The SIA Hospitality Design in Rimini saw the presence of the FAITA-FederCamping National Assembly, which was an opportunity to make a profound analysis of the sector with an event entitled: “Open-air hospitality: quo vadis? From data analysis to sector sentiment: a journey from knowledge to strategy in a constantly evolving sector“.
After having expressed satisfaction with the results obtained in the current season, Alberto Granzotto, president of FAITA, commented on the issue of energy costs, now out of control: “The energy crisis is a concern, because it has questioned what has been positive. And we are also worried about the prospect. This is a very important issue for which solutions are needed for a sector that has begun to raise its head after the difficulties of recent years.”
The Federation’s task is also to provide its members with useful tools for market analysis that help companies set up winning strategies. In this context, Thrends has carried out a census of the sector. “This is the first step in a long process of work,” said Granzotto. “The census is essential to know the realities of our industry. We have identified some parameters, but it is a work in progress: it is an open tool that we will make available to institutions to better understand the potential. The territorial comparison will allow us to have a broader vision to have ideas for improvement“.
The first national census
The result was 1,996 accommodation facilities surveyed which were monitored by collecting 75 different parameters. It was also possible to collect balance sheet data from 30% of them as joint stock companies. The analysis showed that in Italy there are over 251,000 pitches, about 39,600 mobile homes and a total area occupied by campsites equal to 7,234 hectares.
If the 5-star structers cover an average of almost 187,000 square meters, the 1- or 2-star ones stop at just over 20,000. On average, the Italian structures have an area of about 4 hectares with 140 pitches, with 19 bungalows / apartments, 24 mobile homes, and 3 glamping units, proving that there is still ample room for growth for this segment. Giorgio Ribaudo, director of Thrends, then underlined how the average turnover per pitch varies from around €4,400 up to €12,100 for a 5-star campsite / village.
The FAITA observatory is underway
Valeria Minghetti, CISET researcher at Ca’ Foscari University, instead spoke of another useful tool for FAITA, its associates and institutions. “We are trying to build an observatory to offer an always up-to-date tool,” she said. “We started by analyzing the summer of 2022, but from next year we want to understand how things have been going since the beginning of the season“.
Basically, a sample of 300 companies was defined, which were asked for data relating to the period May-October. The responses showed that arrivals and overnight stays of Italian tourists remained substantially stable (-0.4% for the former and 0% for the latter), while foreigners increased: + 10.2% for arrivals, + 9.2% for overnight stays. Turnover grew by an average of 5.8 percent.
The results of the 2022 Open-Air Survey
Magda Antonioli, professor at Bocconi University, president of the National Tourist Observatory and vice president of the ETC (European Travel Commission), had the task of illustrating the results of the Open-Air 2022 Survey, where it was interviewed 619 people, of which 545 (428 Italians, 117 foreigners) who have already experienced a camping holiday and 74 (67 Italians, 7 foreigners) who have never done so.
In the group of those who have already chosen open-air, the preferred destinations are the sea (83%), lakes (19%), villages (16%), mountains (14%), natural parks (12%) and the main cities (8%). 78 percent go on outdoor holidays with their family, 23% as a couple, 12% with friends, 9% with a family of adults only, 3% alone.
38 percent use their own accommodation (21% motorhome or caravan, 17% tent), while 51% opt for a mobile home. The average satisfaction reaches a value of 7.91 (on a scale that reaches 10) from the 7.77 recorded in 2020, while the Net Promoter Score – which indicates how much campers are likely to recommend this type of holiday to relatives, friends, and acquaintances – reaches 57% (above 40% this value is considered excellent), against 49% in 2020.
Germany, a sign not to be ignored
The speech by Uwe Frers, CEO of ADAC Camping, who complimented the italian structures for the results achieved, wanted to underline how the current international and economic uncertainties could undermine the certainties matured by this industry. There is no doubt that tourists love an outdoor holiday, but only the fact that war and inflation are insinuating some doubts in the minds of the Germans, whose propensity to buy has fallen to an all-time low in this period. This is not a “red alert”, but only a signal that should not be ignored to avoid having to face unexpected disappointments in the 2023 season.
Towards an ESG protocol
Finally, Vincenzo Scotti, for IMQ eAmbiente, spoke of the need to define an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) protocol that allows the operators of the outdoor tourism sector to be qualified. The goal is to allow FAITA to introduce a guaranteed brand to be disseminated to members.
The first phase involves the mapping and analysis of all the main indicators for environmental, social, and governance sustainability and then moving on to the definition of the potential guidelines of the protocol. In the third phase, a pilot project will start with the carrying out of field audits involving 10 selected Italian structures. Finally, they will arrive at the presentation of a Manifesto which will allow the identification of a series of concrete actions applicable to the pilot realities.
Campers are growing in Germany: today they are 13.8 million, 16% more than in 2019