Italy popular tourist site Cinque Terre

Italian Tourism to Recover by 2023

Italy, renowned as a popular tourist destination, is expected at least a 50 percent drop in tourist arrivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the data from ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board, Italy will experience a 49% contraction in the domestic and foreign markets in 2020 and will only be able to reach 2019 levels in 2023.

However, this recovery will not be due to the foreign market. Expectations are that the domestic market in Italy will recover faster.

“In the basic scenario for 2020 during the Covid period; the number of foreign and domestic visitors, which is 57 million in total last year, will decrease by 49% compared to 2019,” according to analysis revealed by

In 2023, the total number of tourists will increase by 1% compared to 2019, according to the data of ENIT. This increase will be due to domestic tourism. On the other hand, for foreign visitors, it will still be 5% below 2019 (overnight).

ENIT reveals that Italian tourism contributes to the economy more than France and Spain. The direct contribution of tourism to the Italian economy in an international comparison in economic terms (keeping the total national GDP in the economy in 2019) will decrease by -2.6 percentage points in 2020 (3.2% of GDP) compared to 2019 (5.7 % of GDP). Although significant, this decline is lower than that of many other countries: France 4.5%, Spain -3.1%.

From the latest updates, overnight international visitors are expected to decrease by -58% (37 million visitors) in 2020. The number of overnight stays will decrease by 126 million compared to 2019. The downward trend of -31% is confirmed on the domestic market (16 million visitors); domestic overnight stays are expected to be 46 million lower in 2020 than in 2019.

ENIT interviewed over 4 thousand people in the last week of August (from 24 to 30). It emerges that 41% of Italians could not take a vacation, while 59% of the population spent at least 1 period away from home: 42% spent a holiday period while 17% spent two or more periods away from their residence.

Most Italians stayed at home in 97% of cases, preferring destinations such as Emilia Romagna, Puglia, and Sicily; accounting for 9% of Italian vacationers.

The mountains also performed well with Trentino Alto Adige (8%), but also Tuscany (8%), Piedmont (7%), and Lombardy (7%).

Abroad (3%), Italians remained in Mediterranean Europe (35%), Northern Europe (24%), or Eastern Europe (14%).

On average, a family spent 850 euros on a holiday and three out of ten spend a thousand euros.

In fact, most Italians went on vacation as a couple (46%) or as a family with their children (40%), while only 17% moved with friends. 7% chose the holiday alone.

The pandemic has had a heavy impact on the Italian meetings industry as well. 70% of conferences and events are canceled in Italy due to Covid-19, according to recent research conducted by Università Cattolica’s Graduate School of Economics and International Relations in cooperation with Federcongressi&eventi.

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