Schengenvise news – Italian Ministry of Tourism has announced that Italy is the second destination for 2023, as 39 per cent of accommodation facilities have been booked on online platforms, standing ahead of France and Spain, which recorded increases of 14 and two per cent, respectively.

According to the press release, airline bookings rose by 14 per cent in the first half of August compared to the same period in the previous year, with the international boost reaching 22 per cent, reports.

The most popular destinations in Italy this summer were seaside resorts, accounting for 43 per cent of bookings, also offering a 31 per cent more economical alternative compared to the average of competitor countries such as Greece, Spain and France.

Among hundreds of blue-flagged beaches, Puglia holds the first position as the most sought-after in Google, while the interest in Liguria has also been significant as searches rose by 100 per cent compared to the previous year. The same trend was noticed for some towns in Puglia and Sardinia, such as is the case with Ginosa and Aglientu.

“I would not speak of a decline, but neither of the success of tourism. I would say that we can finally start discussing tourism again and plan the next moves. In fact, this is the first year without pandemic restrictions, without data “doped” by the emergency, and therefore, in a certain sense, we can speak of year zero. We had a June above expectations, followed by good numbers in July. Less well August, which has some objective declines, but on which some reflections must be made,” Tourism Minister Daniela Santanchè said for Ansa.

She also pointed out that tourism in 2023 has been challenged in some aspects, mentioning Italy’s environmental disasters, such as the floods in May and wildfires in late July and early August, which impacted booking rates. The second reflection that Santanche pointed out is the overall increase in prices, which is fully reasonable.

However, the Minister also noted a change in the tourist market, with Puglia looking at a high-spending market but also modifying its offer. Americans remain the only constant returns among foreigners, who generate significant spending in Italy.

The Minister says that 2023 represents a year of transition that will provide useful indications of how tourism will impact the future. It is evident that Greece was the most famous summer destination this summer – beating its all-time competitors of Italy, Spain and France, with the latter remaining the top destination of all time for visitors headed to Paris, the city of love.