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In 2022 open-air tourism will return almost to pre-pandemic levels says the Human Company with Thrends

Monday, 02 May 2022 08:00

For open-air tourism this year the Human Company, in collaboration with Thrends, forecasts 45.4 to 48 million overnights, of which approximately 54% percent Italians, and an 8%-2% growth rate compared to 2021.

These are the encouraging signs from  the new edition of the Human Company’s Observatory for Outdoor Tourism in collaboration with the consulting firm Thrends. "The Observatory aims at painting an in-depth picture of the world of outdoor tourism in general and of outdoor travel in particular,” explains general manager Domenico Montano.

“Spending seems much higher than in the past” 

"Our estimate for the summer of 2022 - adds the director of Thrends, Giorgio Ribaudo  - is based on the model of the forecasts made in 2021 which, compared to the final balance, proved to be well founded. If there is no escalation of the ongoing conflict, it will be a very positive outdoor summer, with an almost total recovery of pre-pandemic volumes in terms of attendance. In this two-year period 2021-2022, spending seems much higher than in the past, opening the door to greater expectations and the search for more authentic experiences."

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Two possible scenarios

Starting from the current macroeconomic framework, which is primarily influenced by the war in Ukraine and complicated by the uncertain pandemic situation, and using Istat and Eurostat sources, the 2022 Observatory points to two possible scenarios for open-air tourism. The first is a resolution of the conflict by 15 May, with a significant increase in the arrival of visitors from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as well as from central and northern European countries. The second is a continuation of the war with a consequent increase in instability and insecurity.

The best outlook is for 48 million overnights

The best outlook is for 48 million overnights, an increase of 8% over last year and a close match to the pre-Covid results of 2019 (-14%), for a total expenditure of €2.55 billion, and a daily expenditure of €53 per guest. In this scenario the Italian market has 26 million overnights in campsites and villages, a 5.2% drop from the pre-pandemic results of 2019. In the report's worst-case scenario, attendance is estimated to be 45.4 million, a significant stalemate compared to last summer (+ 2 percent) and a more marked decline compared to 2019 (-18 percent), with an economic impact of €2.41 billion. In this case, foreign markets are slowing down whereas the Italian market remains relatively stable at 25 million (+8% compared to 2021 and the same percentage but down on 2019).

Inbound arrivals are essential to save the season

In short, the inbound market will be critical. Foreign arrivals are expected to grow by nearly 8% in the summer of 2022 to 22 million. In the worst case scenario 20 million visitors are estimated to be in line with what was recorded in 2021 (-0.4 percent). The best hypothesis predicts a general increase by the top five foreign markets: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and France and an increase of more than 9%, for a total of 19.5 million arrivals. The worst-case scenario would reflect how last season ended with approximately 18 million arrivals.

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