A kind way to describe tourist promotion in Italy is ‘embarrassing’. ‘Despairing’ if one wants to be realistic. However, changes are supposed to happen lately: the National Associated Press Agency (ANSA) wrote an hopeful headline regarding the new National Tourist Agency (Enit) board of directors: “Italian tourism at a turning point”. It is to be hoped that substantial changes will come soon, although, as my grandma would say, “more haste, less speed” still holds.
Let us look at some facts to contextualize the problem . With eleven hundred thirty-three million travellers, the recent years have seen the greatest global tourist expansion of all times: in 2014, tourism has increased of 4.3 per cent compared with 2013. All indicators state that the trend will go on.
Regarding Italy, tourism industry accounts for 10.1% of GDP and 12% of total employment. We are now fifth in the world’s most visited countries top ten list after France, USA, Spain and China, and before Turkey. It seems we should be glad of it, but that is not entirely true.
Nowadays, tourism industry in Italy is growing, but less than in other countries - if other country’s growth is greater than ours is, it means we lag behind. During the ‘50es, almost one tourist out of five used to come to Italy and we were the most visited country in the world. Now, only one tourist out of 23 travels to Italy. During the ‘50es, Spain did not even appear in the most visited group. Now, Spain is the first tourist destination in Europe and the third in the world. There is something that Spain understood and did that we did not.
In addition to a growth in numbers, tourism industry is one of the economic sectors...
... middle of paper ...
...an station or in an airport that delivers their luggage in a reasonable time. The want to visit a monument or a museum and avoid being badly disappointed because it is closed for some obscure reason. To walk down clean streets or along well-maintained paths and beaches. To sleep in a hotel where the service offered is the same as the one advertised. Sometimes, in some places, we are able to offer all of this and more. Other times, in other places, we just can’t do it. By the way, if we could manage to increase the foreign average stay by one day (in Spain it is already five days), we could have an increase in annual revenue of 6.9 billion euros. Not bad at all.
In tourist industry, quality is made of details and the sum of millions single experiences. The average stay could also be increased if we could make each single experience if not perfect at least positive.
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