Italy is turning the spotlight on roots tourism in 2024 focusing on the community and potential demand of surprising proportions, ranging from just over 6 million of Italian citizens residing abroad, which become 80 million with their descendants and those of Italian origin, which climbs to 260 million when identifying family ties, those who speak the language, and those close to Italian culture, even if for work reasons.
Italian communities abroad stand out as great natural promoters of the country, and 87%, upon returning from a trip to Italy, highly recommend the destinations to relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
They are sensational influencers with 61% of those who have traveled to the country have done so 3 times or more in their lifetime and a further 27% have come twice. They put Italy at the center of their trip even if they come from overseas with 6 out of 10 only visiting Italy, while another 3 visit neighboring countries only on a residual basis.
In the results of the published insights, some clichés linked to these tourists are overcome. They spend 55% of their travel time seeing Italy as a whole, not just their land of origin, to which they dedicate the remaining 45%. They mainly stay in hotels and tourist accommodation facilities, although they also pay attention to hospitality with relatives. They show decidedly high spending values – on average 3,100 euros per person for trips lasting at least 2 weeks, often even 3 or 4.
These are some of the data from the Confcommercio research carried out in collaboration with Swg, TRA Consulting, and Italyrooting consulting, published on the occasion of the Baveno International Tourism Forum.
A Confcommercio study contains 3 levels of in-depth analysis on roots tourism: a survey on the economic value, a survey of current and potential tourists, and a qualitative analysis, of which the latter two were carried out with interviews in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the USA.
What emerges are useful elements to support the territories and categories of tourism operators as well as commerce, culture, transport, and craftsmanship to create new tourist and related “products” capable of specifically attracting this enormous market of reference, and also making the offer more attractive for experiential tourism which today moves most markets, starting from the mature ones, such as Europe and North America.
Tourists Consider Themselves Italians
But what makes the tourists of the roots particularly appreciable, in addition to the fact that they consider themselves Italians, is that upon their return, they bring with them and make known the most excellent products of “Made in Italy” food and wine, clothing, craftsmanship, footwear, jewelry, and books.
A bond with Italy which, certainly starting from curiosity and love for one’s own family history, extends to values common to many other travelers – the beauty and fame of Italy in the world; its cuisine – of which they want to learn all the secrets as much as possible; the language, which they want to learn and perfect at all costs even with dedicated courses during their stay; and the culture of the country.
Confcommercio (the Italian Tourist and Commerce Federation) will accompany 2024 with a series of initiatives, especially at the local level, dedicated to all operators and professionals who want to approach traditional tourism by taking an active part in destination development projects.
2024 must be the beginning of a great journey of further rapprochement between Italy and its wonderful and vast community in the world.