Christmas holidays, Italians travel despite fears of Covid and wars

From Norway to Cape Verde, but also to the Maldives, Zanzibar, Kenya, the Dominican Republic and Thailand: For the upcoming Christmas holidays The Italians will not give up traveling, despite inflation and wars. The data from the Astoi Observatory – Confindustria Viaggi, the association of Tour operator Italians, regarding the decisions of their compatriots on the occasion of the upcoming year-end holidays, which coincide with the extra time available and the willingness to spend money on travel.

“High season reservations,” comments Pier Ezhaya, President of Astoi – Confindustria Viaggi, “are seeing growth Sales of 11% in 2022 and almost all destinations involved show a positive trend, both in permanent seaside holidays and more mobile holidays.” We are back to booking trips in advance, with a significant increase in advance bookings compared to 2022, a year that always still marked by the Covid queue, which caused consumers to postpone bookings closer to the departure date.

Average duration longer than last year, the mountains continue to be at the top of preferences

Excursions or stays have one average duration of 8.5 days, a little longer than last year. Among travelers who prefer to stay in Italy, the mountain always remains a protagonist in the winter season, so much so that in some cases it records higher volumes +29% compared to the previous year. In Europe, Iceland and Norway They are the most popular travel destinations. The Christmas and New Year period saw year-on-year increases for these destinations of more than 23%.


Cruise to Norway

Impact on the Middle East after the October 7 attack

In the middle area, the preference for Cape Verde and the Canary Islands partially compensates for this Decline in flows tourist Towards the Middle East and North Africa. There is no denying that the outbreak of the new conflict between Hamas and Israel on October 7 and the events that followed were decisive Impact on bookings, mainly in the month of October, especially towards classical Egypt, the Egyptian Red Sea, Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula; However, the emotional wave seems to have subsided and today cancellations have dropped significantly and bookings have started again. In percentage terms, the effects of the Middle East conflict were primarily attributable to Egypt (-13%) and Jordan (-49%); The data appears more negative considering that the trend before the surprise attack on Israel showed significant growth in both destinations.

The longing for the sea resists, from the Maldives to Thailand

The long term rewards Indian OceanEast Africa, East and Caribbean. The wish of one Stay by the sea and in the heat leads to booking Maldives, Zanzibar, Kenya, Thailand and Indonesia and the Dominican Republic. Those who prefer voyages of discovery choose the USA, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Argentina and South Africa; In this case, the average duration is 10 days, with the spending range varying from 3,000 euros for beach stays to over 4,000 euros for tours.



Record for Italian cruise passengers

In the cruise industry, Christmas and New Year’s trips are among the most popular in the annual program because it is a special time of year when people particularly want to celebrate on board. According to data recently published on the occasion of Italian Cruise Day, the most important cruise event in Italy, in 2023 They almost will be Cruise ships carried 13 million passengers in Italian ports: This is the historical record of the last 30 years.

The rediscovery of travel agencies in the post-pandemic period

After years of do-it-yourself or online tourism, the post-pandemic has given rise to this Rediscovery of travel agencies and direct contact with the operators. “We saw it in the volumes shown and in the passengers, in 2023 we had a significant Return of customers in travel agencies in all segments, family, seniors, young people,” explained Adriano Apicella, CEO of the Welcome Travel Group, when presenting a three-year partnership agreement with the International Tourism Exchange. Apicella added: “With results that we honestly could not have predicted at budget level. We may be able to maintain this level of growth in the next few years, but only if we continue to be able to guarantee advice and quality services, propose fair and safe travel destinations”.

But one of the first problems to be overcome will be the lack of staff. “In this sense we have great difficulties, in 2023 we have developed this +20% volume with -30% personnel compared to 2019,” said the CEO of Welcome Travel Group. We are having difficulty finding young staff, we are trying to make the travel agency sector more attractive, such as the partnership we have just concluded with our sector association and also with the University of Bicocca to create training courses.”

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