This report examines the future of holidays to Italy, looking at consumer trends, innovations of relevance, the market environment, the country’s competition and includes exclusive consumer research on the frequency of, types of holiday taken in and attitudes regarding holidaying in Italy.
- Holidays to Italy were hit particularly hard by the recession and began falling in number in 2008, before the majority of overseas destinations saw any negative change year on year. In 2009 volume fell further, dropping by a whole quarter, far outpacing the near 16% drop across all overseas destinations. In expenditure terms, the market lost over a fifth of its value in 2009.
- Almost four in ten consumers have holidayed in Italy at some point, and approximately one in four have holidayed in the country in the last five years. Holidaymakers to Italy are most likely to be older, to have household income of £50,000 or above and to have no dependent children in their household – 40% of such people have visited the country vs 29% of those with kids at home.
- One in fourteen respondents say they are more likely to visit in 2010/11 than they were in 2008/09. Overall, almost one in three consumers would like to visit Italy in future but have not yet been to the country (rising to over one in two 15-24-year-olds).
- The currently under-served (in holiday terms) but growing single population of the UK are particularly keen on holidays to Italy – over four in ten have never been to Italy but want to in the future, compared with three in ten consumers overall. One-person households are forecast to grow to over 35% of the total by 2015, and the Office for National Statistics forecasts the single-person population of England and Wales will reach 45% of the total by 2031.
- Overall, holidays to Italy were approximately 6% more expensive than the average overseas trip in 2009, with rivals such as Spain, France and (increasingly) non-eurozone destinations significantly cheaper. A developing package market to 2007 was dealt a severe blow by the recession, with the downturn-caused concentration in the market of wealthier, more likely independent holidaymakers shrinking packages to 30% of all holidays in 2009/10.
- Consumers who have never been to Italy and think themselves unlikely to go in future are most likely put off by expense (and the perception of expense). Almost half of all people from households earning under £15,500 per year fall into this group, for example, compared to less than one in ten £50,000-plus earners.