The Bank of Italy’s cross-border tourism survey reveals that foreign tourists and Italians are traveling more in the first quarter of 2023, indicating a steady recovery in leisure travel. Compared to last year, foreign tourist spending in Italy increased by 35%, thanks to the rise in traveler numbers. Meanwhile, Italian travelers spending abroad increased by 46%, mainly due to a rise in per capita spending.
Compared to the period before the pandemic, both inbound and outbound tourist flows were higher in the first quarter of 2021. Inbound flows increased by 1.1 percent, while outbound flows had a more significant increase of 10.7 percent.
Bank Italia also published data for 2022, showing that spending by foreign tourists in Italy more than doubled compared to 2021 but remained 10 percent lower than in the pre-pandemic period.
Spending by Italian travelers abroad increased similarly, leading to a significant widening of the surplus in the tourism balance of payments, which returned to the level of 2019 (to 1.0 percent of GDP, from 0.5 percent in 2021).
Despite ongoing travel restrictions in Asian countries during most of 2022, international tourism has seen a global recovery. Italy’s market share has notably increased from 3.9 to 4.5 percent.