Human Company and Enit present data from the Tourism Study commissioned to the Piepoli Institute
Around 20 million Italians are expected to go on holiday this summer and, of these, one in six people (15%) will choose an outdoor holiday, a figure in line with that of last year. Those looking for an outdoor holiday, ever more aware in their choice of stay and more and more determined in their desire to experience a holiday in the open air, expect to spend almost 3% more than tourists who opt for other types of holiday. These are just some of the trends foreseen for the upcoming season. The new edition of the Study on Tourism, is out. It was commissioned from the Piepoli Institute by Human Company, a long-established company that is a point of reference in hospitality in Italy and has been active for over forty years in open-air tourism, and ENIT - the National Tourism Agency. The research is aimed at measuring not only the trends of the past season and the spring long weekends, but also the intentions of Italians in respect to holidays during the summer of 2023, with a particular focus on outdoor holidays.
Summer 2023 forecast
One out of two Italians (50%) plans to go on holiday this summer; the share rises considerably among those who have already taken a vacation during the year, reaching more than 8 out of 10 (81%) and among those who have opted for an outdoor vacation, with almost 9 people out of 10 (89%) planning another holiday. The average of affirmative answers is also higher among respondents between the ages of 15 and 34, reaching 66% while it is lower among people over 54, with 60% of people not planning a holiday. However, many people will holiday for a shorter length of time, the average for summer 2023 is 9 days: one out of four Italians (23%), in fact, indicated that, compared to other years, their holiday will be shorter. This figure is higher among respondents from the south and the islands, where as many as 1 Italian out of 3 (31%) will shorten their stay. Among those planning a holiday, 15% of people will opt for an outdoor holiday, or about one out of six Italians . The percentage rises to 17% among male respondents (17%) and for people over 54 (17%). The expected average overnight stay, for this type of holiday, is 10 days .
The main motivation for choosing an outdoor holiday, for as many as 55% of respondents, is the opportunity of experiencing a feeling of freedom; other relevant factors are the chance to connect with nature (22%) and enjoying a wide range of activities (19%). The possibility of reducing contagion is chosen as a motivation by only 2% of people, a sign that Covid-19 is no longer a significant factor in choosing an outdoor holiday, as it was in previous years. The study also highlights July and August as the months with the highest share of preferences (36% July, 47% August); in particular, August is still the dominant month for those preferring an outdoor holiday (37% July, 61% August).
For aspiring holidaymakers, the favourite destination is the coast, both overall (68%) and for outdoor travel (66%). In contention for second place are cultural holidays, chosen by 16% of respondents, and mountain breaks, coming close behind with 14%. Rather than the seaside, people looking for an outdoor experience tend to prefer mountain resorts (28%) and on rural holidays (8%). On the subject of reservations, fully 70% of respondents - at the time of the survey - declared that they had not yet booked their holidays. It is particularly interesting to note that outdoor holidaymakers have proved to be more organized about this aspect: 41% of them, in fact, stated that they had already booked their holidays, an increase compared to 2022 when, in the same period, only 28% claimed to have already made arrangements. Compared to last year, the study reveals Italians' plans show signs of increased interest in travelling abroad (rising from 15% to 18%), but for more than 8 respondents out of 10, the preferred destination of their holiday is in Italy. Topping the rankings of the favourite regions are Tuscany and Sicily, both chosen by 14% of respondents; hot on their heels is Puglia, with 12% of the preferences. With regard to foreign travel, the share of Italians inclined to go abroad is higher among outdoor holidaymakers, at 22%; also in this category, however, the majority plan to remain at home, especially in Tuscany, which is chosen by almost 1 out of 3 holidaymakers. Close behind are Sicily (14%) and Sardinia (11%).
As concerns cost, the average expense planned by holidaymakers is 1420 euros, overtaken by almost 3% for outdoors holidays at 1464 euros; in general, 32% of respondents are expected to spend less than 1,000 euros for their holiday and 27% plan to spend between 1,000 and 2,000. Among lovers of the outdoors, respondents are equally divided at 33% between those who don't want to spend more than 1,000 euros and those who expect to spend between 1,000 and 2,000 euros.
The determining factors
For almost 7 out of 10 Italians, the increase in the average rates of the tourism sector and the inflation of the autumn period are determining factors when choosing a holiday. Rising fuel costs, too, as well as increased travel expenses (61%) and the presence of flexible rates with the option to cancel without financial penalties (57%) are very important considerations for Italians. The study also provides insights into the factors that are leading many Italians to give up their summer holidays: 40%, for example, give health reasons as the main cause; the percentage increases up to 43%, for respondents over 54 years of age. For 39%, on the other hand, it is financial difficulties that prevent them from going on holiday; in this case, the percentage rises for the 15-34 age group, reaching 52%, and for the south and islands, with 43%.
Commenting positively, Domenico Montano, Human Company General Manager, said: “We are very happy to have collaborated once more with ENIT and Piepoli on the creation of this new edition of the Study on Outdoor Tourism, which has enabled us to analyse the trends of the Italian market with a specific focus on this segment. As the research data show, despite inflation, the Italian tourism market is holding up well and we expect a record-breaking summer season. Given that stays will, in general, be shorter for many Italians, tourists who choose an outdoor holiday have a tendency to spend more on their holiday (+3% compared to other forms of accommodation); this testifies once again to the fact that outdoor holidays are increasingly becoming a strong and conscious choice on the part of Italians, and no longer a choice dictated by contingent needs. The dimension of an outdoor holiday, the space and time it offers through its peculiarities, determine an increasingly mainstream form of accommodation also in our country".
Livio Gigliuto, President of the Piepoli Institute, said, “The summer holidays are important to Italians, who in 2023 continue to fuel a positive trend already in evidence the previous year. Despite the economic challenges and international uncertainties, holidays remain a point of reference for the majority of Italians, albeit with a slightly shorter duration. And this applies also in the case of outdoor tourism which continues to attract significant numbers, even in the post-pandemic era, a significant achievement: out of 20 million summer travellers, 15% will opt for the great outdoors. That is a lot of people and they tend to have a slightly larger budget than the others: those who opt for an open-air holiday do so to avoid boredom, savour the sensation of freedom and immerse themselves in nature, perhaps after long months spent in the workplace ”