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The wine and food experience is essential (for 71% of tourists), and 60% dream of the grape harvest

Food & Wine Tourism Forum 2021: the summer of 2021 will still be of proximity tourism, Italy is in the top 3 of the most popular and loved countries

If the summer of 2021 will still have predominantly proximity tourism, the very concept of proximity is changing compared to 2020. For Italy, the power of attraction is such that it generates searches and hotel bookings within a range of 800 kilometers (Sojern data). This means that, in all likelihood, we could have an important share of European tourism, especially in Northern Italy bordering on various countries that can reach the Belpaese by car. As food and wine tourism expert Roberta Garibaldi explained at the Food & Wine Tourism Forum 2021, held online from June 1 to July 1, illustrating data from the “Report on Italian Food & Wine Tourism” 2021, the evolution of the Italian food and wine demand sees a tourist who is more and more active, demanding and innovative. The presence of experiences related to food and wine is important for 71% of people when they choose a travel destination (in 2019 they were 59%). Among the many data highlighted, 60% of Italian food and wine tourists would like to participate in the grape harvest to experience a day as a winemaker; 75%, on the other hand, would like to have the opportunity to have picnics outdoors, for example in the vineyards.

Wine tourism represents an asset for the development of Italy and of its territories, especially if we look at the international markets. From Ipsos (Be-Italy research) arrived, moreover, the most comforting signals. Italy is in the Top 3 of the most popular countries: one person out of two, in the world, declares to know the Belpaese very well or fairly well, in first place for “Quality of life”, “Positive attitude and Creativity”. Food and wine, fashion, tourism and culture are the main assets of the Italian offer that support the association with quality of life. Another important datum for food and wine tourism comes from catering: the Italian leadership in the culinary art is undisputed: by attribution of “Food Expertise” Italy is first with 49%, followed at a great distance by France (22%) and Japan (16%). Moreover, Italian restaurants confirm their strong attractiveness both for high appreciation and for attendance.

Internet and social media, with 44% are the most used channels to learn about Italy. The most discussed topics online, net of Coronavirus, were tourism (19%), culture (19%) and food & wine (16%), with a clear increase compared to 2016. Other extremely positive data comes from the qualitative perception of the specific themes: Food & Wine and Tourism are those that have a prevalence of positive online conversations. This is a datum of enormous importance for food & wine tourism, and a spur to continue with attention and investment in social and digital communication.

On the agenda, the “Global Conference on Wine Tourism”, the most important world forum dedicated to wine and food tourism organized by Unwto - World Tourism Organization, which will be staged - for the first time - in Italy, in the hills of Langhe Monferrato Roero, as announced by the Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia. While the Food & Wine Tourism Forum 2022, after the symbolic closure of this year, will be staged, in presence, on June 20 and 21, 2022, and from September onwards there will be a new monthly appointment of reflection, with interviews with the protagonists on wine and food tourism. “The Food & Wine Tourism Forum 2021 - says Luigi Barbero, president of the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourism Board - intends to continue to act as a point of reference for some of the main issues on which food and wine operators are called to discuss. This fourth edition dealt with topics of great impact and topicality, with experts and opinion leaders who brought their important contributions. We close an intense month of online training events very popular, which have opened the view on the restart of tourism and represent opportunities for reflection and fundamental comparison for the tourist reception”.

“The Food & Wine Tourism Forum 2021 - adds Roberta Milano, scientific director Food & Wine Tourism Forum 2021 - has highlighted a fact: it takes courage and intelligence to face the reading of an unprecedented crisis and, above all, to choose new paths in the development of wine and food tourism. From sustainability to digital acceleration, from creativity in promotion to a look at new markets, we are faced with choices that are as fundamental as they are urgent, to which the Forum has made a great contribution by confirming itself as a reference event in the Food & Wine Tourism Forum”.

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