Bit 2024, the great comeback of international tourism to Italy

The 2024 edition of Borsa Internazionale del Turismo (International Tourist Exchange) held at Fieramilanocity has just ended, and the most interesting data, emerging from the event, include the balance of the year that has just drawn to a close: 2023 marked a significant recovery for the tourism sector compared to previous years, characterised by the return of international travellers and an increase in sales quotas for Italian hospitality businesses.

According to a study commissioned by ENIT-Unioncamere to ISNART, the average room occupancy rate reached 51%, up 3.8% compared to 2019, the peak year for Italian tourism.

A positive trend was also recorded for international demand, which grew by 10% over 2019 and 7% over 2022. Foreigners spent an average of 68 Euros per person per day on Italian soil, 6 Euros more than Italian tourists, resulting in a positive balance of 2.9% in one year.

There is also a growing awareness of how important it is to steer our offering more towards green services, which have become key marketing and market positioning drivers.

Sustainability travels by train

The increasing focus of tourists on the environment should be stimulated by favouring sustainable mobility that is increasingly integrated with environmentally friendly means of transport. And here, train travel is in first place: Trenitalia, the parent company of the FS Group’s Passengers Business Unit, was the official transport provider for the Borsa Internazionale del Turismo in Milan, demonstrating that travelling by train is a comfortable, sustainable and convenient way to move between the main cities of Italy.

The train indeed plays a fundamental role in tourism; it is the most environmentally friendly means of transport in the world. Moreover, high-speed trains offer an increasingly efficient service. The Frecciarossa 1000 is the first high-speed train in the world to have obtained environmental impact certification based on a careful Life Cycle Analysis. Every detail, from the light alloys used to build it to the new electric motors that propel it, has been designed to minimise energy consumption: it uses up to 30% less energy than the previous generation of HS trains. The focus on sustainability is not limited to the reduction of consumption but also takes into account the recyclability of the materials, which reaches 94% by the end of the train’s life cycle. Even in Trenitalia’s regional transport, the fleet of new trains consumes 30% less energy than the previous generation. The Blues train makes it also possible to reduce fuel consumption by 50% and lower CO2 emissions compared to current diesel vehicles.

The most popular destinations: a mix of history, art, fashion and traditional cuisine

But why do tourists choose Italy? The richness of our cultural heritage remains the main driver, with 24%, while natural beauty is in second place, with 20%. The motivation linked to the events held in the area is constantly gaining ground, attracting more than 6.5% of visitors, proof that an increasingly experiential type of tourism is making headway.

The most popular destinations also include many cities: Milan remains a favourite destination for lovers of high fashion, culture and night life. Award-winning restaurants and popular aperitif venues are very popular.

The most popular areas are the historic centre with Piazza Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Castle and La Scala Theatre, then Brera, and the Navigli.

And what about romantic Venice? With its canals and gondolas, sunsets and picturesque atmospheres, it is considered one of the most charming destinations in the world.

And then there are Rome, Florence, Naples: the big cities are extremely appealing to foreign tourists.

Here tourists can enjoy unique experiences, such as those offered by True Italian Experience, a digital hub that promotes just what it says: slow, sustainable and experience-based tourism.

And thanks to the trains of Trenitalia, main partner of True Italian Experience, these cities can be reached easily and comfortably. But Italian cities are not the only easy option: the connections guaranteed by Intercity and Regional trains allow visitors to reach also villages and small towns further off the beaten track, the perfect locations for truly unique and unforgettable experiences.

https://trueitalianexperience.it/en

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