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Foreign and luxury tourism are keeping the Italian economy afloat 

By Thursday, 18 January 2024 12:07

According to Confindustria, record-breaking foreign and luxury tourism are keeping the Italian economy afloat. 

Record foreign spending in July

The expenditure of foreigners in Italy was an important item among the components of Italy's GDP (+0.1%  in Q3 2023) in the first nine months of this year, and is a large part of the direct economic value of tourism to the country. The contribution of foreigners to the tourism boom has been crucial: in September 2023 the growth of foreign travellers' spending in Italy rose by 11.8% on 2022 (at current prices), with a record reached in July. This spending, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, shows a +24.5% increase over 2019. Which is only in part due to the increase in the prices of tourism services (about +6% in 2023).

The stagnation of the economy is a drawback

By the end of 2023 revenues from foreign tourism will reach over €50 billion, far exceeding the €30 billion Italians spent abroad. But there is still room for growth in the hospitality sector: beds in hotels rose to 48.3% in 2022, compared to 49.0% in 2019, and are expected to rise further in 2023, though a return to the pre-pandemic growth trajectory could be delayed by the stagnation affecting the Italian and world economies. 

As the scenario changes Italian companies seem to be reacting. Travellers' choices are more oriented towards luxury experiences (+57% 5-star hotels in the last decade), new destinations,  climate change and virtual technologies that prepare for (or will replace?) in-person travel.

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