Did you know that even in this terrible year for travel, Italy is first in Europe for the number of tourists?

Istat (Italian National Institute of Statistics) confirms this with its annual report on the movement of travelers in our country in 2021. The institute was assisted by Eurostat data, the statistical office of the European Commission based in Luxembourg.

Spain loses the leadership and slips to third place

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Tourism flows in all EU countries are still heavily impacted by movement restrictions and several other difficulties related to the pandemic. The data indicate more than 1 billion presences within the accommodation facilities of EU countries in the first eight months of 2021, in line with what already happened in 2020, the year in which the pandemic broke out and the first lockdowns broke out. Overall, the European tourism sector remains at -50% compared to 2019.

Italy remains a hugely popular country and at the top of the desires of tourists and travelers around the world. 

Many other countries in the union as Malta, Latvia, Hungary, and Portugal have seen a drop in bookings of over 55% compared to the pre-pandemic average. Spain was first in this ranking in 2020. Today, however, it registers a large drop in the number of visitors, thus giving way not only to Italy but also to Germany, which ranks second.

Italy is first in Europe for tourist presences, but the ways of fruition of the tourists change

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During this period, Italians also preferred to move within the national territory, with travel abroad having difficulty to recuperate its numbers. Hotels and, in general, all accommodation facilities have suffered from a drop in admissions of 44.3%, compared with the non-hotel sector, which is still at -28.3%.

It is also true, however, that compared to the same period of 2020 under examination, in 2021 there are signs of improvement, with a significant increase in admissions and arrivals: therefore, there is reason to be at least optimistic about the short-term future. 

Researchers have analyzed the tourist choices of visitors, who in 2021 see an increase in the so-called "secondary destinations" generally less crowded than the famous monuments of Rome, Florence, Venice, and Naples.

In Italy, therefore, big cities are less crowded by tourists. So it is the villages and natural areas of Italy that record an increase in presence, with a recovery of 33.2% in 2020.

The welcoming and optimistic Italy that saw good numbers already in 2021

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As has already been said, all is not lost, and in 2022. Italy fights the Omicron wave and looks to the future with optimism. It also remembers this summer's numbers that were not outrageous.

Some regions, such as Apulia, saw a growth of 13% with 1.9 million arrivals and 10.6 million presences. Tuscany and Sicily with 4.1 million arrivals and 19.1 million presence the first and 1.7 million arrivals and 6.5 million presence the second. Sardinia and Emilia Romagna also recorded a recovery of over 8% compared to 2020. In short, Italy is waiting for you in 2022 with greater confidence and the same hospitality as always. 

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