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Demoskopika: in Italy 7.2M foreigners (+29.2%) from France, Germany, GB, Spain, and the USA


The biggest question mark this summer is foreign tourism, which is of fundamental importance for many accommodation facilities. During the 2020 marked by the pandemic, in Italy arrivals have collapsed, while for the current season many of the hopes are entrusted to the EU Digital COVID Certificate (also known as the Green Pass). However, when we try to quantify the contribution of foreign tourism numerically, uncertainty reigns supreme.

A research carried out by Demoskopika on behalf of the Municipality of Siena, between 12 and 17 May, seeks to answer this question, which involved a sample of 1,511 adult citizens residing in France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States. According to the data collected, over half of foreigners (55.4%) decided to go on vacation in the coming months, and 5 percent would have chosen Italy. 16.8 percent of them have already booked. This would translate, for the hotel and non-hotel accommodation system of the Belpaese, in 7.2 million arrivals and 25.1 million presences for the summer of 2021, with an increase respectively of 29.2 per cent and 15.3 percent compared to the period June-September 2020.

About half of the sample interviewed opts for the sea (48.4%) or for exotic destinations (3.9%). The mountains (15.1%), the “cities of art, culture and villages” (12.3%) and the “countryside, agritourism” type (8%) also did well. The most popular regions for summer 2021 are Trentino-Alto Adige, Tuscany, Sicily, Puglia, and Lombardy.

Our estimates on incoming in Italy,” declares Raffaele Rio, president of Demoskopika, “confirm the growing trend for the summer, already noted in recent days on domestic demand, also for foreign tourists, both as regards arrivals that the presences. The orientation that emerged from the markets analyzed (France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States), which, it should be noted, represent almost half of foreign arrivals in our beautiful country, seems quite clear. Italy is viewed with renewed interest as a tourist destination, but, at the same time, it is expected that tourist consumption choices are accompanied by greater clarity of safety protocols, not least the decision to extend, for example, the green pass outside the European perimeter to other countries deemed ‘safe’ in terms of pandemic control. Finally, it would be profitable to promote the General States of Italian tourism for next October with the aim of launching, together with the sector’s stakeholders, a more informed and incisive programming for the next two years”.

The identikit of the post-Covid-19 foreign tourist is that of a person who is eager for the sea, greenery and culture, but in complete safety, who opts for a holiday preferably of a week, as a couple or as a family. Tourists are almost divided in half on how to stay overnight during their holidays in Italy. While on the one hand 58 percent are oriented towards hotel accommodation (44%) or non-hotel (14%), on the other hand the remaining 42 percent indicated “do-it-yourself” or less traditional solutions, such as a “rented house” (19.3%), a “house owned by the family” (9.2%) or being a “guest of relatives and friends” (7.3%).

Almost 6 out of 10 foreign tourists will concentrate their holidays in July (25.7%) and August (32.7%), with a significant share of people who indicated the days of September (19.9%) and in June (12.3%). Social distancing and green pass are the two “watchwords”: 22.3 percent believe it is essential to “monitor the observance of social distancing rules and the use of masks” while 17.7 percent focus on the pass vaccination to move freely and safely during your stay in Italy. Following this, it is considered essential to “regulate the influx of tourists to avoid crowds” (14.3%), guarantee “compliance with social distancing during the use of the cultural offer” (13.7%), adequately organize “the social distancing and proper sanitation of the environments (12%) and, finally, “ensuring visitors efficient health facilities capable of providing assistance in case of need” (8.2%).

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