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Welcome back to Italy, thanks to the good food and wine that bring tourism back to pre-Covid levels

As confirmed by WineNews, foreign tourists are looking above all for authentic and dreamy experiences with food and wine, and here Italy has no rivals

While Roberto Bolle dances in the background of the Colosseum in Times Square in New York, making millions of people who pass through it to dream of Italy (testimonial in the new Enit #Liveitalian campaign, ed), Italy itself welcomes foreign tourists with the Americans to drive the recovery of the sector. And since we usually “touch” the current trends when it comes to food and wine, it was precisely an American tourist with whom we traveled side by side in flight to a new destination in Europe, after visiting Italy. Knowing that we were Italians, not only he “praised” the beauty and virtues of our country, but with his smartphone in hand, he showed us clearly which are they in order of importance: photos in restaurants and plate images, selfies in the wineries and in the vineyards, the most impressing memories are that of cuisine and wine, judging by the pictures shown, but together with art, nature, events, and traditions, and almost always together with the other ingredients of the “Grand Tour” in beauty and “pleasure” in Italy, cities of art, islands, and countryside. They represent the essence and symbol of our Country, alongside with authenticity, and it is obvious that this combination should be emphasized in terms of enhancement and communication, at a national level and through territorial promotion networks that can support them. Because they are our “fuel”, wanting to stay current, with a quality-price ratio of the offer, in large cities as in small villages or directly in companies, from the tavern to the starred restaurant, which is unrivaled when looking at international competitors, and that what makes Italy a winner.
With the forecasts of the customer presence in Italian hotels in the summer of 2022 in line with the pre-pandemic levels, estimated at + 324% in June and + 222% in July, an increase on 2021 also compared to those recorded for a sample of competing countries, according to a survey commissioned by Enit on the receptive trend, the debut of the summer, underlines the CEO Enit Roberta Garibaldi, “brought us back to pre-pandemic levels and to a future of tourism with trends that place focus on sustainability and the value of traveling by declining elements of personalization of the offer”.
In the July-September quarter, the tourist expenditure of foreigners in Italy was estimated at 17 billion euros according to a study by Confcommercio with Tra Consulting on the forecasts of foreign tourist arrivals in Italy for the summer season 2022, which will return to the levels prior to the pandemic. The recovery will be driven by 2.2 million Americans expected to arrive, which will guarantee a total expenditure of over 2.1 billion euros, 20% higher than in 2019. Many Canadians, Australians, and South Africans are also arriving, while there is still a slow down in the Asian market and the Russian market was practically set to zero due to the war. Looking at European tourists, the Spaniards will return above all (1 million is expected, at the levels of three years ago), with good performance also for the British, while the Germans deserve a separate discussion, as the first incoming market for Italy. If the Italian destinations, which are easily reachable by own transport and by road more are expected to increase compared to 2019, on the other side a limited arrival expected in the South and islands due to the perturbations of air transport. Not a small damage, considering that those with the highest average purchasing power usually arrive in the South, which is added to the change in the behavior of travelers due to the uncertainties generated by the pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. “The support of the tourism sector must be among the priorities of the next government, in terms of combating expensive energy and reducing the tax burden”, said the president of Confcommercio, Carlo Sangalli, in line with what was also emphasized by Fipe / Confcommercio for support of the recovery of the restaurant sector, which has been also hit hard by the pandemic.
In the trends recorded by the Bit-Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, in addition to cities of art, foreigners in Italy - with the estimate for the summer of returning to 33 million pre-pandemic foreign visitors - are looking above all for “authentic experiences” with particular attention to food and wine tourism in small villages, in increasingly “conscious” and family trips, but many will make the “dream trip” and experience trips will be even more immersive in the local culture. What is certain is that, as the main Italian farmers’ organizations underline, one-third of summer tourist spending will be destined for the table, before accommodation, with food being the most important item of expenditure on vacation, consumed at the restaurant. - thanks also to the sold-out that the farmhouses registering where catering is now everywhere presented- or as a food and wine souvenir, and which is therefore confirmed as the main motivation for the trip to Italy.

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