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Outdoor Tourism Observatory Report

It's all set for summer 2024, at least for the Italians: 9 out of 10 are already planning their holidays for next year and many will choose the great outdoors. Freedom travel related to the outdoors is becoming increasingly popular with the 35 to 54 age group to the extent that spending is also growing compared to those staying in hotels, winning over everyone: in fact, in the last two years the likelihood of taking a camping trip has rocketed with one in two Italians opting for hiking weekends. This was revealed by a study carried out by Enit – National Tourism Agency with Human Company and Istituto Piepoli.

Four out of ten Italians are planning a holiday in autumn or next winter; 28% of these will be in the Christmas period and 21% in the New Year period. The majority will remain in Italy (65%) while the others will choose to go abroad (20%) or a combination of both (12%). The interest in autumn and winter travel is even more marked if you look at outdoor holidays, with almost 6 out of 10 Italians ready to enjoy the great ourdoors. The favourite period remains Christmas (34%) followed by the All Saints/All Souls' Day period and New Year's Eve, both chosen by 28% of respondents. Once again Italy is the favourite destination (65%) while the options of going abroad (18%) and Italy and abroad (17%) are more similar. The summer of 2023, on the other hand, recorded significant figures in terms of spending and visitor numbers, seeing a decisive upturn in tourism: over 34 million Italians took a holiday during the summer months, figure that was 10% higher compared to 2022. The average stay was 8 days.

Regarding the accomodation chosen for their stay, over 1 in 5 (22%) were outdoor, a figure that has increased compared to last year; in this case the length of the stay was over 8 days. The main motivation for choosing an outdoor holiday, for as many as 38% of respondents, was the opportunity of experiencing a feeling of freedom; plus the chance to connect with nature chosen by 22% of respondents. 1 in 4 Italians enjoy camping, in particular, but compared to 2022 it's now a favourite for 9% of respondents who see this type of holiday as the best choice.

In terms of spending, the trend was towards a greater investment in the outdoors: while the average expenditure of holidaymakers was 1,575 euros, 22% more was spent on open-air holidays, with an average of 1,918 euros. For the outdoors, in particular, the spending range tended to range between 1,001 and 2,000 euros (chosen by 35% of respondents) while for other forms of accommodation the majority of holidaymakers (39%) spent less than 1,000 euros. The research confirmed July and August as the main months for Italian holidays, chosen by 38% and 49% of respondents respectively as the period for their holidays. Among those who chose an outdoor holiday, however, there was an interesting upturn in the month of July which - in contrast with last year's records - emerged as the favourite, chosen by 45% of holidaymakers compared to the 42% who opted for August.

Among the destinations chosen by Italians for their holidays, the favourite was the seaside, both overall (63%) and for outdoor trips (60%). In contention for second place are cultural holidays, chosen by 19% of respondents, and mountain breaks, coming close behind with 17%. In addition to the seaside, those who enjoyed the outdoors tended to prefer mountain resorts (15%) and on rural holidays (15%). Puglia took first place in the list of favourite regions, chosen by 13% of travellers; this was followed by Sicily, with 11% of the vote, and, close behind, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna selected by 10% of respondents. Outdoor holidaymakers in Italy (75%) prefer Tuscany, chosen by 17% of respondents, followed by Sicily (16%) and Puglia (13%).

Outdoor Tourism Observatory Report

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