Luxury tourists prefer New York, Florence, Paris and Rome as their top destinations
Luxury travel is one of the highest-growth sectors currently in the international travel market. Even niche tourism sectors such as food and wine and cultural tourism, have seen a successful rise.
Although worldwide tourism grows on average 4% per year, luxury travel has risen 48% over the past five years: a trend that will likely continue in 2016, according to tourism marketing consultancy IPK International’s World Travel Monitor.
Italian hoteliers’ association Federalberghi estimates that high-end tourism and occupancy in luxury hotels in Italy will increase between 10-20% over last year, with a significant portion of tourists coming from Arab countries.
According to Conde Nast Johansen, luxury tourists prefer New York, Florence, Paris and Rome as their top destinations. The niche sector of food and wine tourism is an important part of travel in Italy, and a world leader in the sector with nearly 21,000 agritourism structures and over 6,600 farms.
A survey conducted by farmers’ association Coldiretti with polling institute Ixè revealed that more than four in 10 Italians chose a vacation in 2015 based on wine and food tourism.
Sport tourism in Italy – estimated to be worth 6.3 billion euros, with 1.5 billion in aquatic sports alone – is one of the most promising sectors for seasonal tourism in 2016, according to the National Tourism Observatory (ONT), which surveyed more than 10 million trips and 60 million reservations.
Another niche travel sector is that of weddings celebrated in Italy: 6,000 per year with English, Russian and American citizens at the top of the list of those who wish to profess their marriage vows in Italy.
As far as business travel, Italy is 4th in Europe for total meeting surface area in the business niche sector known as MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events.