According to a recent ENIT survey, one-third of Italian nationals are already looking forward to the Christmas holidays. For Euromonitor, the future of travel will be sustainable, responsible and digital.
How is tourism really doing in Italy and the world? With timid signs of recovery and contradictory numbers, answering this question is far from easy. The BIT 2021 Observatory analysed and compared data from leading analysts in the sector and this is what emerged.
The usual study by SWG and Confcommercio on the summer season revealed a two-point drop in the index representing the propensity of Italians to travel. Although this was the first slump in five years, the slip was less than expected and partly offset by the good performance of August. And if, as Confcommercio confirmed, the post-lockdown had a significant impact on foreign attendance, Federalberghi, for its part, noted that 96.2% of Italians who went on holiday this summer stayed in Italy, for a total of 26.7 million people, with a 12.1 percentage growth compared to 84.1% in 2019.
And what now? The longing for holidays continues until autumn and the forecasts are optimistic. According to a survey by ENIT - National Tourism Agency that interviewed over four thousand people during the last week of August, 58% of Italians were planning at least one more getaway. Destinations of choice would be beaches (57%) and the mountains (48%), but a return to art cities (42%) was also expected. Other stays included food and wine (29%), lakes (29%) and spas (28%). Thirty-three per cent of the interviewees were already thinking about Christmas holidays, 92% in Italy, especially in Lombardy, Sicily, Piedmont and Campania. Northern Europe was at the top for foreign destinations.
But what can we expect in the medium to long term? According to Euromonitor, we will see double-digit rebounds in all sectors by 2025. Cruises, struck hard by the health crisis, will record the best performance with a cumulative +20%, on a par with attractions - such as theme parks - and growth of more than or equal to 15% will also be seen for airlines and short-term rentals. Among the growing trends according to Euromonitor are proximity tourism, adventure and nature, sun and sea, wellness, luxury and glamping. "Unsustainable" holidays, in general, are losing edge. Sustainability and digital transformation will be the main drivers for the revival of the sector in the coming years.