The new update of the Ipsos survey, Future4Tourism, now in its 5th year, shows, after the good trend of the summer season, a recovery for autumn holidays. 61% of Italians plan to take at least one holiday between October and December.
As in previous periods, the real difference lies in the choice of destination: for autumn 2021, 70% of travellers will choose to stay in Italy, compared to an average of 56% in pre-pandemic periods. Cross-border destinations continue to suffer.
Travel and holidays are definitely among the consumption items Italians are no longer willing to give up.
Compared to the holidays that characterised the whole of 2020-2021, however, there is an important difference for the autumn: the resumption of cultural holidays, visits to villages and cities of art. This type of travel during the entire pandemic has recorded the greatest downturns: travellers, even in unusual periods, preferred to divert their preferences to seaside or mountain destinations, i.e. outdoor destinations, more able to ideally fulfil the reassuring distancing. Now, however, we are back to pre-pandemic levels: for the October-December period, 44% of Italian travellers will choose cultural destinations.
Among those travelling in Italy, Tuscany is the region with the most preferences (16%), followed by Trentino, Lombardy, Apulia and Sicily (with percentages between 7% and 9% each). It is unlikely that the presence of Italians will be able to make up for the lack of incoming international tourism, but the fact that tourism in cities of art is once again being taken into consideration bodes well for the medium term and for the recovery of tourism exchanges between countries.
The outlook for the January-March period is also positive: 39% of Italians at the end of September already said they would take a holiday in the first quarter of 2022, the highest figure recorded since the birth of Future4Tourism for winter holidays. In this case, the hope that the pandemic is actually behind us or, in any case, that the initiatives to combat it have played their role, gives rise to the hope of being able to return to travel beyond national borders with timid signs of a recovery in European (24% of preferences among winter travellers) and non-European (12%) destinations. Clearly, the next few months will be crucial in confirming these openings for cross-border tourism.
Talking about autumn-winter, it is necessary to focus specifically on the Christmas period. In this case, 21% of Italians will allow themselves a holiday away from home. About half of these travellers, 46%, will include in their holiday period the New Year’s Eve, which is the most popular holiday to be spent away from home. As far as overnight stays are concerned, the period favours accommodation “at home”, whether owned, owned by friends or rented (45% of overall preferences) over hotel accommodation chosen by 32% of Christmas holidaymakers.
And still talking about winter, the ski-holiday theme is also crucial, considering a sector that must necessarily concentrate activity in a specific and limited period, which has seen an almost total closure in the winter of 2020-2021. 94% of Italians are sure that the winter 2021-2022 will see the opening of the ski lifts even if for the majority (80%) there will be some necessary limitations: closed numbers, access only to people with a green pass.
In September the ski season still seems far away but 5% of Italians are already thinking of a classic skiing week and 14% of Italians are thinking of a weekend in the snow with 2-3 nights’ stay: to these will be added day trips.