According to the statistics, 2018 will be one of the most successful for Italy when it comes to the overall number of tourists. Indeed, many tour operators who are leaders in the tourism market have indicated a higher percentage of European and overseas visitor arrivals (especially from the United States). Data show even a 74 percent growth compared to 2017. Consequently, the agencies themselves have recorded a boom in reserving tourist arrangements in the Bel Paese, with figures reaching a 20 percent increase in 2018, always compared to the previous year.
Tuscany as an example of tourism growth
Tuscany is one of the main destinations which is becoming more and more attractive for tourists. The reason can be found in the attentive promotion of local wine and cuisine. Namely, this region is best known for its beautiful vineyards, quality wines and famous specialties. Here, we can see a 10 percent growth trend for European tourists and 20 percent for visitors from other countries.
Tour operators also mention Emilia Romagna, Apulia, Sicily, Piedmont and Umbria among this year’s most popular tourist destinations. In addittion, it is also noticeable a growing interest for lake areas. Natural wonders such as Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda can boast an increase in the total number of overnight stays. Finally, to complete this positive picture, also the number of airport arrivals increased by 7 percent.
Wine tourism and historic tours as main drivers for development
Especially due to the increasingly competitive presence of other European countries in the tourism market, a good country strategic plan is still needed for the equal development of all parts of the peninsula. In that sense, Italy needs to take advantage of all the several and already existing resources to develop new forms of tourism, but also to work on sustainability.
In that sense, it is important to coordinate the work of all the administrations, from the local to the regional and national levels. Indeed, from a tourist point of view, Italy is rich in historic, cultural, artistic and natural resources. Considering the fact that the South of the country abounds in long coastlines, sandy beaches, turquoise sea water, lagoons and lush vegetation, more destinations in the area deserve better position on the tour map. With a good ecological plan and, above all, more modern facilities, packages where history and nature connect can favour structural tourism. That being so, Italy could fight shoulder to the shoulder with its main rivals (Spain, Greece, Croatia) as a quality summer destination.
In fact, tourists are no longer content with just lying on the beach and drinking cocktails, as more and more of them are looking for an active holiday experience. Therefore, travel agencies should follow some existing examples and organize tours allowing to interact with the major historical cities of southern Italy along with Rome. An optional trip including Rome, Naples, Salerno, Bari and Messina called ‘The Historical Legacy of the South’ could be an memorable experience in a lifetime of memories.
Also, taking into account the growing interest in wine tourism, Italy’s strengths should be used as a further asset for a better positioning in the world tourism market. Quality marketing strategies and ready packages combining wine with regional cultural sites are some of the ways to improve and enhance the image of a country which is much more varied than people know.
Strada del Vino
In this regard, here’s a pro tip: officially known as Strada Regionale 222 Chiantigiana, the street from Florence to Siena is the ultimate wine route. For wine lovers, the ability to discover the secrets of Sangiovese is what makes this state highway a hidden oenological gem, as the most important wine production area in Italy is concentrated within the Chianti subregion. In addition to vineyards and wineries, on this road you can also get acquainted with one of the most important cultural heritages of the country, by visiting different Etruscan museums.