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Luxury tourism in Italy is not only flourishing but poised to skyrocket, according to a recent study conducted by the Italian national tourism board ENIT, in collaboration with Unioncamere and with technical support from Isnart.  

The study predicts a remarkable growth in the number of Italian 5-star hotels, which are set to increase from 682 to 702 next year, with a further rise to 712 in 2025. According to the findings, 20% of international visitors are drawn to Italy for its lifestyle, which they associate with exclusivity.

This year alone, luxury hotels in Italy have recorded an estimated 11.3 million overnight stays, for the most part in its fabled art cities and exclusive coastal and mountain resorts.  The challenge now facing Italy’s tourism stakeholders and contributors is that of steering high-spending visitors seeking new experiences towards unsung second-tier destinations, which have huge potential and are places of unparalleled allure and charm.

Pamela McCourt FrancesconePamela McCourt Francescone
Executive Editor

Published in Editorial

This winter Ryanair will operate 28 routes to Turin, including two new routes from Belfast and Oporto, as well as a significant increase in frequencies to Catania.

Ryanair will operate over 220 weekly Turin flights

The low-cost airline confirms two aircraft based at Turin’s Caselle Airport, which will operate over 220 weekly flights (+100% compared to the pre-Covid period). "This winter we will have two new routes from Belfast and Oporto (28 in total), as well as increased frequencies from three other popular destinations: Catania, Birmingham and Bristol,- said Mauro Bolla, Ryanair’s head of communications for Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Romania. – By basing two aircraft in Turin, for an investment of €200 million and supporting over 1,800 jobs, including some 60 highly-paid pilots, flight attendants and engineers, we are supporting the long-term growth of the region and providing a much-needed boost to the local economy."

“The Catania flights are Turin’s first route in terms of passenger volumes”

“In addition to the new international destinations, there is also a significant increase in the number of seats on sale on the Catania-Turin route, which is the first route in terms of passenger volumes at our airport and which, also thanks to the advantageous fares announced by Ryanair, is likely to set new records," said Andrea Andorno, managing director of Torino Airport.

Published in Transportation

B&B Hotels opens its sixty-seventh hotel in Italy, in Quarto D'Altino (Venice).

The 7th  B&B Hotels property in the Veneto region

Official confirmation of the opening of the B&B Hotel Quarto D'Altino, the sixty-seventh property of the Swiss company, comes from the group's president and managing director Italy, Slovenia and Hungary, Liliana Comitini. This is the Group’s seventh property in the Veneto region and has 80 rooms and a car park.

“Our goal is to become Italy’s benchmark for value-for-money”

"Its strategic location makes the B&B Hotel Quarto D'Altino a suitable solution for both business and leisure stays in the Veneto region," says Liliana Comitini. "Our goal remains that of becoming the benchmark hotel chain in Italy in the value-for-money segment, with a strong focus on corporate social responsibility. And to do this we are continuing our tight pipeline of openings.” 

Published in Hospitality

Hnh Hospitality’s total turnover from direct management has topped €100 million for the first time: a growth of 47% compared to last year (€71.4 million). 

Significant expansion thanks to new openings

This performance reflects the gradual growth in room occupancy rates in the post-Covid years, from 41.3% in 2021 to 64.2% in 2022, and 73.5% in 2023. A similar trend is seen in average rates, rising from €143 in 2022 to €158.2 in 2023. Following the significant expansion of the Hnh Hospitality portfolio with the opening of Almar Giardino in Costanza, Sicily last year, the group then launched the Pullman Almar Timi Ama Resort & Spa in Villasimius, Sardinia. With this recent acquisition, the luxury resort segment has increased its weight within the company's portfolio, moving from 25% to 31% of turnover. Despite the increase in supply, contributing to Hnh's overall turnover, the group still recorded a like-for-like increase in turnover of 30%.

“For 2024 we expect further growth in turnover”

“We are particularly satisfied with these results” says Hnh Hospitality’s CEO, Luca Boccato “In 2023, we exceeded €100 million in turnover for the first time. This is due to our diversified portfolio, both by destination and type of product. For 2024 we expect further growth in turnover on a like-for-like basis, thanks to a marginal increase in occupancy and in the average room rate. We will soon announce three new openings in the business and city hotel segment with further expansion in an increasingly multi-brand development logic.”

Published in Business

This Christmas, Slow Drive, a company specialized in driverless classic car hire, is putting a dashing vintage sports car hire under the tree.

A chance to drive an Alfa Romeo Giulietta or an iconic Karmann Beetle

Slow Drive revolutionizes the traditional concept of Christmas presents and for the most magical holiday of the year proposes a dream experience:  an adventure to share on board a legendary car.  A tour for a vintage-motoring enthusiast, or for a Dad or Mum who has always wanted drive an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a fabulous Duetto spider, an iconic Karmann Beetle, or a Fiat Cabriolet. 

Slow Drive Amiche vintage car

Tours from a half day to a weekend

Slow Drive offers a selection of beautiful vintage cars for hire in some of Italy's most beautiful locations. There are many models to choose from, along with the itinerary and duration of the tour (from a half-day to a weekend). With just a few clicks Slow Drive does home delivery with the person to whom the gift is addressed receiving an elegant box containing the rental voucher valid for 24 months, leather gloves 1960s sunglasses and maps with the most exciting tours. 

Conquer new destinations, hidden villages and beautiful landscapes

All you have to do is agree on a date and set off on the road, to conquer new destinations, hidden villages and beautiful landscapes. The cost for a one-day hire is from €250, and for a half-day (equal to 5 hours of hire) from €150. 20% discount for all bookings made up to 31 December 2023, using the discount code NATALESLOW23. For information: http://www.noleggioautodepoca.eu/   

Published in Experiences & Tips

Volotea is investing in Puglia’s Karol Wojtyla airport, its 8th Italian base: with a capacity increase of +38%, an Airbus A320, and eight new routes set to debut in 2024.

Bari’s airport to get new European flights from July 

Bari’s Karol Wojtyla Airport will be accessible from Toulouse starting from 4 July with a bi-weekly frequency and a total offering of 6,480 seats for sale. Additionally, also from 4 July, Dubrovnik will have three weekly frequencies with over 9,000 seats on sale. Bilbao will be connected from 5 July with two weekly frequencies and an offering of over 6,000 seats (alongside the Sicilian airport of Comiso), and Malaga will be reachable from 6 July with a bi-weekly frequency and 6,120 seats on sale.

“Since 2012 we have carried over 2 million passengers” 

Volotea has been active at the Apulian airport since 2012, having operated around 19,400 flights to date and carried more than two million passengers. “The opening of the summer base in Bari once again confirms Volotea's growth in Italy,” said Valeria Rebasti, international market director of the Spanish airline. “This important milestone and the connections announced today allow us to consolidate access to and from the region, with a total of 18 destinations and five different countries.”

Summer 2024: 18 destinations from Bari

“Next summer Volotea will connect 18 destinations from Bari, eight of which are brand new,- added the president of Aeroporti di Puglia, Antonio Maria Vasile, -this is excellent news for us and for Puglia. In addition to the new destinations, all of which are of great commercial interest, the other important decision by the company is that of opening their new base in Bari.”

Published in Transportation

The Peristilio will host Travel Quotidiano's Christmas Party 2023.

"The very difficult start continued until May, and was then followed by a period with a welcome return of MICE events, and the demand for winter events has also returned,” says Manuela Vanni, owner, together with her brother Lorenzo, of a number of prestigious F&B and MICE locations in Rome, including the Peristilio and the historic residence La Casina di Macchia Madama. The Peristilio, located above the historic Caffè Vanni in Rome’s Prati district, will host Travel Quotidiano's Christmas Party 2023.

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The Peristilio’s executive chef is Salvatore Saladino

"We are optimistic for the future and for next year, although there are several variables on the horizon that could still have a negative impact on the sector, such as the ongoing wars and the uncertain financial markets that are causing inflation to rise, and increasing the prices of raw materials and energy.” The Peristilio is an ideal venue for private and corporate events helmed by executive chef Salvatore Saladino. The maximum capacity is 220 seats in three rooms, with a single room seating 100 and a private room with a lift seating 30. Located near the RAI Italian television headquarters in Viale Mazzini, not far from the centre of Rome, it is easily reached by public transport, and close to the Lepanto metro station.

Manuela Vanni

“Clients are looking for customized solutions”

Private customers make up a large part of the Vanni Group’s requests for weddings, private parties, birthdays and religious celebrations. "However, we also work with the corporate sector, and the world of entertainment,-  says Manuela Vanni. – In the post-Covid era clients are looking for customized solutions with not only good food, but also entertainment and exclusivity. Most of our guests come from Rome or Italy, but we also have upscale international clients who often ask for events you could compare to Hollywood film productions.” 

Lorenzo Vanni Lorenzo Vanni

Vanni is organizing a 3-month summer food festival

"We are developing foreign markets through social media, trade newspapers, and by attending major Italian and international trade fairs, including weddings fairs, - says Lorenzo Vanni. "We firmly believe in the farm-to-fork movement and in this regard we are working on a three-month summer festival centered around this theme, with producers' stands and show kitchens for tastings of the short food chain. We will organize it on the street, in front of our historic Caffè Vanni in Via Col di Lana. Our aim is to boost an awareness of healthy and sustainable eating.” 

Published in MICE & Events

The Belmond brand is ready to open a new property, Urio Castle on Lake Como.

The property was a place of prayer and reflection

Negotiations between the French group LVMH, owner of the Belmond brand since 2018, and the ownership of Urio Castle on Lake Como, part of the real estate assets of Opus Dei, are said to be in their final stages. This is according to the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, which explains how the asset was purchased at the time by the movement's founder Josè-Maria Escrivar, who made it a place of prayer and reflection. The agreement, it is thought, involves an investment of between €50 and €100 million, with the deal expected to be finalized by 2024.

The Belmond Group continues to invest in Italy

Confirmation of the ongoing discussions comes directly from Belmond, which, in the event of a successful agreement, is set to manage the property located in Carate Urio. The property would thus join the hotels already part of Belmondo's portfolio in Italy which include the Cipriani in Venice, the Splendido in Portofino and the Villa Sant'Andrea in Taormina. LVMH's pipeline in Italy also includes the Romazzino and Pitrizza on the Costa Smeralda, which will be rebranded as Belmond and the Cheval Blanc, respectively between 2024 and 2026, as well as the further openings of Villa Beatrice in Portofino and the Belmond Masseria le Taverne in Ostuni.

Published in Hospitality

Volotea is to add new Brest to Rome and Olbia routes in 2024, starting on 18 April with over 20,000 seats for sale.

This marks the addition of historic Brest in north-western France as Volotea's twentieth operational base. With this new route, the destinations connected by the Spanish carrier to Rome Fiumicino Airport will increase to eight, including one in Italy (Olbia), six in France (Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lourdes/Tarbes, Nantes, and Strasbourg), and one in Spain (Bilbao). Volotea launched operations at Rome Fiumicino in 2021, and anticipates a 12% boost in capacity for 2024 over 2023, contributing to the local economy with its inbound traffic.

Volotea has been operating at Olbia for over ten years

Turning its attention to Sardinia, the new flight from Brest to Olbia will debut on 9 April with two weekly frequencies on Mondays and Fridays, and a total of over 20,000 seats on sale. Having operated at Olbia for over ten years, carrying 3.8 million passengers on some 29,000 flights, Volotea is boosting its commitment to the region, to incoming tourist flows and supporting the local and Sardinian economy.

Volotea Volotea

“Next year we are looking at +4% in capacity over 2023” 

Valeria Rebasti, Volotea's International Market Director, comments, “The route from Brest comes in a year already full of news about Olbia. Following the ten new connections and the possibility of traveling for the first time even in winter to an international destination, Barcelona, Volotea is ready for an even better performance in 2024. We are looking at +4% in terms of capacity compared to 2023, and we will be the airline with the highest number of destinations connected to and from Olbia on which we will be using three A320s next year.”

In 2024 Volotea will operate a total of 28 routes at the Sardinian airport, from and to major cities in Spain, France and Italy.

Published in Transportation

The 12th-century Garisenda Tower, one of the two towers that dominate Bologna’s skyline, is tilting at a 4-degree angle and the city authorities have closed it off after monitoring detected shifts in the direction of the tilt. 

Bologna’s second, taller, tower seems to be more stable

Bologna’s second iconic tower, the Asinelli, which is almost twice as tall and also leans, does not seem to have the problems of its shorter neighbour. The Garisenda Tower site came under special scrutiny in October when sensors first picked up changes in the tilt of the 47-metre tower, and deterioration at the base of the construction.  

Garisenda Tower Bologna

“An extraordinary challenge which will require commitment from the entire city”

The works now in progress consist of protecting the surrounding buildings – and of course people - in the event of a collapse, by installing rock-fall netting around the tower. The site, and the piazza around it, are expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future. It is estimated that the barrier and netting will cost around €4.3 million, and experts are calling the project an “extraordinary challenge” which will require “commitment from the entire city, and from those all over the world who love Bologna and one it its most important symbols.”

Published in Cities & Regions
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