, features meetings, workshops and events to address issues, proposals and challenges relevant to the industry and beyond.


There will be in-depth studies on sustainability, for increasingly conscious and responsible choices, travelling solutions that protect the planet, the economy and local culture. Overtourism will be discussed, as well as slow-tourism and “culture of the environment”, “bleisure”, business travel combined with the pleasure of enjoying the territory.


After all, according to the BIT Observatory, Italy emerges as the leading country for slow tourism for several markets, such as the United Kingdom (65%), France (51%) and Germany (49%), with a preference for authentic experiences, nature trails and independent or self-organized trips purchased through specialized tour operators or territorial agencies.


Moreover, 20% of foreign tourists choose Italian destinations because they are expressly attracted by the Italian lifestyle, associating our country with an aura of exclusivity. The trend of travelers sharing their experience on the web through online reviews continues to grow: from 39% in summer 2022 to 47% this year.


BIT2024 will be an opportunity to seize these opportunities, recounting the future of Italian tourism and beyond, with significant opportunities for anyone ready to innovate and adapt to new challenges.