Summer, the return of tourists to the cities of art: 27 million visitors, +25 percent

The great beauty of the Italian cultural heritage returns to conquer foreign and domestic visitors. And the art City apply for the role of protagonists of the summer: between June and August 27.4 million admissions are expected, over 5.5 million more than in 2021 (+ 24.6%). A boom mainly due to the return of tourists from abroad: foreign tourist presences should be over 17.5 million, 34.6% more than in summer 2021. It emerges from a study by Cst for Assoturismo Confesercenti presented in Rome in the presence of the Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia and the president of Confesercenti Patrizia De Luise.

The study, whose presentation was also attended by the managing director of Enit Roberta Garibaldi, the president of Assoturismo Confesercenti Vittorio Messina and the vicar vice president of Assohotel Confesercenti Nicola Scolamacchia, starts from analyzes and interviews with over 1,200 entrepreneurs carried out in the main 100 cities art (by capacity of beds, notoriety on the market and tourist presences) distributed throughout the national territory: 17 are located in the North West regions, 28 in the North East ones, 30 in Central Italy and 25 in the South regions and in the Islands.

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The picture that emerges is that of a clear acceleration, facilitated by the end of restrictions and the resumption of international tourist movements: this summer cultural tourism will grow by + 24.6% compared to the previous year, the most significant increase of all. the tourist offer segments and the overall average of the sector (+ 14.3%).

Although not yet sufficient to fully recover the levels of 2019, when visitors to the cities of art were 44 million, the increase nonetheless confirms the renewed vitality of cultural tourism, which already in the first 5 months of 2022 recorded a total of 30.3 million overnight stays. Good news not only for accommodation facilities but for the entire cultural tourism chain, from museums to cultural and archaeological sites, from tourist guides to catering, from rental and transport services to commercial activities: a total of 343 thousand companies and beyond 1.4 million workers in the production sectors directly or indirectly involved.

According to the study, progress in those cities of art that have paid the most for the effects of the pandemic is driving the recovery of tourism. And the vitality of this segment will have positive repercussions on the entire country system. Cultural tourism, between January and August 2022, will generate 9.1 billion euros of tourism expenditure, of which 4.3 in the summer quarter alone, for 53% generated by foreign demand, equal to 1.4% of total national consumption. A push sufficient to almost completely cancel the decline in household spending expected for the same period due to the increase in inflation.

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The greatest contribution to the rebirth comes from local foreign tourism, even if a timid sign of a return of non-European tourism was recorded by the hospitality companies of the cities of art, which are confirmed as the main hubs of Italian tourism. According to the study conducted by Cst for Assoturismo Confesercenti, the growth of foreign tourist presences during the summer quarter will be essentially supported by European tourists (German, French, British, Dutch, Spanish, Austrian and Swiss) and by the Americans, but a very small contribution to tourist spending will also come from the modest share of non-European tourists (Brazilians slightly increasing, marginal shares of Canadians, Indians, Chinese, Russians, Japanese, Israelis, South Africans) who reappear in the cities of art after a long period of almost total shutdown of reservations.

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