The Ministry of Tourism in Italy has announced that Italy has emerged as the second most popular destination for 2023. This is based on the fact that 39% of accommodation facilities have been booked on online platforms, surpassing France and Spain, which saw increases of 14% and 2% respectively.
According to a press release, airline bookings climbed by 14% in the first half of August compared to the same period last year. The international boost reached 22%, as reported by the Schengen Visa website.
Seaside resorts in Italy have been the most sought-after destinations this summer, accounting for 43% of bookings. They also offer a more cost-effective option, with a 31% lower average price compared to rival countries like Greece, Spain, and France.
Among the numerous blue-flagged beaches, Puglia holds the top spot as the most popular destination on Google search. Liguria has also seen a significant increase in interest, with searches rising by 100% compared to the previous year. This trend has extended to towns like Ginosa and Aglientu in Puglia and Sardinia respectively.
Tourism Minister Daniela Santanchè commented on the situation, stating that she wouldn’t characterize it as a decline, but also not as a resounding success. This is the first year without pandemic restrictions, without data influenced by the emergency situation, so it can be seen as a year zero.
Santanchè also highlighted that Italy’s tourism in 2023 faced challenges, especially due to environmental disasters like floods in May and wildfires in late July and early August, which affected booking rates.
The Minister further addressed the overall increase in prices, stating that it is justified. However, she noted a shift in the tourist market, with Puglia targeting a high-spending market and adapting its offerings accordingly.
Among foreign visitors, Americans are the most consistent and contribute significantly to Italy’s tourism revenue.
According to the Minister, 2023 is a transitional year that will provide valuable insights into how tourism will shape the future.
It is evident that Greece dominated as the most popular summer destination this year, surpassing its long-standing competitors Italy, Spain, and France. However, France remains the ultimate top destination for visitors drawn to the romantic city of Paris.