More desire for food and wine tourism for the post Covid. Naples and Bologna in the lead

After the stop caused by the pandemic, the share of those who choose the tourist destination on the basis of the offer of local culinary and wine excellences increases.

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The key points

  • Growing interest
  • South, sea and food valley
  • Active experience and sustainability
  • Coldiretti: the green pass to save typical products

Interest in food and wine tourism has increased in Italy, even during the pandemic. If before Covid it was important in the choice of travel destination for 59% of Italians, in 2021 the figure reached 71% and concerns all generations.

This is just one of the data from the Report on the sector that Roberta Garibaldi , president of the Italian Food and Wine Tourism Association, presented to the Senate in the presence of the Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia , and the Undersecretary of Agriculture, Gianmarco Centinaio .

Growing interest

“The growth is constant: if in 2016 only 21% of the interviewees had done at least one trip with the main motivation linked to this area in the previous three years – explained Garibaldi – and then rose to 30% in 2018 and 45% 2019, with the 2021 analysis the percentage increased to 55%. The impact of the crisis triggered by Covid weighs on the number of experiences enjoyed which decrease on average by 27% compared to 2019 and on spending power (31% say they have allocated a lower budget than in 2019, while 27% have more resources). If the pandemic has hampered the possibility of living experiences, the globality of the data shows us a growing attention to the food and wine theme and also a new profile of the tourist ».

In addition to tasting food and wine, you are interested in food and wine culture both when you are on vacation and when it comes to your place of residence. 70% of Italians would like to know more about the food and wine of their country

South, sea and food valley

Sicily, Emilia Romagna and Campania among the regions and Naples, Bologna and Palermo among the cities are at the top of the most desired destinations for food and wine tourism in Italy. Internationally we find France, Spain and Greece and as cities Paris, Barcelona and Madrid 

The latest of

From olive trees in Liguria to the delicacies of Etna and Taormina: another interesting fact is the combination of a journey of taste with the sea. The themed structures such as hotels, relais and glamping themed wine, olive trees and various foods are also very popular and growing. 57% of Italians also consider it interesting to carry out business and training events in places related to food such as cellars.

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«Food and wine tourists are more and more, they discover the hinterland starting from the sea (their favorite destination) and appear more and more aware, active, demanding, innovative and attentive to the issues of safety and sustainability. The “maturity” acquired – reads a note – places the travelers of taste at the center of a scenario of more balanced development of the territories and makes them the “sentinels” of virtuous tourism, which contributes to the protection of local resources and the landscape , which de-seasonalizes and creates new balances between urban and rural ”.

Active experience and sustainability

The pandemic has changed the choices of the consumer, who wants to experience experiences in direct contact with nature as a protagonist . The traditional winery visits, perceived as too similar to each other by 60% of food and wine tourists (+ 6%) and the “passive” approach, are replaced by the will of the food and wine tourist to actively take part in the visit, for example, of the winery, becoming itself an element of that agricultural community (e.g. active harvest) and acting in harmony with nature.

According to the report, the acquired awareness of socio-environmental issues «transforms the food and wine tourist into a sort of stakeholder of the place and / or of the virtuous company, which operates in harmony with its territory. The choice of a destination becomes a sort of “reward” to the areas and farms that have worked for authentic and harmonious development, re-evaluating and protecting local knowledge and culture, creating new job opportunities especially for young people and women. And the loyalty of the tourist, with the purchase of products, appears as a logical consequence of the lived experience ».

Finally, the connection with well-being is extremely developing: 65% of food and wine tourists would be interested in attending courses and workshops in production companies with useful information on psychophysical well-being , 64% would like to practice outdoor sports. “Offers such as yoga, forest bathing and the possibility of practicing sports in rural areas (gym, trekking, cycling) take on particular importance in the decisions to visit territories and food & beverage companies”.

Coldiretti: the green pass to save typical products

The decline in food and wine tourism that still affected 2020 worries Coldiretti, who comments on the report as follows: “The impact of the crisis triggered by Covid cuts food and wine tourism by 27% and puts at risk the 5,266 traditional food products kept throughout the Peninsula for generations by farmers. In this context, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s announcement that the European Green pass will be ready from the second half of June, while the national green pass for Italian and foreign tourists will be in force from mid-May “.

Italy is a world leader in food and wine tourism – recalls Coldiretti – which is worth over 5 billion with the search for typical products “which has become an indispensable ingredient of holidays in a country like Italy that can count on greener agriculture in Italy. Europe with leadership in the organic sector with over 60 thousand organic farms, the largest world network of farmers’ markets and farms with Campagna Amica ».