Out of 25 million Italians who go on vacation, one in five choose the open air

Jul 15, 2022 182

Flexible, sustainable and safe: thanks to its intrinsic characteristics, the open-air sector in recent years has been able to earn and win the trust of Italians. Credit also goes to its ability to evolve, intercepting the needs and demands of new target audiences.

If on the one hand the pandemic has brought people closer to a more conscious and proximity-based concept of tourism, on the other hand the segment has been able to transform itself, to offer quality services and all kinds of comforts. So much so that outdoor vacations seem to be the post-covid must for Italians: two out of three, in fact, admit that since the beginning of the pandemic their propensity to take their vacations outdoors has grown.

This historical data on open-air tourism is the starting point for the new edition of the Outdoor Tourism Study commissioned to Istituto Piepoli by Enit-National Tourism Agency and Human Company, the most important Italian-owned company in the open-air segment. A trend that is also confirmed for the 2022 summer season, which seems to have all the credentials to be in line with that of 2019, if not even higher.

Carried out in June using a quantitative method on a representative sample of the Italian population, the research investigated Italians' propensity for summer vacations, forecasts of outdoor stays for summer 2022, and the determining factors for vacation choice.

According to survey estimates for summer 2022 more than one in two Italians (52%) have planned a vacation, of these one in five plans an outdoor facility, with a preference for villages and agritourisms. Among those inclined to vacation, the open-air tourist is not only the most loyal (82% say they are ready to go) but also the most inclined to extend their stay: for 24% of outdoor tourists the vacation will be longer, while it will remain the same for the others.

Regarding the destination, Italy is confirmed again this year as the favorite of outdoor tourists with 88% of preferences (+3% compared to 2021). On the podium of the outdoor tourist's favorite regions, Puglia (18%) consolidates its first position and shares the podium with Tuscany (11%) and Sardinia (10%). Latium, Calabria and Sicily (all at 8%) also perform well. As for destinations and period, 58 percent of those planning an outdoor vacation will choose the sea, 17 percent the mountains and 14 percent cities and art resorts mainly in July (42 percent) and August (46 percent), which remain the dominant months, with an appreciable share in September (11 percent).

If in forgoing vacations it is not surprising that economic reasons prevail (38 percent), it is surprising that Covid remains rather marginal, with only 5 percent of respondents saying they do not leave for fear of contagion. High fuel prices and inflation are the main factors for vacation choice for seven out of 10 Italians, followed by the presence of flexible fares that secure against financial losses (61 percent) and a good number of last-minute deals (53 percent). According to the survey, about a quarter of vacationers wait for undated reservations: the percentage is the same among both inclined (29%) and outdoor tourists (28%). Among booking channels, the direct method prevails with 53% of respondents saying they have booked or intend to book by contacting the facility directly. Only 25% indicated OLTAs and 13% travel agencies or traditional tour operators. 


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