Tourism, fewer Italians on holiday but foreign destinations are increasing

Tourism, fewer Italians on holiday but foreign destinations are increasing


The number of Italians going on holiday this summer has dropped by 10% in two years. Economic problems weigh on the decision to give up the summer holidays (16%). This is the first figure to emerge from the fourth edition of the research on Italian holidays conducted by YouTrend on behalf of WONDERFUL Italy, a leading company in Italy in the management of holiday homes. After the record summer of 2021 with 71% of Italians intending to leave for the summer holidays, last year the figure stood at 65% and this year it stops just below 62%. Also this year the research wanted to explore in particular what are the factors that weigh on the choice to go on vacation and on its modalities. 69% of those interviewed said that the increase in prices affects the choice to go on vacation. Other economic factors such as rising interest rates on mortgages and loans have repercussions for 65% of cases. Concerns about work and climate change weigh on 37% and 39% of people, respectively. This research, underlines Michele Ridolfo, CEO and co-founder of WONDERFUL Italy, «was born in 2020 to analyze the effects of the pandemic on Italians' holiday trends. Last summer new social emergencies arose such as inflation, the war in Ukraine and the evidence of the damage caused by climate change. This year the main influencing factors are of an economic nature, with inflation in the first place».

However, not all demographic clusters demonstrate the same attitude. For example, the 35-54 age group is more concerned about work than the under 35 and over 54 age groups. Economic problems not related to inflation (for example, interest rates) are also more concerned the central data band. For 72% of people aged between 35 and 54, the financial situation affects the choice of holidays. For the under 35s the figure stops at 65% and for the over 54s at 60%. Still at the top of preferences are hotel and holiday home accommodations, the latter preferred by 1 out of 3 Italians, in first place in the under 35 bracket and growing strongly on the other demographic categories, in particular for the over 54s. Those who prefer holiday homes do so above all to have the comforts of a real home (23%) and for the larger spaces available (always 23%). Economic reasons are only in third place (19%), followed by the availability of a kitchen (17%) and greater privacy (16%). Depending on the age group, the main driver of preference for the holiday home changes. For the under 35s, comfort matters most. For tourists aged between 35 and 54, the space available counts. For the over 55s, saving is the main advantage of a holiday home. According to Ridolfo, "the data show that holiday homes and hotels are aimed at two different markets. Those who prefer a hotel hardly choose a home. And vice versa. By now the holiday home is no longer a cheaper alternative to the hotel , especially for families with children, but it constitutes a sector by now structured, capable of being attractive not only for the younger ones but also for more senior tourists.The importance of short-term rental houses in the choices of Italians is something to keep in mind account every time restrictive measures are proposed for this sector, measures which evidently risk causing damage to tourism in Italy and benefiting foreign competition".

Speaking of foreign countries, in the summer of 2023 the share of Italians who choose abroad instead of Italy continues to grow. In the two-year period 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic crisis, less than 8% of Italians had left the national borders. In 2022, the percentage had risen to 12% and this year marks a further leap forward to 18%. Abroad is growing in all age groups but especially in the more senior group. Last year, only 3% of the over 55s had opted for a summer holiday outside the national borders. This year however, the share has quadrupled, rising to 12%. Finally, those who stay in Italy once again prefer destinations closer to their place of residence. Certainly, as a result of the current economic situation. In fact, while in 2022 38% of the interviewees declared that they wanted to travel to destinations over 500 km away, this year the share stops at 28%. Medium-distance destinations (between 100 and 250 km) are growing significantly, going from 19% to 24%. Still in terms of destination, the sea remains undisputed in first place but loses 5 points compared to 2022, going from 74% of preferences to 69%. All other types of destinations benefit from this contraction. The mountains go from 13% to 15%, the countryside from 2% to 4% and the lake from 1% to 3%. The cities of art, which experienced maximum popularity in the two-year period 2020/21, due to the pandemic, remained stable at 6%. WONDERFUL Italy is the largest Italian hospitality and experience company, by number of directly managed holiday homes and marketed tourist experiences. Founded in 2017 on the initiative of Oltre Impact, the first impact investing fund in Italy, and Michele Ridolfo who is also the CEO of the company, WONDERFUL Italy supports the entrepreneurial spirit of local operators in its activity, because it believes that welcoming the tourist its a fundamental resource for the development of the area. WONDERFUL Italy is currently active in Piedmont, Liguria, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Campania, Sicily and Sardinia with a portfolio of over 2000 homes and 300 experiences.



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