Italy rolls out welcome mat for region’s tourists Tourism March 07, 2019 01:00
“The new Bangkok office plays a very important role, as the first the Italian hub in Southeast Asia with the task of promoting Italy and its destinations throughout this portion of the tourism market in this part of the world,” Giovanni Bastianelli, Enit executive director, told The Nation in an interview.
As Southeast Asia‘s tourism demand for destinations worldwide is growing, it is a fundamental task for Italian regions to have a point of reference in such a growing market, said Bastianelli, who pointed to Italy’s status as a world-renowned top tourist destination.
Apart from Thailand, the Bangkok office is responsible for promoting tourism in the newer source markets of Vietnam and Myanmar, along with Malaysia, as visitors from these countries are increasingly heading to Europe, said Bastianelli.
“Since countries in this region make up an emerging market for the Italian tourism sector, it is still necessary to develop a correct and stronger brand positioning in order to reach the best target for Italian destinations, and namely the more affluent segment, as well as millennials and multi-generational family groups,” he added.
According to Bastianelli, tourism from Asia is increasing faster than that of the total tourism demand, because of the major increase in long-haul tourism markets in Italy with respect to its neighbours, he said.
Compared with 2016, these flows depict a growing trend regarding every variable of tourism. The number of nights spent increased 47.6 per cent, with a 7.4 per cent increase in expenditure that reached 21.7 million euros, Bastianelli said.
China is the biggest source market when it comes to Italian accommodation figures, with over 3 million arrivals for growth of 15 per cent; nights spent in accommodation touched 5 million, increasing 12.4 per cent.
“It means we are still growing from 2016 in international arrivals. Overall, there has been a 5 per cent increase in airport arrivals from foreign airports over the last two years (2018 and 2017),” he said.